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



EXARC Berlin 2020 abstractsWelcome to the official website of the #EXARCBerlin conference.
We will go live here on 26 & 27 March, broadcasting open access at no costs whatsoever.

The presentations will remain online after the conference.

Tune in during the live conference and join us also at at Discord! 

Follow this page for updates and use the hashtag #EXARCBerlin in all your communication. 

Find here the Book of Abstracts for the #EXARCBerlin Conference (PDF, 22 pages).
This includes abstracts of all papers and other useful information. 



Thursday, 26 March 2020

Location: Online
All times are in CET (like in Berlin)

EXARC Virtual Pub

Time: 12:15h
Link: https://discord.gg/gygBMzK
Virtual Pub Opens


By Pascale Barnes

Time: 12:30h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO5n1NMDVSM
Duration: 6m24s

Ms. Pascale Barnes, EXARC Chair

Abstract: Pascale Barnes, chair of EXARC, welcomes all participants to the conference. She briefly explains EXARC's mission, structure, collaborations and target groups... read more ↓

Welcome by Julia Heeb

Time: following the previous 
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6u-OkUdcURg
Duration: 6m57s

Dr. Julia Heeb, Museumsdorf Düppel (DE)

Abstract: Dr. Julia Heeb, hosting the conference on behalf of Museum Village Düppel in Berlin, starts by welcoming all participants... read more ↓

ICOM Germany

Time: following the previous 
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2oc7lKnF1A
Duration: 5m52s

Dr. Rüdiger Kelm, ICOM Deutschland, Steinzeitpark Dithmarschen (DE)

Abstract: Dr. Kelm starts by introducing the concept of intangible cultural heritage (ICH), its importance, and the role ICOM (International Council of Museums Germany) plays in safeguarding it... read more ↓

Session 1

by FU Berlin

Time: 13:00h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXoO0zhCDP0
Duration: 13m03s
Approaches to the Documentation of Houses in Archaeological Open-Air Museums - Results from a Seminar at the FU Berlin in Summer Term 2019
Dr. Enrico Lehnhardt & Dr. Stefan Solleder, Freie Universität Berlin (DE)

Abstract: 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... read more ↓

by Tomegea

Time: 13:15h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wYqKcjIBYI
Duration: 5m24s
Preserving Building Crafts – a Tradition in the ASTRA Museum
Dr. George Tomegea
ASTRA Museum (RO)

Abstract: Over 60 years of experience in safeguarding traditional crafts and handing them down to future generations led the ASTRA Museum to adjust its strategy of recovery for old... read more ↓

by Randa

Time: 13:30h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWuhU8cAvZQ
Duration: 13m47s
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)

Abstract: Experiments conducted by open-air museums produce a substantial amount of knowledge. Why are these data seldom shared between the numerous French entities involved?... read more ↓

by Comis

Time: 13:45h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdnLji8QUcU
Duration: 18m01s
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 (Irish Research Council GOIPG17 Scholarship -  PhD Candidate) (IE)

Abstract: During the qualitative analysis of an online survey launched to investigate best practices in experimental archaeology and archaeological open-air museums (presented at... read more ↓

Session 2

by Raykovska

Time: 14:15h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-PC1qHoVkA
Duration: 12m15s
Digital Saryazd: Increasing Tourist Engagement Using Digital Documentation
Kristy-Lee Seaton (AU) & Miglena Raykovska PhD, Gigascan Bulgaria Ltd. (BG)

Abstract: Saryazd Castle is located in Yazd Province, Iran. The castle dates to the Samani era, with later expansion during the Safavid era. Constructed entirely of mud-brick... read more ↓

By Rudiger Kelm

Time: 14:30h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFB3_mGAlc8
Duration: 11m31s
Sustaining the Immaterial – Methods and Experiences in Knowledge Transfer of the educational projects in the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen (DE)
Dr. Rüdiger Kelm, Stone Age Park Dithmarschen (DE)

Abstract: Since 1999, the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen has offered a wide variety of archaeological activities and educational programs for different visitor groups ranging from... read more ↓

by Jeffra

Time: 14:45h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgw1aBZaFE4
Duration: 11m20s
The Register for Archaeological Experiments: Sharing Unpublished and Published Experiments simply and quickly
Caroline Jeffra PhD, University of Amsterdam (NL)

Abstract: Experimental archaeology is practiced in a variety of contexts which are broadly divisible by the structural incentives for generating publications... read more ↓

by Mortada

Time: 15:00h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JIogkwwD1I
Duration: 18m32s
Analysis of Dumat al-Jandal, Saudi Arabia for UNESCO World Heritage Listing Requirements
Prof. Dr. Hisham Mortada, PhD, AIA, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah (SA)

Abstract: Dumat al-Jandal is an ancient site in the north of Saudi Arabia. Several civilizations have left their footprints and impacts on the urban and architectural components of this site... read more ↓

Session 3

by P. Inker

Time: 15:30h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7uF10KiR0
Duration: 13m48s
Dissemination of contextualized archaeological data through digital interfaces
Dr. Peter Inker, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (US)

Abstract: Archaeological excavation of 18th-century Williamsburg began in the 1920s. Since then, a huge amount of data has been collected in a wide variety of forms... read more ↓

EXARC Virtual Pub

Time: 15:45h
Link: https://discord.gg/gygBMzK

Local Action for Global Sustainability in Museums
Caitlin Southwick, Rebecca Thonander, Maria Josefina Villanueva, Luke Winter & Peter Inker
Ki Culture (NL), Historic Concepts Ltd (UK), NEMO - Network of European Museum Organisations (DE) & The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (US)

EXARC Virtual Pub

Time: 16:00h
Link: https://discord.gg/gygBMzK
Virtual Pub night


Friday, 27 March 2020

Location: Online
All times are in CET (like in Berlin)

EXARC Virtual Pub

Time: 12:30h
Link: https://discord.gg/gygBMzK
Virtual Pub Opens

Session 4

by Marta Licata

Time: 13:00h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu2aonhP4i4
Duration: 15m23s
The realisation of an open-air archaeological itinerary from the musealisation of three medieval cemetery areas of Valcuvia (Northern Italy)
Marta Licata PhD, Omar Larentis, Ilaria Gorini, Rosagemma Ciliberti, Paola Badino, Roberta Fusco & Chiara Tesi, University of Insubria, University of Genoa (IT)

Abstract: We present our current research project, which is part of a larger study planned by our research centre concerning the enhancement and... read more ↓

by M Cox

Time: 13:15h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z0nKW4DCaM
Duration: 13m24s
Blogging, Bushcraft and Book-keeping
Marc Cox MA, Newhaven Coppice (UK)

Abstract: As a non-academic not fully associated with any one museum or institution, recording and publishing experimental archaeological construction work has seemed daunting and... read more ↓

by Gibby

Time: 13:30h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktccnRFGVSo&t=1
Duration: 21m13s
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)

Abstract: Castell Henllys is an established visitor centre and heritage site near Newport in North Pembrokeshire where the visitor can immerse their senses in prehistoric life... read more ↓

by J Davis

Time: 14:00h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI28jkavfn4&t=1
Duration: 22m33s
Introduction to Databases for Museums
Joseph Davis MSc. (IE)

Abstract: As an archaeologist and ICT specialist, Joseph Davis will give a presentation about this subject. This talk assumes no previous database experience... read more ↓

Session 5

by Roskilde

Time: 15:00h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAvm0isKXhs
Duration: 10m34s
Reconstructing the Skuldelev Ships: lessons learned while documenting maritime experimental archaeology
Martin Rodevad Dael & Dr. Tríona Sørensen, Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde (DK)

Abstract: The Viking Ship Museum has been involved in the experimental archaeological reconstruction of boat and ship finds for over thirty years. During this time... read more ↓

by Butser

Time: 15:15h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB3czEeoCug
Duration: 12m46s
Strategies to Document, Record and Store Key Information
Trevor Creighton, Butser Ancient Farm (UK)

Abstract: Butser Ancient Farm has been at the forefront of experimental archaeology in Britain for over 45 years. The pioneering work of Peter Reynolds defined the experimental evaluation... read more ↓

by Pitone

Time: 15:30h
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iNTgo_P43Q
Duration: 16m53s
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)

Abstract: Bede’s World began as a museological project aiming to showcase the results of Dame Professor Rosemary Cramp’s excavations (1963-1978)... read more ↓

EXARC Virtual Pub

Time: 16:00h
Link: https://discord.gg/gygBMzK
Final discussion - Virtual Pub night




Conference Preparation: Julia Heeb & Roeland Paardekooper

Compiling, Language edit, English check: Josephine Bersee

Powerpoint & Editing: Libbe Sambiria Bjerknæs

Voice Over: Treasa Kerrigan, Arnout Montald, Andy Smith

YouTube: Kees Huyser, Libbe Sambiria Bjerknæs, Caroline Jeffra

Subtitles: Josephine Bersee & Caroline Jeffra

Proofreading: Mathilde Lind

Social Media (Images, Texts, Planning, Moderation): Meghan Corso, Libbe Sambiria Bjerknæs, Kees Huyser, Silje Evjenth Bentsen, Magdalena Zielińska

Virtual Pub (Discord): Caroline Jeffra, Gerard (Panda) Terry, Jordana Maguire, Ligeri Papagiannaki, Libbe Sambiria Bjerknæs, Kamilla Lomborg, Thit Birk Petersen

PR & Website, Logistics & Finances: Magdalena Zielińska

Digital Project Coordination: Roeland Paardekooper


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.