Archaeological Open-Air Museum

Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum - Nemzeti Régészeti Intézet (HU)

Member of EXARC

The Hungarian National Museum was founded in 1802 and is the national museum for the history, art and archaeology of Hungary. It’s collections, exhibitions and affiliates present an overall view of the archaeology and history of the country.

Until 2022 archaeological research, excavation work and presentation were assigned to two separate units within the National Museum. One of these was the Department of Archaeology, which conducts excavations and research of outstanding national significance (like for eg. Vértesszőlős, Kölked-Feketekapu, Heténypuszta, Zalavár, Doboz, Feldebrő, Gyula Castle, etc.). In addition to their research, the members of the department take part in university teaching and in the organisation of scientific life.

Butser Ancient Farm opens an Anglo-Saxon Hall on site

EXARC member Butser Ancient Farm opened the reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon Hall House at the end of March 2022 on site. Dr Phil Harding had the honour to "cut the wreath" and declare the house open.

An excavation in 1970 in Church Down, Chalton revealed the foundations of the Anglo-Saxon hall that was used as the model for the reconstructed house at Butser. The exavacation in Chalton, which is in close proximity to the Farm, provided important evidence: it was able to prove that Anglo-Saxons were living in large buildings in and around 700 AD.

Facilitated Dialogue: An Emerging Field of Museum Practice

Foteini Venieri
Publication Date
The notion of dialogue is considered essential in contemporary museology. Since the 1970’s, when Cameron (1971) put forward the idea of museums as forums rather than temples, dialogue is linked to the process of democratization of museum functions and narratives and the inclusion of local communities (Sandell, 2002). Nowadays, “the idea of museum as a forum is widespread” (Kirschenblatt-Giblett, 2020)...

EXARC Journal 2021/4 online

The EXARC Journal 2021/4 was published in November and contains 13 reviewed and 4 unreviewed articles. As always, all articles are open access.

Four of the reviewed articles have been presented at the EAC 12 World Tour this year and are now available in the journal. Dzwiza looks at Ancient Technologies in Contexts of the Sustainable Development Goals, Palmer investigates the weaving of an Ancient Greek chlamys; Durante, Stellacci, Pellegrini, de Angelis and Scacchetti evaluate the production and possible uses of deer antler tools in Italy and Ertl and Yoshida look at the Approaches to Experimental Pit House Reconstructions in the Japanese Central Highlands...

Approaches to Experimental Pit House Reconstructions in the Japanese Central Highlands: Architectural History, Community Archaeology and Ethnology

John Ertl
Yasuyuki Yoshida
Publication Date
#EAC12 World Tour 2021
***In Japan, over 1,000 prehistoric house reconstructions have been built at 360 different locations since 1949. Pit houses from Neolithic Jomon Period (14,000–300BC) are the most common but they are mostly based on archaeological remains limited to pits and postholes. Therefore, decisions on material and structure come...

The Weald & Downland Living Museum’s Saxon Hall

Lucy Hockley
Publication Date
In the early days of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, from September 1970, there was a Saxon building on the site, which was one of only two archaeological reconstructions at the museum. This original sunken-floor Saxon building is no longer standing but, after several years in the planning, a new project saw the construction in 2015 of another Saxon building, the Saxon Hall from Steyning...

Approaches to the Documentation of Houses in Open-Air Museums

Enrico Lehnhardt
Stefan Solleder
Publication Date
The seminar was divided into two parts. One group professionally documented the long-term experiment “House 1” in the Museums Village Düppel for the first time. The house was built in the 1970s and left to decay in 1990. The area was freed from vegetation and photographed at regular intervals. The second group reflected on the continuous documentation of reconstructed houses in archaeological...

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA (RO)

Member of EXARC

The ASTRA Open-Air Museum situated in the natural reservation of Dumbrava Sibiului, 4 kilometers away from the Sibiu city centre, spreads across 96 ha, of which more than 40 ha are covered by the permanent exhibition. It was opened in 1963 when the assumed mission was to present the traditional technical patrimony in rural Romania, mills for grinding, oil, grapes and fruit presses, sawmills and watermills, and some peasant industries.

After the 90's, the museum goes through an obvious transformation, the aspect of traditional culture being more present through the houses rebuilt in the museum, but also with emphasis on the immaterial patrimony. ASTRA Open-Air Museum currently holds over 400 monuments of folk architecture and technique, as well as an impressive collection of ethnographic heritage objects. Conceived as a living museum, it hosts many traditional events such as: traditional fairs, workshops, folk festivals and performances.

Open-Air Museum de Locht (NL)

Member of EXARC

The open-air museum “de Locht” is an agricultural open-air museum, focusing on the life of farmers on the North-Limburg sandy soils. This includes the growing of asparagus and mushrooms. They collect, archive and present, also in person, about older ways of life, traditions, crafts and folk culture, looking back at the past, but also with a view on the future of North Limburg.

Archaeological research in 2009 led to the discovery of a farm on the grounds of the open-air museum, dating to about 1320 AD. It was decided to reconstruct this farm on site by placing new posts in the exact old postholes. Volunteers then constructed a fully furnished farm.

StaPark (RS)

Member of EXARC

The Neolithic archaeological open-air museum StaPark has been built in the village of Stapary and very vicinity of the archaeological localities Velika Gradina and Mala Gradina where the Neolithic man’s natural environment has been recognized and mainly researched.

A settlement of 1.500 square meters, consisting of four wattle and daub houses and one half pit-house, is built and furnished in accordance with lifestyle of Neolithic man. Exhibitions dedicated to the clothes producing, leather processing, tools crafting, processing the ceramics and weapons and preparing food of a Neolithic man are the museum’s permanent exhibition.