The European Heritage Days (Journées européennes du patrimoine) initiative was created by the Council of Europe and the European Commission in 1991 in order to raise awareness and to promote the cultural wealth of Europe, with the key caveat that all events, open days, and talks must be free to attend. Now with 50 signatory states participating, the EHD have wider-reaching aims, including in 2014 to:
(Council of Europe and European Union 2014, http://pjp-eu.coe.int/en/web/ehd-jep/presentation)
The English branch of the programme, called Heritage Open Days, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, taking place between 11th and 14th September 2014. I visited several sites over the weekend portion of the open days in my home city of Exeter. Exeter is possibly most well-known as the site of a Roman legionary fortress and subsequent province, Isca Dumnoniorum. Built over the Roman civic centre (and at the heart of the modern city centre) is the large gothic Cathedral of St. Peter. It was a talk discussing this very site by the Devon Archaeological Society that was the first Heritage Open Days event I attended this year. This talk presented the (continuing) history of the Roman Baths of Exeter, excavated in 1972/3 and subsequently recovered with sand. The key issue with the site is that the mid-1st century AD Legionary baths lie under both the Cathedral Green, a 1970’s processional stairway listed by English Heritage, and adjacent buildings in the Cathedral Close. In order to expose the Roman Baths, at least part of the listed steps would have to destroyed, a WWII memorial rehomed, and a large portion of the landscaped Cathedral Green dug up. In the 40 years since excavation, various schemes have been put forward, yet so far none have seen fruition, with funding or feasibility being the main stumbling blocks. Last year the idea was reignited with the key stakeholder, the Diocese of Exeter, prepared to discuss the possibility of exposing the baths. The key issues (that have existed from when the site was excavated 40 years’ previously) continue to be the location and how the re-excavation and exposure would work architecturally, the funding for such a large project, and the site’s ongoing conservation (Allan 2014, 3). Such a large and historically interesting site and interpretation centre would bring many tourists, visitors and educational groups to the city, and this factor has been cited (with reference to the success of the Roman bath house at Bath) as one of the reasons to finally make the project a reality.
I also attended open days at sites not often (in one case not at all until now) open to the public. These included Tuckers Hall and the Dissenter’s Graveyard. The former is a guild hall built in the mid-1400s for weavers, tuckers and shearmen during the city’s booming wool trade. The building has managed to survive, tucked away on one of the main roads in the city centre and surviving for hundreds of years through the collapse of the wool trade in the city, infrastructural changes, renovation and even the extensive Luftwaffe bombing of the city during WWII. Now a Grade II* listed building, it is still owned and managed by the Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen, and open to the public on selected days. Upon entering the building, I immediately regretted not visiting sooner, as it has a great exhibition of the history of wool trading in Exeter, the wool making process and evidence of the ubiquity of wool working in the city prior to the industrial revolution. The recent development project that enabled this interpretation centre to be built is not quite finished; the Guild are also looking to digitise their extensive archive of documents dating back to the 16th century.
The Dissenter’s Graveyard is a heritage site that was little-known, if not unknown, in the city until the beginning of this year when it was purchased by the trust that now owns and manages it. Created in the mid-1700s, the purpose of the graveyard was to be the final resting place of protestant non-conformists who disagreed with the Anglican faith (hence ‘dissenters’). Full-up within around 100 years, the small plot is the site of up to 2,000 burials. The Exeter Dissenters Graveyard Trust has now de-weeded and cleaned up the tombstones in the first phase of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Council for British Archaeology and private donation. From my visit during Heritage Open Days it was clear that the project’s success has relied on the mobilisation of volunteers who have worked to preserve this site in partnership with the trust and funders. Volunteers and organisations working in partnership was discussed at other sites I visited during the weekend; evidencing both the eagerness of the local community to protect Exeter’s heritage, but also the European Heritage Days aim of inform(ing) the public and the political authorities about the need to protect cultural heritage against new threats, as to many sites a lack of personnel is a continued threat.
Allan, J. 2014. ‘Exeter’s Roman legionary Bath-house’ in Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. No.117, January 2014. Exeter: Devon Archaeological Society
Carmen Talbot is a student in the 2013 cohort of the Heritage Management MA, and Kent Scholar. Previously studying Ancient History as an undergraduate, she is interested in adult education in heritage and encouraging the wider adoption of digital solutions.
From September until December 2013, an Archaeology graduate from Portugal joined the ranks of IHC and worked on a variety of projects including the Climate Change and the Monuments Project (which she also attended), the coordination of postgraduate students with the initiative and the planning of a Spring tour programme within the MA in Heritage Management, aimed at visiting heritage sites around Greece. In less than three months she accomplished a great deal and proved to be an invaluable ally to our initiative. Meet Sofia Lovegrove:
Tell us about yourself and your past experience:
I’m 22 years old and I did my undergraduate degree in Archaeology at the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. Before coming to Greece, I was (and in some cases, still am) involved in various excavations and research projects related to Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Portugal, Morocco and the UK.
What makes you passionate about heritage management?
One of the things I am most passionate about is learning, especially about humans – our past, our present, what makes us human, about our different cultures, people and places, our biological evolution, and even the ways of functioning as biological and social beings. Thus I decided I wanted to become a researcher in Archaeology. I hope to one day be able to carry out my own projects and research and share the my discoveries with as many people as I can.
I believe that sharing is one of the most important tasks of the humanities research, since what we are studying and what we discover belongs to everyone – it is our heritage, our collective human experience. Heritage Management is the subject which encompasses all of the Cultural Heritage related subjects (History, Archaeology, Anthropology, etc.) by teaching us exactly how we can manage all the many features of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and how we can share this heritage with the general public. I am naturally inclined to be interested in these subjects since I wish to work in this field and be involved in Public Archaeology projects.
Tell us about your job or your studies before you come here:
Before participating in the internship at the IHC, I had completed an undergraduate degree in Archaeology at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal, as well as a first year of the MA in Archaeology. After a year, I quit that MA, finding that it was ultimately not fulfilling my goals and expectations. I decided to do a gap year in order to have new and enriching experiences related to Archaeology and Heritage, as well as completely unrelated ones, such as doing a Digital Photography Course and being involved in social work.
What are you doing at the moment?
Since I came back to Portugal at the beginning of 2014, I have been working as a translator for CHAIA, an Art History research center of the University of Évora in Portugal. I did a three-month digital photography course at the Portuguese Institute of Photography from February until April. During the last few weeks of April and part of May, I stayed in York in the UK where I was working as a finds processing supervisor at an archaeological excavation with the University of York. Since the start of 2014, I have become involved voluntarily in several organizations such as Refood – a social charity aimed at supplying people in need in Lisbon with food that would otherwise be wasted in restaurants and supermarkets – and CISV – an organization that aims at building global friendship mainly through children and teenagers. I, also, traveled to Norway for a month in July as a leader of one of CISV’s International Village programs, with 11-year-old kids from all over the world.
What did IHC offer to you?
My experience in IHC was invaluable on many different levels. Not only did it lead me to develop very practical time management, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and communication skills, but above all, it allowed me to develop crucial personal and social skills in an extremely multicultural environment. During my time at IHC, I learned a lot about different cultures and countries such as Japan, Malawi, Croatia and Ukraine amongst many others. Because I was in such an environment from what I was used to, I was able to learn a lot about myself and to develop as a conscious and open-minded citizen of the global world; one that I am very happy to be a part of. Not only did I get the opportunity to create lasting friendships with such an international group of students, but the internship allowed me time to discover and appreciate the amazing country and culture of Greece.
What does IHC do for the world?
With its many different national and international projects – including the MA in Heritage Management, its various workshops and courses, activities which engage the general public, amongst many others –, partnerships – such as with the University of Kent, the Athens University of Economics and Business, ICCROM, etc. – and by involving many specialists and institutions from many countries around the world, the IHC aims at sharing its ideals and practices related to the correct protection and conservation of Cultural Heritage Management with the largest number of people and institutions as possible. In practice, it has done so and is continues to do so through its MA in Heritage Management, many international courses such as the one I helped organize on Climate Change and its effects on the monuments, amongst many others. As it did with me, it is helping people become more conscious of the importance of our common Human Heritage.
Sofia Lovegrove is now coming to the end of an enriching gap year full of good experiences, one of which an internship at IHC. She will now be starting her MA in Historical Archaeology at the University of York in September 2014.
In the Summer of 2012, I made my first trip to Crete. I was so excited to finally see the land of the Minoans, the oldest civilization in Europe and a civilization who’s history inspired me to become an archaeologist and heritage manager. I could hardly wait to see the Phaistos Disk, Kamares ware pottery, the bull shaped rhyton, and the Aghia Triada sarcophagus. To my dismay, the museum had been closed for renovation (for over 5 years at the time!) but the more famous artifacts had been moved to a very small temporary exhibit down the street. While I did get to see my favorite artifacts, the experience was lacking the other 99% of Minoan finds that have been discovered! It was unknown as to when the new and improved museum was going to open, but I was willing to wait…
Now in the Summer of 2014, I am back in Crete again and had the pleasure of seeing the brand new Heraklion Archaeological Museum. After nearly 7 years of rebuilding and renovations, Crete can now claim that the renovated Museum has nothing to envy from the other modern museums of European metropolises. From the Neolithic Age to the Roman times, the collection of the Museum covers 5,500 years of history. It is the greatest collection of art and relics of the Minoan Civilization in the world!
Having only just opened on the 6th of May, the Museum is already attracting an enormous amount of tourism. It exhibits 5,865 artifacts (not including the coin collection) in chronological order spanning nearly 15 rooms across two floors. Even some brand new artifacts that have not even been published yet are on public display! Although those artifacts are not allowed to be photographed, everything else is (sans flash). The famous highlights of the museum are ideally displayed in protective cases with exemplary lighting and informational panels. Originally, only the Bull Leapers and Prince of Lilies frescoes were apart of the temporary exhibition, but now, the even more spectacular artworks from the Palace of Knossos are back on display in the upper floor’s fresco gallery. My favorite fresco, The Blue Ladies, is back home in Crete after many years at the Metropolitan Museum in New York!
The Museum also displays some of their exhibits in innovational and educational ways. For instance, the larnax and burial pithoi are shown with the bones of the deceased still inside them. A giant reconstruction conveying the Palace of Knossos is displayed, not in a glass enclosure, but assembled of wood that fills almost the entirety of the room.
The Museum itself has seen its own heritage in the making over the last three decades. While constructing the Museum’s courtyard, remnants of a fountain, cistern, and pillared building were found destroyed most likely due to cannon fire during the siege of the Ottomans. A skeleton of a man was revealed under the ruins of a door among Venetian coins and bronze rings. Since the site was used as an open fort battery during the siege, many skeletons like this man’s were found in the area and are now forever immortalized as the last defenders of the city from capitulation by the Ottomans. You can’t dig an inch any where in Greece without stumbling upon some fantastic historical heritage!
The Museum is placed in the heart of the city and is also conveniently located en route from the Palace of Knossos by public transit. Check the Ministry of Culture website for ticket prices and operating hours. According to TripAdvisor, it’s the #3 attraction to see in Heraklion, and that is expected to go up as more and more people make their way to the new facility. Check it out for yourself and I dare you to leave feeling disappointed!
Brittany Wade is the editor of the Initiative for Heritage Conservancy blog and student of the MA in Heritage Management 2013/2014. Having studied Classics in her undergraduate, Brittany is interested in applying her knowledge of history in the field of archaeology and heritage management. Her interests are mainly in Prehistoric Minoan and Hellenic history.
As part of fulfilling our MA in Heritage Management, we have started field research which will lead to designing and preparing a management plan for the Slave Trade Heritage Route and Dr. David Livingstone trail in Malawi. The Government of Malawi, through the Department of Antiquities, has nominated this series of sites on the UNESCO Tentative List.
To continue with the efforts done by the Malawi Government and UNESCO, we would like to document these sites, re-assess their values, carryout condition assessments, analyze and identify the stakeholders, and later, propose the best practice to better manage, protect and enhance these sites.
History & Background
Slave trade was introduced in Malawi by the Swahili-Arab traders in the 19th Century. The main slave routes within Malawi were Nkhotakota, Karonga, Mangochi and Phalombe, where the Swahili-Arabs and their Yao allies built their headquarters and stockades, organizing expeditions to capture slaves. These routes were the major terminus of the slaves throughout Central Africa going to the East African coast markets. At Nkhotakota, Jumbe, a Yao local chief, would send about 20,000 slaves annually to the market of Kilwa.
Dr. David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and explorer, visited Nkhotakota in1861 where he witnessed slave trade at its peak. He got horrified in the way slaves were handled at Jumbe’s stockade and he described it as “a place of bloodshed and lawlessness”. In 1864 David Livingstone visited Nkhotakota again and met Jumbe. He was able to secure a treaty between Jumbe and Chewa Chiefs to stop slave trade and hostilities between them. However, the treaty did not last long as Jumbe continued with slave trade. It was up until Nyasaland came under the British protectorate in 1891 that slave trade completely came to an end.
It is important that this heritage be preserved to keep this memory alive for future generations to learn from. These routes are justified heritage because they also have a link to missionary work. When David Livingstone reported accounts of his experience on his second journey to Africa, he recommended that Christianity be introduced in the area to counteract slave trade activities. This led to the coming of important missionaries along the slave trade routes.
Goals & Objectives
To ensure effectiveness of our work, we have come up with the following objectives to serve as a compass to enable us get to our destination of coming up with a thorough, readily accessible and realistic management plan:
Methodology & Timelines
A survey will be conducted to identify and map the stakeholders related to the project. To help carry out this survey, we are currently developing an informal questionnaire to distribute to stakeholders. Site surveys will also be used to assess the condition of the heritage sites. A condition assessment form will be used to record the conservation problems. Desk research will be used by reviewing some literature related to slavery and missionaries all around the world. Local libraries and archives will be visited to review the literature and old photographs.
Benefits & Anticipated Outcomes
We are of the firm view that this project will help the government of Malawi, the international community, local and international tour operators, schools and the local communities. The government of Malawi through the Department of Culture will use the results of the project to come up with strategies on how best to manage, promote and conserve the sites.
When the proposed strategies of conservation and presentation initiatives have been implemented, tour operators will use the sites to give slave trade experience to the visitors.
The sites will also be used by researchers, school educators and students to study and learn about the history and practices of slave trade and missionary activities in the whole world.
The team is very optimistic that documenting and preparing this management plan will bring a new sense of urgency and commitment to heritage management in Malawi, especially in the protection of slave trade history and the activities of missionaries in Eastern African, and by extension Africa as a whole.
For the team members, this practical exercise is opening us up to new experiences and challenges in documenting and dealing with stakeholders and how to innovate, improvise, and engage with them in order to achieve our primary goals of a management plan.
These slave trade routes are rare and unique heritage sites in Malawi which record the memories of hardship and inhumanity which the people of Malawi and the entire world went through in the 19th Century. It is important that this heritage be preserved to keep this memory alive for future generations to learn from.
Oris Malijani is a Cultural Heritage Officer in the Malawi Ministry of Tourism and Culture under the Antiquities Department and a 2013/2014 HERMA student. He has a background in Geography as well as conservation and management of immovable cultural heritage. His research interests include archaeology, fundraising for cultural organizations and heritage for development.
At the beginning of the Spring Semester, the students of the MA in Heritage Management were offered an opportunity to participate in an extracurricular workshop in photography of cultural heritage. The workshop’s first lessons introduced how heritage has been conveyed through photography in the past and in modern times; the next series of lectures gave us the basics on how to use our cameras as well as photographic techniques to make our photos look more professional. The course also encompassed a couple of photography days where we went around outside to practice these newfound techniques.
Using Elefsina as a case study, we were divided into four groups, each with a certain focus. Group 1 was to examine Elefsina’s Industrial Heritage, Group 2 was to capture the Architectural Heritage of Lower Elefsina, Group 3 was to look at the Iera Odos (Sacred Way) as a Cultural Monument, and Group 4 was to illustrate the Tourism Marketing potential of Elefsina.
Group 1: Industrial Heritage
The industrial heritage of Elefsina is vast and complicated, with many facets of interest. This group decided to tackle this subject as a communication between Industrial Heritage and the Water Front of Elefsina.
Group 2: Architectural Heritage of Lower Elefsina
The artistic decision for this project was to take photos of buildings on one street from beginning to end, and to observe its mixtures of architectural styles and designs, to help remind audiences of “why those buildings were built in that way” with connection to the history of Elefsina and those locals who lived there.
Group 3: Iera Odos as a Cultural Monument
In a project entitled “The Perennial Sacred Way,” this group decided to explore the Sacred Way that goes from Kerameikos in Athens to Elefsina both as a cultural monument and as a road; the former being static, unchanging, and the latter being dynamic, always moving.
Group 4: Tourism Marketing of Elefsina
The objective of this project was to convey Elefsina outside of its industrial identity, showcasing the city’s longstanding history and vibrant citizens. Subject matter included the archaeological site, shopkeepers, outdoor markets, and Elefsina’s unique seafront. The approach of marketing was tackled by conveying a day trip of the city through a couple’s perspective.
The workshop will be running again next Fall for the 2014 Masters students and will include more archaeological sites in the greater Athens area.
Brittany Wade is the editor of the Initiative for Heritage Conservancy blog and student of the MA in Heritage Management 2013. Having studied Classics in her undergraduate, Brittany is interested in applying her knowledge of history in the field of archaeology. Her interests are mainly in Prehistoric Minoan and Hellenic history.
Recently, I took a spontaneous day trip to Patras and came across the city’s new archaeological museum. The Archaeological Museum of Patras is housed in a sleek, marvelous, contemporary building specifically designed to accommodate large crowds of museum visitors without compromising its collections.
The museum is comprised of three large halls for the divided themes of the permanent exhibition- Private Life, Public Life and the Cemeteries. The exhibition covers the history of Patras as well as southern and western areas of Achaea from the period of 3000 B.C. to 4th c. A.D. Artifacts belonging to the Mycenaean and Roman periods are the most distinguished in the collection.
The Private Life hall houses artifacts pertaining to everyday life such as work tools, household decorations and toiletries. Highlights of the Private Life hall include the reconstructions of a private bath, a rural and an urban house, and the large mosaic floors.
The Public Life hall focuses on administrative and social organization, commercial activities, cults, Patras’ topography, and entertainment.
The Cemeteries hall displays the finds in a manner that emphasizes the wealth and assortment of grave offerings, mortuary procedures as well as funerary architecture. Grave offerings were displayed in a mock in situ way to show how they were laid amongst the bodies. The dead were also displayed in this same manner giving a sense that we as the visitors are in fact opening the crypts for the first time
Overall the permanent exhibition was expertly laid out; each hall guided the visitor through the exhibition chronologically and typologically. There are numerous large panels with plenty of interesting information regarding the artifacts made easy to understand for non-experts. Extensive information is provided in both Greek and in English. The museum is equipped with a small but friendly staff. The museum closes at 3pm, so plan according to allow plenty of time to enjoy all of the ancient artifacts. Patras tends to be overlooked by people passing to and from the ferry station, but the archaeological museum is a hidden gem and well worth the visit.
Sabrina Nieblas is currently a student of the innovative MA in Heritage Management 2013. During her undergraduate career, she studied museum practices and public relations. Sabrina seeks to utilize her skill set in the expanding field of sustainable tourism, specifically in the region of Mesoamerica.