How big is experimental archaeology worldwide? And what about archaeological open-air museums? With these thoughts in mind, we developed a project to make an inventory as well as making it publicly available. This is information for the seriously interested.
On experimental archaeology, several bibliographies exist, one of them with almost 2,100 titles. But this was only the tip of the iceberg and we thought that an online bibliography database would have many more possibilities for the users and reach more people. With the right bibliographical references, nobody should be reinventing the wheel anymore… Challenges are in finding all grey literature in many different languages. The listing so far has over 10,000 entries.
The other thing we developed for the interested professional or layperson was a listing of all archaeological open-air museums we could find, each of them described in English. A very small selection was published by EXARC / Pfahlbaumuseum in 2002, a much larger listing (based on our work) was published in 2009 as part of the liveARCH EU project by Parco Montale. Following on this we keep the listing updated with new museums appearing every month.
Both the bibliography and the list of venues were published on a dedicated website called Public Archaeology. In 2011 we shared the right of using these data with EXARC and launched it under the name www.openarchaeology.info. EXARC added a calendar of professional as well as public events. With help of OpenArch, they updated the database and search engine and secured its existence.