Bronze Age maritime communities : yesterday today (BOAT 1550BC)
Bronze Age maritime communities : yesterday today
Start date: Jun 30, 2011,
End date: Jun 29, 2014
The Boat 1550 BC project is an historical and cultural project arising from a major archaeological discovery made in the port of Dover in 1992 during urban redevelopment: one of the oldest known sea-going boats dated from 1550BC. The growing number of archaeological studies and European experts in naval architecture over the past fifteen years allows scientists to place the boat in its Bronze Age context (2,200-800 BC) and to bring new knowledge about the way of life in the 2 Seas area 3500 years ago and even to highlight the existence of a “cross-channel community” at this time.This unique discovery becomes the starting point of the BOAT 1550 BC project which aims to engage the general public, using these scientific results and a range of events, with the history of societies on both sides of the Channel, 3500 years ago. The project is divided into a series of events: a highly interactive 18-month exhibition in England, France and Flanders; an educational programme around the exhibition including documentation, games, competitions, archaeological teaching kits; and a reconstruction of the boat using different scales and sizes. Expected Results: What are the key results of the project?Activity 1: Objects covering eight themes will be presented to the public - sea, travel, beliefs and rituals, handicrafts, ornaments and clothing, housing, food and war. A Bronze Age house will be erected, integrating mannequins dressed in replica clothing.Activity 2: A toolkit will be created to be used independently by teachers in classrooms using The Boat to teach the common culture and history of the Cross-Channel area and its languages, environment, life and earth sciences. Seminars will be offered to explain the concept and how to use the kits and the project partner will link by meetings to monitor progress on this action. A conference will be held in Ghent on Teaching Archaeology in Schools.Activity 3: Using traditional wooden construction techniques, a half scale replica of the boat will be built. A team of specialists in ancient shipbuilding will work with representatives from each country, experts, using tools identical in some cases to those of the Bronze Age.Are all partners and territories benefitting from the results?For each territory, the target groups for this project fall into two main types, the general public and children. Overall, the general public will be invited to learn more of the ancient Cross-Channel community through various presentations and events. From 2011, the general public will be kept informed of all work on the boat reconstruction at half scale. Both the boatyard (UK) and demonstration sites (FR, BE) will be open to the public and widely publicised. The 2012–13 exhibition will be designed to be exceptionally interactive with the public (including a final questionnaire), and will be accompanied by monthly lectures in the three countries on the same theme in three languages. The entire project will be covered by a documentary.The primary beneficiaries will be people in coastal areas where the main events will take place in the three countries. The exhibition is specifically designed to be accessible to the cross-border community as a whole. The Olympics with events on the coast will broaden the audience for this innovative combination of an historical event (with links to the sea) and an international sporting event. The extensive media coverage of the Olympics and that of activity 1, will allow the extension of beneficiaries in the general public outside of the region. Children (Activity 2) are also beneficiaries of activity 1 as their sessions will be offered during the exhibition in the three countries by mediators, partners and collaborators in the project.What are the effects / outcomes for the territories involved?The main outcome of the project is that stakeholders and the general public in the Cross-Channel project area will be more knowledgable of the history of this area, they will be more in tune with the cultural connections etablished centuries ago and they will also be more engaged witharchaeology and what treasures it can unearth. The project contributes to the implementation of local policies and strategies of each country, especially in the domain of education - cultural, historical, linguistic, environmental etc.. The development of archaeological knowledge will also contribute to boosting economic activity by creating jobs in rescue archaeology. At the cross-border level, the boat will enrich the tangible historical and maritime heritage as well as the intangible cultural heritage.
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