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I am a builder of bridges


A Bit About Me

Work Experience

2021 - 2023

Director at Middelaldercentret (DK), In 2022, the number of visitors increased by 10%, more than the ten-year average. My focus was on structuring and professionalization.

2013 - 2016

First Interim Director, then Director at the Archäologisches Freilichtmuseum Oerlinghausen (DE), one of the world's oldest archaeological open-air museums

2009 - 2011

Project coordinator, Time Travel project, Lund University (SE). A digital communication project together with the museums Lofotr (Norway), Sagnlandet Lejre (Denmark) and Uppåkra (Sweden).

2002 - 2006

Senior employee, Prehistorisch Dorp (NL), one of the largest archaeological open-air museums in the Netherlands. 

2000 - present

Advice to several Archaeological Open-Air Museums in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands

See Chapter Advice, Memberships and Committees

2006 - present

Writing and Running several EU projects, total of 4,400,000 EUR and 42 partners. The work also included in some cases Social Media coordination, next to operations manager. The goal is to make museums and people more professional, themes include Digitizing, Interpretation and Visitors.

2006 - 2009 EU project liveARCH – a project to gain professionalism among 8 archaeological open-air museums across Europe

2010 - 2015 Operational Manager and Community Manager of OpenArch, a project with 10 archaeological open-air museums and EXARC

2010 - 2012 Coordinator of the EU Grundtvig Learning Partnership Didarchtik, vice coordinator of the EU Grundtvig Learning Partnership Zeitgeist, together 15 partners

2018 - 2019 Community Manager of the Crafter Project

2020 - 2024 Operational Manager of the RETOLD project, funded by the EU Creative Europe Programme; 6 partners


2005 – 2012

PhD studies at the University of Exeter (UK)
PhD thesis: "The Value of an Archaeological Open-Air Museums is in its Use. Understanding Archaeological Open-Air Museums and their Visitors"

1989 – 1998

BA & MA studies Pre- en Protohistorie, Universiteit Leiden (NL)
MA thesis: "In alien fairway, what is the use to archaeology for modern cog like vessels?"

1982 - 1989

Gymnasium, van Maerlant, Eindhoven (NL)

Volunteer Positions

1995 - 2001

Coordinator of Stichting Wereldwinkel Leiden (Oxfam Shop). The turnover grew by 350% over these years.

2017 - present

Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK

2000 - present

Co-founder and current director of EXARC the ICOM Affiliated Organisation representing archaeological open-air museums, experimental archaeology, ancient technology and interpretation. EXARC has over 425 members in more than 40 countries. 

2022 - present

Board member, Local Action Group (LAG) for European Network for Rural Development. Distributing EU funding to local relevant projects.



Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau

On 2nd February 2012, Roeland Paardekooper was made a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau. The Award, granted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, is a well-deserved recognition of Paardekooper's achievements. The citation focused in particular on his services to archaeology and the very considerable part he has played in the development of EXARC's international network.


Museum Horizon Award
On 26th September 2015, Roeland Paardekooper received the Museum Horizon Award. It was awarded by the Hans Manneby Memorial Fund for Museum Development. The price is for persons who contribute in an innovative manner to the developing and changing role of museums in contemporary society, local as well as global. Paardekooper received the international award for his dedicated work and significant contribution in professionalizing the role of archaeological open-air museums when it comes to financial management, interpretation and public relations.



Co-organiser of conference on the "History of Experimental Archaeology", in Lejre (DK). 30 participants, 8 nationalities, 15 presentations. Co-editor of "Experiments Past, Histories of Experimental Archaeology"


Co-organiser of the EAA Conference of the session: “What we are learning from experimental archaeology?”, 12 presentations


Co-organiser of IAMC – International Archaeological Conference Calafell (ES). 75 participants, 15 nationalities, 18 presentations.


Organiser of the conference: "Archaeology for the People: Exhibition, Experience and Performance", in Kernave (LT), 40 participants, 15 nationalities, 20 presentations.

2007 - present

Main organiser of the international Conference on Experimental Archaeology #EAC.

2022-23: Main organizer of the 13th international conference on Experimental Archaeology, EAC13, in Torun (PL). 400 participants (hybrid), 25 nationalities, 75 presentations. 

2020-21: Main organizer of the EAC12 World Tour, Online conference with 166 presentations, 30,000 views.

2018-19: Main organiser of the 11th international conference on Experimental Archaeology, EAC11, in Trento (IT). 200 participants, 20 nationalities, 75 presentations.

2016-17: Main organiser of the 10th international conference on Experimental Archaeology, EAC10, in Leiden (NL). 130 participants, 15 nationalities, 58 presentations.


Co-organiser of the EAA Conference of the session: “Experimental Archaeology – goals & (im)possibilities”, 9 presentations

Advice, Memberships and Committees


2011 - present

Member of ICOM, the International Council of Museums.

2015-2018: Co-organiser of a session at the Convention in Milan (IT), co-editor of the proceedings

2017-2018: Main organiser of a session at the Convention in Kyoto (JP): 6 lectures, 4 stake holders, 3 countries.

2014 - present

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Zeiteninsel, an archaeological open-air museum near Marburg, Germany

2014 - 2016

Member of the Circle of Experts of Archäologisches Zentrum Hitzacker, an archaeological open-air museum near Lüneburg, Germany

2006 - 2007

RACM, inventory of archaeological open-air museums and site museums across Europe.

2001 - 2006

Advisor Foundation Ludger Church Zelhem regarding (archaeological) authenticity and advisor in project organisation

2000 - 2014

Member of the board of advisors of Prehistorisch Dorp (NL), among others responsible for advise regarding quality and implementation of experimental archaeology

2022 - present

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Spøttrup Borg, Museum Salling (DK)

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