Crafting Europe: Past and Future / Crafting Europe in the Bronze Age and Today

Crafting Europe: Past and Future / Crafting Europe in the Bronze Age and Today


Project Leader: Asociación de amigos del yacimiento arqueológico de La Bastida, Spain
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
EXARC, Netherlands
Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte, Germany
Zavičajni muzej Paraćin, Serbia
Déri Museum, Hungary
Ayuntamiento de Mula, Spain
Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont, Hungary
Maximum grant awarded: 104,760.52 €

*This project is co-funded through Support for cooperation projects related to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

The Bronze Age of Europe (roughly 2500/2000-1200 BC) marked the first sharp growth in technological transfers and mobility of artisans in the continent. Regional traditions coexisted with an interest in the long-distance exchange of goods and information. The primary goal of the project is to commemorate this first period of greater European connectivity by drawing from it inspiration for new artistic creations, in a set of actions that will see the cooperation of cultural heritage organisations and the craft sector (local potters) from three different countries.

Crafting Europe revolves around the Bronze Age hand-made pottery traditions of three European regions, south-eastern Spain, eastern Hungary and south Serbia. These traditions consist of ceramic vessels of high aesthetic value, which have been recreated with success by local potters using prehistoric techniques and have great potential for a broader production and marketing in the context of modern craft.

The project is structured in three strands of activity. First, it will seek the recreation of sets of ceramic vessels typical of a Bronze Age culture by local potters in the countries that participate in the project: the eight shapes of El Argar pottery in south-eastern Spain, Füzesabony in Hungary, and Vatina in Serbia. Second, it will produce a set of panels and other (tangible) educational tools explaining the historical and technological specificities of these Bronze Age ceramics. Third, it aims at producing three short documentaries that capture, in each country, the manufacturing process of recreating these early European objects with prehistoric techniques. Finally, the three strands will converge in a single event to be held simultaneously in Spain, Hungary and Serbia, namely a gathering at which the sets of replicas, the educational materials, and the documentaries will be shown to a wide European public.

The immediate goal of this gathering is to allow people not only to see, but also touch the objects and the raw materials used in their creation, thereby gaining a unique sensorial experience into Europe’s past. The objective in the long-term is, in turn, twofold. On the one hand, the replicas will become a part of the museums’ permanent exhibitions; on the other hand, they will be commercialised at the shops of these institutions. In this way, Crafting Europe hopes to stimulate interaction between local artisans and cultural organisations, within and across national boundaries, opening new venues for both educational activities and creative trade.