2020 March - Documentation Strategies in (Archaeological) Open-Air Museums, Berlin (DE)

Co-organised by
Co-organised by
Free University of Berlin (DE)

There are probably about 3,000 archaeological house reconstructions around the world, most of them in (archaeological) open-air museums. This means we have already a huge amount of information and experience “locked-in” these buildings. The same is true for all other craft activities carried out in open-air museums. A lot of knowledge relating to crafts is known as tacit knowledge, meaning difficult to transfer using words. It is learned through experience. 

Opposed to objects in museum collections, which pinpoint to a specific time and place, in archaeological open-air museums we see the processes behind these, how they were made and used, what role these artefacts played in people’s lives. In the end, our museums are about people and actions. Archaeological open-air museums are a process repository; our museums help preserve the understanding of these, our immaterial cultural heritage. 

This wealth of information could be preserved and used for research and dissemination if documented and made digitally available in a standardised form. Only few archaeological open-air museums have enough qualified staff to carry out standardised documentation. Another factor is that the tacit knowledge locked in many craft specialists can only be really preserved through teaching the next generation. 


Call for Papers

We will explore the multiple challenges during this EXARC conference. We invite papers on examples of documentation practices in other open-air museums both on the (re)construction, up-keep and decay of houses as well as on craft activities.

Please send an abstract of maximum 250 words to info@exarc.net before 11 January, 2020

The conference will take the full days of 26 & 27 March, including afternoon program and dinner on the 27th.
On the 25th March there is an optional excursion to the Stadtmuseum Berlin.



Staff / Volunteers of Museumsdorf Düppel

This includes the conference itself, the conference bag, coffee breaks both days (26-27 March), visit to the Stadtmuseum Berlin AND the Museumsdorf Düppel (including bus transfer to Düppel - when requested, program and dinner). Lunches are at own expense and can be bought at the Mensa, near the conference venue. All delegates need to register, also those giving a paper or poster. Your registration is complete upon paying the registration fee, you will receive the invoice after filling out the registration form. 


Draft: 19 January 2020, times and order TBC

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

about 15:00h Visit to the Stadtmuseum Berlin (optional)
Evening Dinner & get together (own expense)


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Location: Freie Universität Berlin in the Holzlaube (“wooden cottage”) on Fabeckstr. 23-25.

8:30h Registration
9:00h Welcome
Pascale Barnes, EXARC (UK)
Dr Julia Heeb, Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin & Museumsdorf Düppel (DE)
Dr Rüdiger Kelm, ICOM Germany (DE)
9:30h Session 1
  Diversity, Authenticity, and Provenance in Prehistoric Reconstruction Practices in Japan
Prof Dr John Ertl, Keio University, Tokyo (JP)
  Approaches for a Guide to the Documentation of Houses in Open-Air Museums
Dr. Enrico Lehnhardt, Freie Universität Berlin (DE)
  Preserving Building Crafts – a Tradition in the ASTRA Museum
Dr. George Tomegea, ASTRA Museum (RO)
11:00h Coffee
11:30h Session 2
  Dissemination of contextualized archaeological data through digital interfaces
Dr Peter Inker, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (US)
  Digital Saryazd: Increasing Tourist Engagement Using Digital Documentation
Kristy-Lee Seaton (UK) & Miglena Raykovska PhD, Gigascan Bulgaria Ltd. (BG)
  Sustaining the Immaterial - Methods and Experiences in Knowledge Transfer of the educational projects in the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen, Germany
Dr Rüdiger Kelm, Steinzeitpark Dithmarschen, ICOM Germany (DE)
13:00h Lunch (own expense)
14:00h Session 3
  Towards a Taxonomy of Ancient Technology? Insights into the Application of Conceptual Maps to Documentation Strategies in Archaeological Open-Air Museums
Lara Comis cand. Phd, UCD (IE)
  Analysis of Dumat al-Jandal, Saudi Arabia for UNESCO World Heritage Listing Requirements
Prof. Hisham Mortada, PhD, AIA, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah (SA)
  Building in Open-Air Museums: Propositions Towards a Universal Template to Record the Specific Data Inherent to our Activity(ies)
Ulysse Douillon MSc & Nathan Schneider MSc, Randa Ardesca (FR)
  The Register for Archaeological Experiments: Sharing Unpublished and Published Experiments simply and quickly
Caroline Jeffra PhD, University of Amsterdam (NL)
16:00h Coffee
16:30h AGM
18:00h End of this day's Program
Evening Dinner (own expense)


Friday, 27 March 2020

Locations: Freie Universität Berlin in the Holzlaube (“wooden cottage”) on Fabeckstr. 23-25 AND Museumsdorf Düppel

9:00h Session 4
  The realisation of an open-air archaeological itinerary from the musealisation of three medieval cemetery areas of Valcuvia (Northern Italy)
Marta Licata, Omar Larentis, Ilaria Gorini, Rosagemma Ciliberti, Paola Badino, Roberta Fusco & Chiara Tesi
University of Insubria, University of Genoa (IT)
  Keeping up Appearances: The Visual Documentation of Re-Building Roundhouses at Castell Henllys Iron Age Village
Dr Delun Gibby & Liz Moore, Pentref Oes Haearn Castell Henllys / Castell Henllys Iron Age Village (UK)
  Introduction to Databases for Museums
Joseph Davis MSc. (IE)
10:45h Coffee
11:15h Session 5
  Reconstructing the Skuldelev Ships: lessons learned while documenting maritime experimental archaeology
Martin Rodevad Dael & Dr Tríona Sørensen, Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde (DK)
  Strategies to Document, Record and Store Key Information
Trevor Creighton, Butser Ancient Farm (UK)
  From Bede’s World Back to Jarrow Hall: a Four Decades Museological Project in North-East England
Marco Romeo Pitone cand. PhD, Jarrow Hall Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum (UK)
13:00h Lunch (own expense)
14:00h Visit to the Museumsdorf Düppel (including program & coffee). There will be bus transfer from the Freie Universität Berlin to Museumsdorf Düppel
Evening Dinner and evening program at the Museumsdorf Düppel