Better than Disneyland!

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The Museum of Skanderborg in Denmark invited everybody who had an interest, to take part in an excavation during the annual autumn school break. The object to be excavated was a poorhouse dating to the end of the 19th century. Usually something like that would not become the object of an excavation, due to its young age. However, the Museum of Skanderborg strives to do things differently. We aim to be significant, and to be an institution of value and pride to the local community. Being a small museum requires new means to make an impact.
The notion of a public excavation started to evolve, and the poorhouse seemed the perfect object. Apart from researching the history of the poorhouse in the local archives, planning was mostly on a practical level. Nothing on this scale had been done before in Denmark, so it was sort of like flying a kite. It was impossible to predict anything concerning finds, as well as participants!
It turned out to be a huge success. One family drove across the country to join the dig, and visitors as well as the press were constantly present. When an 8 year old kid claims that this is better than Disneyland, you know you did something right.
My aim is to discuss whether a more informal setting might be furtive. A setting in which the Museums also demand something of the participants, so that they get a notion of being important in this particular project. A joint venture to reach back and reveal history. Are we ready to share this mission? Can we gain anything from a shared mission? Is touching a couple of hundred people aiming too low, or it is worthwhile getting fewer people really engaged?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date8 Sept 2018
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2018
EventEAA 2018 Annual Meeting. European Association of Archaeologists - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 5 Sept 20188 Sept 2018
Conference number: 24


ConferenceEAA 2018 Annual Meeting. European Association of Archaeologists


  • Outreach
  • community
  • impact

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