Міжнародна конференція “Жива історія та Експериментальна археологія”.

The time of change, the time of choice came to Ukraine with the beginning of the war. Approval of vectors, priorities in all sectors. The sphere of culture, in particular museum business, was no exception. The primary issue is the protection and preservation of monuments, but over time, adapting to these circumstances, questions arose about how to function in the future, how to develop and be interesting to visitors, as well as remain relevant and meet public requirements.The need for a specialized event arose long before the war, the idea of organizing a conference or summit in one or another format arose simultaneously in several representatives of the community, but due to poor communication, it was not possible to implement the plan.


But it so happened that the current conditions created the basis for confident steps. But in such a situation, it is important to understand that you are not alone with the problem, to feel supported. Such support was the formation of the SUN (Support Ukrainian network) initiative in October 2022. And we began to draw up an action plan. And one of the first points was the distribution of profile information and a meeting in the format of a conference.


Therefore, on March 23-24, 2023, the first international conference "Living History and Experimental Archeology" in Ukraine was held on the basis of the Kamianets-Podilskyi State Historical Museum-Reserve with the assistance of the NGO "Chorna Galych" and EXARC.

The purpose of the conference, first of all, was to gather caring, interested in this field and practicing professionals to exchange experience in the field of experimental archeology, living history, as well as the application of this experience in museum, tourist and other fields. Form a working group that will be able to coordinate its work.

The participants of the conference were representatives of all regions, even those that visited under occupation. We can also say that we have covered a significant territory of Ukraine (Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Nadvirna, Zvyagel, Korosten, Legedzeno (Cherkasy region), Kamianets-Podilskyi, Zhytomyr, Manevichi) In total, 36 projects, 30 of which were completed in an eye-to-eye format, which was actually a success considering the martial law. And it also became the main confirmation that the interest in experimental archeology grows every year, and the representatives of the reserves see in it an opportunity for the development of their institutions and the way for the development of society in general.


The participants were a guest from Israel Genadiy Nizhnyk-Kolomiychuk head of the historical reenectmant club “Regnum Hierosomylitanum”, Stephanie Piper, Dr. Aimee Little and Jessica Bates from the University of York, Dr. Roleand Paardekooper EXARC.

What is important, responded archaeologists who practiced experimental archeology in Ukraine on their reserves or on their own initiative since the 70-80s of the 20th century. (PhD Vitaly Hutsal, Professor of the Department of Archaeology, Special Historical and Legal Disciplines of Kamianets-Podilskyi National University I. Ohienko. (Kamianets-Podilskyi), Chabanyuk Vladyslav, director of the State Historical and Cultural Reserve "Trypil Culture". ( Legedzyne, Cherkasy region) , PhD Andriy Petrauskas, researcher at the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. (Kyiv) And this gives us a certain basis and understanding that we are not starting from scratch, and the experience gained will not lost.

The largest number of speakers were - museum workers, archaeologists, researchers - Dr. Kateryna Bila Department of History of Ukraine in the 19th and early 20th centuries, PhD Serhii Taranenko Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve Oleksandr Didyk, junior researcher of the scientific research department of the historical and cultural reserve “Davniy Plisnesk” Taras Rak, Lviv History Museum , PhD Pavlo Nechytaylo, Kamianets-Podilskyi architectural and archaeological expedition.


Also, students and graduate students presented their projects and there were those who are just looking for themselves in these questions.

Directors of nature reserves, representatives of cultural departments met with the authors of the projects. That is, the two parties heard and saw the nuances of each other's work, exchanged contacts.

Of course, a number of representatives of the scientific sphere and reenactors were interested in the event, but could not participate due to the fact that they were serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Andriy Petrauskas submitted materials where he is a co-author of the project while in service, but being treated for injuries at the front.

The Director of the Kamianets Reserve, Olksandr Zaremba, who took the initiative and expressed the idea of holding the event in his institution, is also currently serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and could be partially present.

A participant from Israel presented a completely different experience than we can find in Europe. But outside of a different format, in the course of communication, we come to the conclusion that we have many similar issues to be resolved and we have something to learn from each other.

Communication between archaeologists, masters of ancient crafts, workers and managers of historical and architectural reserves, organizers of historical festivals was productive. That is, people who rarely overlap in their work space, so they do not have the opportunity to understand each other's work.


The conference was divided into four sections:


1. Experimental archaeology, the experience of reproducing ancient crafts and technologies, objects of material culture;

2. Cooperation of museums and nature reserves of Ukraine with public organizations and associations working in the field of experimental archeology and reconstruction, etc., Conducting living history events on the basis of museums;

3. Round Table. Summarizing the results of the conference. Strategizing the next steps of the working group.

4. Practical part. Presentation of flint splitting technique, researcher of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Dmytro Stupak) Presentation and testing of musical instruments of the XII century. From master researcher Volodymyr Ilkiv.

In general, the conference received favorable reviews both from the participants and in the media and social networks.

This conference has become a precedent and has already brought practical results.

A society of like-minded people began to form, most of the participants joined a common chat where communication on the topic is already underway.
We see the beginnings of new interdisciplinary collaborations and the desire to create history together on a scientific and social basis.
The first material of the report from the conference will be published in a Ukrainian popular science magazine, which we believe will be another step for a better perception of our activities by society.