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The OpenArch ‘Borger Meeting’, bringing archaeology to life

Monday, 3 October, 2011 to Friday, 7 October, 2011
Organised by: 
Hein Klompmaker (Director of Hunebedcentrum)
Harrie Wolters (Deputy Director of Hunebedcentrum)
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 
100 Participants, 50 Visitors

The Borger Meeting, 3rd - 7th October 2011 was a great success with almost 100 participants from about 10 countries. The Borger Meeting was to discuss new ways to reach the public with archaeology. The meeting combined participants from OpenArch, Zeitgeist and EXARC and was also visited by members of the Dutch network VAEE.

4 October, the first official day, OpenArch representatives got an introduction on what the websites of the project were going to be like, and how we will be able to use those. The work on making these websites had only just started and this was the right moment for feedback. There will be a project website (more technical) and a public website showing what our partners have on offer.
Following on this, all participants were guided through the Hunebedcentrum. The afternoon was spent on useful Steering Committee Meeting where much needed decisions to ensure successful steps for OpenArchs development were taken.

Wednesday 5 October, we spent the morning with the theme ‘what is new in archaeology?’ Our Chairman of the day, Evert van Ginkel has a long experience in presenting archaeology for any thinkable group in the Netherlands. He shared his critical view on ‘new’ is not always ‘better’ – things are more complicated than that. The story is one thing; the ways of telling is another. A virtual presence was made by Charlotte SH Jensen, Community Manager at the National Museum in Copenhagen. She introduced the most used social media of 2011, their advantages and pitfalls. Following on this, she answered a few questions through Skype. The director of the Hunebedcentrum himself, Hein Klompmaker described the ‘Borger method’ of empathic archaeology. The museum had only recently been awarded the Europa Nostra Award for their innovative ways of presenting archaeology. Sebastian Buks from Sweden then presented how to combine the past with modern technology. It was all about augmented reality (AR) and its possibilities of presenting your stories in the open air, using smartphones and tablets. This was not the last time people could touch AR…

The afternoon was dedicated to four different workshops. The first pair was about stories and storytelling. Jouke Nijman, Flashstudio gave a workshop on how to write a good story followed by Erik Schoppen & Herman ten Kate (Hanzehogeschool) discussing branding and how to get a story. In the late afternoon, choice was between a workshop on how to spread a story by conducting cross-media campaigns (by Jef Folkerts, Hanzehogeschool) or a workshop ‘Lost in Time’on using tablets in experience based gaming, given by Tempeest from Utrecht.

The day was closed with a speech by Tanja Klip, Deputy of Culture (media/museums) of the Province Drenthe, stating that we need smart plans to grab the chances which are offered to us by the internet, entrepreneurship and innovative thinking. We need to involve public more closely with culture and there is where our museums stand strong. The Hunebedcentrum is an important part of that chain.

Thursday was our chance to let everything from the previous day digest, but more important: to see the cultural landscape and its interpretation in action. Unfortunately we could not go cycling due to heavy rain, but we visited several megalithic tombs and experienced their situation in the landscape and how the stories of these sites continue to be interwoven with the present day cultural; life in Drenthe. We then continued to Groningen where we were introduced to the modern media tools of the Groninger Museum – talking about being innovative! They do not only have a set of Microsoft Surfaces (table PCs) but also use smart gadgets for people to collect their own stories and take them home – while making an active link with the museum.

The programme was well designed and executed, a big thanks to the Hunebedcentrum. The atmosphere among the participants was very good. It is amazing to see how far we got with all these archaeological open-air museums in EXARC.


Bringing archaeology to life - New ways to reach the public
How to do a Heritage Fair

Monday 3rd October - Arrival Day
Morning / afternoon
One can best fly to Schiphol, Amsterdam airport. Please don’t land after 15:15h. From the airport,
take a direct train direction Groningen, leave at station Assen. The train takes about 2 hours. At
Assen, there will be a minibus of the museum going hourly between 14.00h and 18.00h.
Participants will be brought to their hotel in or near the village of Borger. OpenArch and Zeitgeist
participants will book their hotel through the colleagues at Hunebedcentrum if they register before
the end of July.

18.45The minibus brings all participants to the Hunebedcentrum
20:00Welcome by Hein Klompmaker, director of the Hunebedcentrum and Marco Out, mayor of Borger-Odoorn. After that, people can visit the Hunebedcentrum by themselves.

Tuesday 4th October - Discussions, Fair and Website

8:00All participants will be picked up from their hotels
 There are two groups: Open Arch and Zeitgeist.
Early other participants may join Zeitgeist.
09:00Zeitgeist & others
Mid evaluation of the Zeitgeist project. Presentation about the products made so far, looking at the activities to come
Explanation of the new website for the Steering Committee & PR People
11:00Seeing the Hunebedcentrum
An introduction, a guided tour through the museum and a visit to the largest dolmen of the Netherlands
13.30Zeitgeist & others (incl OpenArch participants, none members of Steering Committtee)
Workshop: How to organize a good Heritage Fair
The workshop leader is Annemarie Pothaar. Participants will make a winning concept for a good Heritage Fair. Every museum presents a good example. Those OpenArch people who are not involved in the Steering Committee can take part in the Zeitgeist workshop.
Steering Committee meeting
17.00The minibus will bring people to the hotels
19.00Dinner in Hotel Bieze

Wednesday 5th October - Conference Day

08.00Minibus pick up from hotels
 Morning Programme: What’s New in Archaeology
09.00Opening by Evert van Ginkel, chairman
Introduction and welcome by Hein Klompmaker, director Hunebedcentrum
09.30Setting goals in social media by Charlotte Jensen, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen
LINK:  Read the manual, See PDF of the PPT
10.15The Archaeologist as CSI Agent by Hein Klompmaker
10.45Coffee and tea
11.15Virtual Heritage: combining the past with modern technology by Sebastian Buks, Dohi Sweden AB, Sweden
LINK: Read the manual
11.45Communication Techniques of the Future by Speak, a company specializing in new media and techniques
LINK: Read the manual
12.15Lunch and demonstrations of ancient crafts
 Afternoon programme: Workshops
(Preferred workshops for Zeitgeist Partners are A and C)
14:00Block 1 (choose 1 workshop per person)
A.  How to write a good story  by Jouke Nijman, Flashstudio
B. How to get a story – all about branding  by Erik Schoppen & Herman ten Kate, Hanzehogeschool
15:00Coffee and tea
15:30Block 2 (choose 1 workshop per person)
C. How to spread a story – conducting cross-media campaigns by Jef Folkerts, Hanzehogeschool
D.  Lost in Time, Mobile Location Based Experience by Tempeest
16.30Closing address by Tanja Klip-Martin, deputy of Drenthe Province with special responsibility for media and culture
17.00Informal drinks reception
18.00Minibus to hotels (or participants can remain at the Hunebedcentrum)
19.00Special dinner in the Hunebedcentrum




Thursday 6 October - Excursions and Site Visits

 Good weather program
09.00Minibus pick up from hotels
09.30Bicycle tour visiting megaliths and other prehistoric monuments, with picnic lunch
11.30Bus to Groningen
13:00Visit the Groninger Museum to see new media techniques in action
14.30Boat trip on the Groningen canals
16.00Walking tour to the courtyard with almshouses around it  - "Hofje"
17:00Free time
19.00Special Surprise Dinner with closing speeches at restaurant De Wiemel in Gasselte


 Bad weather program
09.00Minibus pick up from hotels
09.30Lecture about Geopark de Hondsrug by Harrie Wolters
10:30Bus to Groningen (along megaliths and other prehistoric monuments)
13.00Visit the Groninger Museum to see new media techniques in action
14.30Boat trip on the Groningen canals
16.00Walking tour to the courtyard with almshouses around it  - "Hofje"
17:00Free time
19.00Special Surprise Dinner with closing speeches at restaurant De Wiemel in Gasselte

Friday 7 October – Travelling Day
08.00 – 10.00 By minibus to Assen Station for travel to Schiphol Trains leave Assen twice an hour. There is a convenient train at 09:24, arriving Schiphol at 11:38. Participants taking this train should not plan to fly before 13:00 at the earliest.

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