Multimedia Excavation Project’ in Goseck, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

From 2002-2005, a 'multimedia excavation project' was carried out by the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg under the direction of Francois Bertemes and Peter F. Biehl ( and funded by a multimedia programme of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The project consisted of two main parts: first, there was the apprentice field school of the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Martin-Luther-University, in which its undergraduate students learned 'traditional' excavation techniques at the excavation of the Neolithic circular enclosure in Goseck (for the archaeology of Goseck see Bertemes et al. 2004, Bertemes and Biehl 2005a and b, Bertemes and Northe 2006/07 and 2007, Bertemes, Biehl and Meller forthcoming). This part of the project was logistically and financially supported by the Heritage Management Service of Saxony-Anhalt ( Second, there was the multimedia training programme, in which the students were trained to use modern multimedia technologies to document, analyse, visualise and popularise the archaeological research.

Beside the excavation of the Neolithic circular enclosure in Goseck, the core part of the project was the introduction of multimedia, through working with archaeological data and the use of multimedia tools that can enhance the learning of innovative ways to connect theory and practice in archaeology as well as to popularise archaeology and to communicate it to the public. Students were not only trained to use multimedia in the process of the excavation and documentation of archaeological data but also 'to tell their story' of the excavation, the site and its possible meanings and functions in the past.

In small projects in the classroom as well as during the apprentice field school, they learned to use multimedia tools to present their interpretations and to visualise them in 3-D reconstructions. They also learned to build and administrate websites and to use the Goseck-website to popularise the site via the world-wide-web. In order to include the public in the project, the students were trained to give tours of the site to visitors and to interview the local people about their conception of the past of the Goseck enclosure. These videos were put on the website to assure some sort of 'multivocality' - and have proven to be a good means to popularise the site and its archaeology on the one hand, and to make it create a better understanding of it in the public on the other (for a detailed discussion of the Goseck website, see Samida 2004:214-219).