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OpenArch -project 2011-15 is an Euroepan culture project with 11 European partners  from 8 countries: nine archaeological open-air museums including Kierikki Stone Age Centre, EXARC and  University of Exeter.  See more: It is finaced by European Commision. 

The main idea of Archaeological Open-Air Museums is to present both the tangible and intangible past to the public. The tangible parts of Archaeological Open-Air Museums are the archaeological remains and the reconstructions of these (houses, ships, complete environments). The intangible and most interesting part of an Archaeological Open-Air Museum is the story of the people that once lived there. The work in OpenArch is divided in Work Packages. All Work Packages (WP) are the responsibility of the entire partnership, but one or two partner will coordinate them. Kierikki is coordinating WP5 with university of Exeter: "Dialogue with Science". All actions done by project are reported in OpenArch-web pages.  

The three main methods of achieving the objectives of OpenArch are:

Meetings and Workshops

Meetings are theoretically focussed events, with presentations/lectures and discussion groups. These will be open and of interest to a broader audience.

Workshops are practically focussed ‘working together' gatherings for staff of the Archaeological Open-Air Museum with the aim of exchanging insight into specific methods and improving each other's skills/abilities. At every workshop, different Work Packages will be addressed, as modules.

There will be about 11 meetings taking place during the 5 years. Organisation will each time be a joint venture between Calafell (CAT) and the local museum in order to guarantee a continuous quality of the activity and an authentic local feeling.

Most of the workshops have been large seminars or conferences like that what Kierikki organized in June 2014 (see more below).

Staff Exchanges

The objective of the staff exchanges is to deepen the exchange of best practice and skills between staff of the participating Archaeological Open-Air Museums. The staff exchanges will have predefined themes. Staff exchanges will mainly be made by the front line staff of the museums, i.e. by the cultural actors and artists. The number of staff exchanges is set conservatively, it depends on the development of costs whether more exchanges will be possible.

Experimental Actions

These are included in Work Package 5, the Dialogue with Science. Archaeological remains and objects are tangible remains of past civilizations. They need to be interpreted to give meaning today, and interpretation is dependent on experiments. Experiments are needed to understand how objects were made, how constructions can have looked like and not the least, how people in the past behaved and acted. In OpenArch, experimental actions will be limited to those that have an immediate result on the visitor experience, or that can be used as visitor attractions by themselves.


Kierikki Stone Age centre was hosting 11.-14. June 2014: 

The Value and Scale of the Experimental Archaeology Approach - Conference on the Dialogue with Science 

It was part of OpenArch -project which is funded by European Commision. 

Over 50 participants from 13 different countries discussed the value and scale of the experimental archaeology approach to studying and presenting the past. The dialogue with science is vital for archarchaeological open-air museums, both as regards to research and for presenting how we know what we know.

Presentations from the conference you can find from

Here are some pictures from the conference:

Photo Nadine Lemmers

Photos above: Mika Friman

Photo Hannele Kinnunen

Photos above: Wolfgang Lobisser

Photo Jackie Wahrgren