archaeological open-air museum

Experience instead of Event: Changes in Open-Air Museums Post-Coronavirus

Roeland Paardekooper and
Annemarie Pothaar (NL)
The year 2020 started out for museums as usual, with plans for new exhibitions, new buildings even, and above all many events and visitors. Soon we saw how wrong we were. Open-air museums who had prepared to open up for the season found out that COVID-19 meant they were sitting ducks: no visitors, no income, no life in the museum area. The situation will not return to 'normal'...

Conference Review: Documentation Strategies in (Archaeological) Open-air Museums

Matilda Siebrecht (NL)
The conference in Documentation Strategies in (Archaeological) Open-air Museums, organised through the Experimental Archaeology Society (EXARC), was due to be held in Berlin on March 26th and 27th 2020. Unfortunately, the first half of March 2020 saw the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic throughout Europe which caused the implementation of government restrictions on travel and...

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...

Experimental Research on the Setting up and Exploitation of the Human Prehistoric Habitat in the Middle Dniester Region

I. Niculiţă,
S. Matveev,
A. Nicic and
A. Corobcean (MD)
The research of archaeological monuments in the Middle Dniester basin over the last two decades has highlighted a series of new data on the evolution of human communities during the first Iron Age (8th to 10th centuries BC), demonstrating the advanced level and original character of Cozia-Saharna communities...

Book Review: Mittelsteinzeit, ein Leben im Paradies? by Werner Pfeifer

Michael Müller (DE)
Considering actual studies about the analysis of ancient DNA is an important question, if only the lifestyle or the population, too, changed when hunter-gatherers became farmers and stockbreeders. The results point so far towards the latter possibility. However, the foragers of the Northern European Ertebølle culture preserved their lifestyle for one millennium, even though they lived in neighboring areas...

Reaching Out to the Communities We are Here to Serve: Developments at the Scottish Crannog Centre

Frances Collinson (UK)
The Scottish Crannog Centre is a small open-air archaeology museum on Loch Tay in Perthshire. It originally operated as a visitor attraction, giving people a glimpse into life in the Early Iron Age through demonstrations of ancient skills and guided tours of a reconstructed crannog – loch dwelling – based on discoveries and excavations made by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology...

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...

Experience and Discovery: Engaging the Public in Research. A Survey on Experimental Archaeology Contemporary Practice and Meaning – Preliminary Results

Lara Comis (IE)
2018 EXARC in Kernave
***The traditional way of engaging the public with the past has changed: now, through experimental archaeology, we can have a direct, physical contact with the “past”. But, as researchers know, the means used to engage the public are the fruits of an active process of investigation, especially in experimental archaeology...

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...