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Seminar on the Dialogue with the Visitor

Saturday, 24 October, 2015 to Sunday, 25 October, 2015
Organised by: 
Marc van Hasselt
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 
20 participants / c. 1000 visitors

As part of the work in WP3, Archeon organized a seminar on the Dialogue with the Visitor. This seminar coincided with two events for the public:

  • Magical Steel - an event about blacksmithing through the ages
  • Archeon fright night - a Halloween themed event

The goal of the seminar was to invite participants from the partners in the OpenArch project and give them the opportunity to work with the visitors. A dozen PhD students from Exeter University, under the guidance of prof. dr. Linda Hurcombe, attended. Lukasz Szczepanski from Foteviken (SE) also decided to take part. Together, they spent two days interacting with the visitors of Archeon and presenting their work and experiments.

During the day, the researchers from Exeter and Foteviken took part in a number of activities open to the public, including but not limited to:

  • Bronze casting
  • Iron smelting
  • Blacksmithing
  • Flintknapping
  • Glass production
  • Skinning and tanning
  • Building of a Mesolithic hut

Time was also made to take a tour of the site, to experience how the local staff interacted with the visitors. In the evening, the participants were invited to take part in the ghost walk organised by Archeon, which allowed them the chance to interact with the visitors in a new manner (without the use of words and thus without a language barrier).

A special debate was held on the issue of safety measures in AOAM. Many of the presentations held in AOAM do not include the use of non-historical safety equipment such as goggles. The university reseachers however, are used to take as many precautions as possible when working with metal, stone or other materials. The discussion on the balance between safety and presentation gave some interesting insights for the staff of Exeter University, Archeon and Foteviken. The presentation of such issues in the WP2 booklet on the Management of AOAM should prove enlightening for all those concerned.

The importance of humour in interaction also came to the fore, especially in the evening program, but also throughout the days.


Iron smelting
Iron smelting
Iron smelting
Forging the smelted steel
Group shot with volunteers