After the last Digest, which was dedicated to the European OpenArch Project, we are returning to our usual format and bringing you a choice of articles from EXARC Journal issues 2015/3 to 2016/1. These issues discuss a number of topics concerning archaeological open-air museums, including the important questions of accessibility of open-air museums to the wide public and working with children and young people.
The accessibility is represented by Maureen Page’s article, ‘Making Butser Ancient Farm More Accessible’, and work with children and young people by Luke Winter from Ancient Technology Centre and Lasse van den Dikkenberg from Dutch Youth Association for History. We would especially like to point out Luke Winters’ article, “Playing with the Past? Or Saving Our Future?” Recently there was much discussion in press and social media on children growing within an artificial world and the importance of reconnecting children with nature.
So what about fundamental learning in heritage industry? In Luke Winter’s words:
I see the role of non-statutory educational establishments such as the ATC as holding crucial positions in the vanguard of a small movement to correct this lack of fundamental learning. By considering such questions as “where do ‘things’ come from”, “what does it take to produce a wholesome meal from scratch”, our aim is to connect a disconnected generation with those processes that are intentionally or otherwise hidden from them, to engage them in the production of simple things using simple and traditional methods that are grounded in the local landscape and the seasonal materials it produces.
The 2016-1 Digest has 36 pages and we are printing 500 issues to be distributed between members and at coming conferences.