At the archeoParc, we deal with questions about the life of our forefathers in the late Neolithic (the Copper Age). We are interested by Ötzi and his contemporaries as well as the raw materials, clothing, diet, habitation, trade, tools, and weapons of the time. Our activities focus for the most part upon facilitating learning:
- The organization of cultural, artistic, and scientific events, exhibitions, seminars, and conferences
- The providing of educational activities with children, youths, and adults
- Cooperation with associations, institutions, and organizations that safeguard the cultural heritage of the time of Ötzi and generate knowledge about it through research
- Running a bookshop within out institution (sale of goods that are connected with the Val Senales valley and the subjects of our exhibitions)
- Running a bistro within our institution
A Museum without Originals?
The attentive reader of the lengthy list will notice that we do not exercise the classic museum tasks such as maintaining and researching the cultural heritage itself. Ötzi and the articles found with him have found their resting place specifically in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in our provincial capital of Bolzano.
The fact that Ötzi was found just a stone’s throw away from us would already in and of itself been reason enough to tell about him here to those who were interested. But for us, there are at least three more reasons:
First of all, that we treasure the history of Ötzi and the functionality of the things that he carried with him. That obligates us to pass on the things which, in our opinion, we can learn from him and about him.
Secondly, that we love the Schnals Valley in which we live and work. That motivates us to create jobs here through our own activity and, in so doing, to contribute to the social and economic success of our region that is greatly threatened by emigration.
Thirdly, the fact that Ötzi and the way that we may present his life are food for thought to examine and debate the values of our own times. We are pleased to discuss these, such as: durability and obsolescence, transport paths, cycles of reusable materials, etc.
Our Educational Conviction
Our activity is supported by observations and convictions that were already formulated long before us, and even very long before us:
- Knowledge comes into existence through, among other things, sensory experience (empirical evidence) and imitation (observational learning)
- The encounter with the past serves for better orientation in the present
- The acquiring of abilities increases the problem-solving quality of thinking
- The fostering of motor skills assists in learning quick, complex mental processes.
- Where learning is primarily through imitation, activities of children and adults are seldom separated
And thus we concretely work this way:
- Guided visit (school classes and groups)
- Unstructured, unguided visit (individual visitor)
- Presentation of knowledge and interpretations (“it could have been this way”): exhibitions, installations, dioramas, plants, models, and replicas (also see the Exhibitions section)
- Genuine materials, to be experienced to the greatest extent possible within the context of their production (hands-on)
- Open space for self-guided experimentation
- Variety in exhibitions and workshops
- Employees who can and will present the capabilities of the time of Ötzi:
– Open workshops (drop-in activities: without reservations and during the entire opening hours, visitors of all age groups are invited by the employees to watch and playfully try out simplified “Stone Age” activities).
– Living history portrayals (first-person interpretations),
– Handicraft demonstrations,
– Tours and adventure days
• Visitors who wish to discover the capabilities of the time of Ötzi: beyond the five senses, through imitation and play, with creativity and increasing experience, self-determined in terms of time and the selection of the activity, alone, within the family, or together with the archeoParc employees and the other visitors
- Keeping your eye on the ball: cooperation with other associations and institutions (see Partners), continuing education of employees, hosting of conferences
- Working economically: through admission fees, food and beverage proceeds, and sales (64%) and with financial means from public sources and sponsors (see Partners) providing 4.2 local jobs.
- NIEDERKOFLER Johanna (2016): Ein Schuss mit Folgen. Das prähistorische Bogen- und Speerschleuderturnier im Südtiroler Schnalstal. In: MICALE Isabelle et al.: Recueil du Championnat. Européen de tir aux Armes de jet Préhistoriques. Paris 2016. S. 333-338.
- NIEDERKOFLER Johanna (2011): Dreidimensional und lebendig. Medien und Methoden der Vermittlungsarbeit eines archäologischen Freilichtmuseums. In: Die Stellwand. Nr. 1/2011. S. 31f.
- BETTANINI Nicole (2010): Indagine etnografica in un contesto educativo. I laboratori didattici dell’archeoParc della Val Senales. Tesi di Laurea specialistica in Storia dell’antropologia. Università degli Studi di Bologna 2010.
- NIEDERKOFLER Johanna (2008): Jungsteinzeit aus Buchdeckeln befreit. Kulturvermittlung für Schulklassen im archeoParc Schnalstal. In: Forum Schule Heute. Pädagogische Zeitschrift für die Schule in Südtirol. Heft 5/2008. S. 42f.
- NIEDERKOFLER Johanna (2008): Kultur- und Naturgeschichte unter einem Dach. In: Museen in Nord- und Südtirol. Kulturberichte aus Tirol und Südtirol. 2008. S. 95.
- NIEDERKOFLER Johanna (2007): Steinzeit Spielen im archeoParc in Südtirol – Abenteuer für die ganze Familie. In: Standbein Spielbein. Museumspädagogik aktuell. Nr. 79. 2007. S. 69f.