After the inspiring start in the north of France – during our Kick Off meeting in Tilques and Boulogne-sur-Mer in May 2023 – the real work concerning the content of Bridging the North Sea started in June. In four digital meetings, the core actions ‘Research Framework’ (Action 3) and ‘Interpretation Plan’ (Action 4) were discussed by the partners. The discussions included comparisons of the archaeological resource, working methods and policy tools in each country and each participating region.
Research Framework (Action 3)
Two workshops were held to explore Action 3 Research Framework. Each dealt with two of the four Research Framework themes of ‘Changing Landscapes’, ‘Coastal Communities’, ‘Material Studies’ and ‘Connectivity’.
Alongside the workshops the partners want to get an overview of relevant publications and projects in the partnership area. To help this, an inventory of relevant, recent archaeological research and (inter)national policy documents is being created on an Excel spread sheet.
The first stage of the Research Framework is to carry out a Resource Assessment. This is designed to help explore key sub-themes within the larger four themes, and identify key sites, projects, innovations and potential research questions.
Each of the four themes is being led by a different partner. The workshops involved the lead partners giving a presentation on the theme from the point of view of their own region. Other partners then contributed to the discussion and gave presentations of their own. The next step will be to gather all these perspectives into a single Resource Assessment including text, maps and images.
Interpretation Plan, raising public awareness (Action 4)
The two meetings concerning Action 4 Interpretation Plan and raising public awareness dealt with the question of how to reach a wide audience to research and promote the themes in Action 3. Comparing the current engagement methods in each country leads to better mutual understanding among the partners.
Delegates from all countries and regions expressed similar concerns on lack of resources available to fully develop public engagement, education and participation in connection with research of Roman coastal heritage. Despite these concerns along the North Sea basin an extensive infrastucture of museums and initiatives already reaches a large audience. One of the next steps is mapping this “public awareness infrastructure” in the Bridging the North Sea project area.
After a successful spring period with the Kick-off event and workshops delegates of all regions deserve a summer holiday! From the end of August our work resumes!. In the next update we will give you more information about the progress of the Resource Assessment work (Action 3) and our ideas for how these can be presented in the Interpretation Plan for raising awareness (Action 4).
For whom who is interested to contribute to the Bridging the North Sea initiative, your are invited to join the network. You can use this link.
The ‘Bridging The North Sea’ network