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  • Writer's pictureRoeland Paardekooper

Archaeologist at preHistorisch Dorp (NL)

From: 2003 to 2007

preHistorisch Dorp

The open-air museum in Eindhoven (NL), preHistorisch Dorp, was right next to my old school. Work started there in 1982, when I also began my time at that school. Whenever my teachers were looking for me, they could find me here. It was here that I learned to use the axe and knife, but much more important: I saw the processes which take place in such a museum, and in great detail. This place was not a machine which merely needed operating and could be measured by checking numbers; no, it was a place where many people defined a part of their identity, creating meaningful value to society. And it still does.


After I studied archaeology, the new management of the museum in Eindhoven requested me to write a project application on how they could include experimental archaeology. Basically, this meant they had to professionalise, so that was what the application was about. The three-year project got accepted, and I suddenly realised I created my own job.


In my four years there, I have witnessed three different directors, each with an own style. Besides being a senior employee, I had various tasks, like coordinating the living history or managing the ICT. I learned how to deal with difficult situations in a working environment and above all, that people matter most.

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