Archaeological Open-Air Museum

The Story of your Site: Archaeological Site Museums and Archaeological Open-Air Museums

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Archaeological site museums may not be that well defined worldwide, yet, they are found almost everywhere. Archaeological sites with reconstructed buildings based on archaeology however seem to be a younger phenomenon and are mainly concentrated in Europe, Japan and North America. Both types of museums however have old roots. Important is not so much the site per se, but the message...

Butser Ancient Farm 2020

Trevor Creighton (UK)
Butser Ancient Farm has been at the forefront of experimental archaeology in Britain1. for more than 45 years. The pioneering work of its first director Dr Peter Reynolds in the evaluation of Iron Age structures and agriculture demonstrated beyond doubt the importance of experiment in archaeology in the UK and international experimental archaeology work...

The Use and Relevance of Archaeological Open-Air Museums

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Archaeological open-air museums form a colourful and varied assemblage of heritage institutions. These are places where stories about the past, inspired by archaeology, are presented. Their obvious use is for experimental archaeology, ancient crafts and live interpretation. However, these museums can be more relevant to society than meets the eye. They can teach newcomers about...

Everybody Else is doing It, so Why Can’t We? Low-tech and High-tech Approaches in Archaeological Open-Air Museums

Roeland Paardekooper (NL)
Some people believe that an open-air museum is a place where you leave your modern technique behind and go ‘low tech’. Other than the museums which act like digital free zones, many others experiment with going digital. Where experience and storytelling have always been the central concepts of archaeological open-air museums, exactly these ideas are behind many digital techniques. We have to...

Engaging Diverse Audiences at the Archaeological Open-Air Museum Düppel in Berlin – Practical Examples and New Strategies

Julia Heeb (DE)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***In 1939, a boy called Horst Trzeciak was playing on a piece of land on the outskirts of Berlin. While playing, he found a number of pottery sherds. In an exemplary fashion he brought the sherds to the “Märkisches Provinzialmuseum”, which was, at that time, the city museum of Berlin...

Colonial Williamsburg: Archaeology, Interpretation & Phenomenology

Peter Inker (US)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***When I began investigating this conference I was unclear as to how well EXARC’s focus on experimental archaeology would blend with International Museum Theatre Alliance (Imtal)’s approach of museum theatre and interpretation. They seem after all, two very different disciplines...

How to Make a Medieval Town Come Alive – the Use of Volunteers in Living History

Pia Bach and
Thit Birk Petersen (DK)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***For over 25 years The Medieval Centre/Middelaldercentret in Nykøbing F. Denmark has used volunteers to inhabit the reconstructed medieval town of Sundkøbing. To combine the use of volunteers and living history is not easy or something that happens spontaneously. It is hard work and requires patience, strength and firmness, but also...

From Gastonia to Gotha: My Thoughts and Impressions on doing Museum Work

Doug Meyer (US)
What I consider my first real museum work came from a message on my phone on January 9th from Ann Tippitt, the Director of the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, North Carolina. Ann asked if I was interested in outfitting a Catawba Indian mannequin for the exhibit. Ann wanted a complete set of clothes, weapons and gear...

History in Motion: Colonial Williamsburg

Nikola Krstović (RS)
Boundaries are always an interesting topic. In the framework of the current heritage buzz word decolonization, boundaries might also represent what is “colonised” in every cultural enterprise, or to be more specific, how and why some form of power obtruded its authority, and to what extent. Like almost all other museums, Colonial Williamsburg deals with the past. The past has its own boundaries that...

Vacation in the Past - Effective Heritage Interpretation through Education

Réka Vasszi (HU)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***Heritage sites are breathing memories from the past; however, visitors can hardly imagine or experience the ancient life on the spot. In fact, these visits are supposed to conjure up journeys back into the past and park managers should facilitate such experiences by the most effective means possible in order to help tourists gain...