The New Archaeological Workshop
On the corner of Stormgade and H. C. Andersens Boulevard children and adults are given the opportunity to get close to the archaeological work: Here you can, among other things, study archaeological funds up close and get an insight into the archaeologists´ work with sorting, washing and examining finds from beneath our feet – and you can take part in the work yourself! One of the most important purposes for the new Archaeological Workshop is to be able to show how natural science helps archaeologists unravel the secrets og the archaeological finds: about age, nutrition, materials and use.
The new premises are divided into two workspaces. The largest of the rooms is furnished with three washing stations, shelves for storing archaeological finds, microscopes and other equipment, and exhibition benches in the windows. As something new, you have an even better opportunity to get a look into the registration process itself, as the smaller of the two rooms are equipped as a registration space for the archaeologists, with shelves for finds, PC access, photo station, etc. The registration proces is very much about being careful and structured with find numbers, and careful with counting and measuring. In here there is no direct access for the audience, but the large glass doors will provide a good view of this meticulous work.
Traditionally when you visit a museum and look at pottery sherds, skeletons and other finds, which have been excavated and then displayed, you completely miss out on an important link in the process, that comes before the exhibition itself. Because what is this find really? Where does it come from? What was it used for? And how old is it?
These are some of the questions the archaeologists finds the answers to when they sort, wash and examine the many finds, that are transported from the excavations to the Archaeological Workshop every day. And now everyone can come and join.
History to the people
In the Archaeological Workshop, the notion that you can only see and not touch has also been eliminated.
”We want to open up the museum and create a higher focus on public involvement and on making our common cultural heritage available to everyone – we want to invite the public into the machine room and experience how we work. The archaeological finds have to be claened, registered and analyzed before they are sent off to the storage facilities, and in connection with this work, we invite the public to get close to the process. They can follow the work of analyzing leather, wood, textiles, bones, pottery and chalk pipes”, says curator Mia Toftdal, who is responsible for the Archaeological Workshop.
”I can almost garantee that the quests will experience something different every time they visit the workshop, because we process the finds in the order they arrive from the excavations. One day it can be delicate glass finds, the next day discarded animal bones. The quest themselves can take part in washing animal bones and in sorting pottery, and they can study small finds in the microscopes”.
”With the Archaeological Workshop, the Museum of Copenhagen wish to open the public´s eyes to the historical and social processes that have created the city through the physical finds and through the professionals who process and interpret the finds. It´s about showing and talking to the visitors about how present Copenhagen is connected to the past, and how the past and the present shape our expectations and ideas about the future”, Mia Toftdal explains.
The Archaeological Workshop is the only place in Denmark where the archaeologists´ workspace has fixed opening hours for the public. The workshop is open every weekend from 12 to 4 PM. Children and adults of all ages are welcome!
The education department at the Museum of Copenhagen offers teaching in the Archaeological Workshop to both kindergardens and primary schools. Learn more here:
The Archaeological Workshop is open from 12 to 4 PM every Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, the workshop is open for special events such as Culture Night and Children´s Culture Night. Learn more on the museum´s website and on Facebook.
Entrance is free with a ticket from the Museum of Copenhagen. NB! Children under the age of 18 have free access.
Archaeological Workshop, Stormgade 20 (on the corner of Stormgade and H. C. Andersens Boulevard), 1555 Copenhagen V
For further information
Mia Toftdal, museum curator and responsible for the Archaeological Workshop. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The original Archaeological Workshop was established in 2017 with financial support from the Nordea Foundation. The expansion of the workshop has been made possible with financial support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
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