EXARC has teamed up with the YEAR Centre (York Experimental Archaeological Research, UK) and Ukraine based ancient craft expert and EXARC member Yarema Ivantsiv - to create a Support Ukraine Network (SUN) which will provide mentorship and resources for open-air museums, experimental archaeologists, live interpreters and ancient craft experts. Because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, heritage sites, including open-air museums, have struggled to maintain visitor numbers; however, in some regions, museums remain open. Museums, where visitors of all ages, engage with their cultural heritage, often through re-enactment and replication of ancient craft practices, have become even more vital in the face of Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukrainian society and way of life. Once Ukraine dispels the Russian army, it is expected that cultural heritage centres will become an even more important focal point for Ukrainians to connect with their history and cultural identity. Similarly, when Ukraine can re-open its borders to tourists, museums that enable visitors to experience a taste of Ukrainian culture, will play an important role in helping boost the economy.
SUN, in addition to providing support for open-air museums, is committed to helping individual experimental archaeologists and traditional craft practitioners - many of whom are currently struggling to access resources, with research networks detrimentally affected by the war. Over the last few months, the YEAR Centre team and EXARC have been contacted by experimental archaeologists, including some attempting to continue their doctoral studies, asking for support in accessing published literature, data, and other resources; some are simply wanting help building research networks. To provide Ukrainian open-air museums, experimental archaeologists and ancient craft experts with the support they desperately need, we need your help. So how can you help?
Illustration: Mykhailo Skop.
Join SUN, spread the word!
Open-air museums, experimental archaeologists, craft specialists, interpreters!
NGO's and other networks!
We are looking for people with experience in managing/working in open-air museums or other similar heritage organisations to participate in our partnership scheme. You do not need to be EXARC member for this.
We aim to twin Ukrainian-based organisations with experienced external partners. The aim is for the external partner to provide mentorship-style support, including help troubleshooting management issues and exchanging knowledge on best-practice.
We are already communicating with several Ukrainian-based cultural heritage organisations and individuals who are keen to be part of SUN and are willing to be twinned with an external partner.
We also want to help provide access to published resources. Please share your published work for Ukrainian-based researchers/experts by email with us.
Are you a fluent Ukrainian/English speaker? We are looking for people to help translate resources, emails and possibly act as a translator during SUN online meetings.
Help us extend this initiative with more networking ideas, and please share the message. We welcome more organisations for coordination of this initiative.
Contact us for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things we know so far
- Historical and Cultural Reserve Tustan is an advanced reserve in Ukraine that is interested in the development and sustainability of its institution. It includes a complex of rocks on which there was a fortress of the 13th-16th centuries, as well as the location of the Boykiv village of the 19th-20th centuries.
- The Kamianets-Podilskyi Historical Museum-Reserve is a complex of monuments from different historical periods, the key of which is fortress 12-13. 16th century
- Historical and Cultural Reserve "Davniy Plisnesk" is a complex of monuments that includes a Slavic settlement of the 7th-10th centuries, a Rus city of the 11th-13th centuries and a cult pagan sanctuary of the 10th century.
- Museum of Folk Architecture and Life in Lviv named after Klymenty Sheptytskyi - an open-air museum founded in 1971. It includes a stock collection of almost 22,000 items and more than 100 large architectural objects of the 18th-20th centuries have been preserved, among which there is a unique and largest collection of sacred buildings in Europe. The area of the open-air museum is 36.6 hectares.
- National Reserve Davniy Halych is a complex of monuments of history and culture from the 11th to 17th century united by history and landscape. The reserve is a cultural, educational and scientific research institution.
- Andriy Petrauskas is a senior researcher at the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine - the head of the Zhytomyr archaeological expedition. He practices experimental archaeology.
- Volodymyr Ilkiv is a graduate of the Academy of Arts, artist and sculptor, craftsperson, practicing experimenter. He is the founder of the Medieval Ship Project and interested in further the development.
- Taras Tymchak is a re-enactor of the 17th century period. Participant of the Pechersk Hundred, Society of Military Historical Reconstruction. Researcher and craftsperson, specialised in ammunition and warrior (Cossack) clothing.
- Historical and cultural reserve "Trypillya culture" - the reserve includes several hillforts of the 3rd century BC. An archaeological expedition operates on a permanent basis. There are over 10,000 artefacts found. They practice experimental archaeology. On the base of the reserve there are reconstructed houses of that time. Crafts are studied and various events, festivals, and excursions are held.