Ten years in the making

Getting a move on takes time, that’s why goals are a great thing to have. This goal is slightly different though: not to finish but to start. The Hannibal quest has been on the drawing board since early 2018 and although the journey hasen’t yet begun, the preparations started many years ago.

Ten years ago I went on my very first European road trip searching for Vermeer’s house in Delft, visiting Rembrant in Amsterdam, van Eyck in Ghent and Michelangelo in Bruges. I was lugging around three kilos (≈6.6 pounds) of camera gear, none of which could record video. The photos came out great but they all had to wait until we got home to be shared. Today my camera gear weighs nothing and does everything, with EU-roaming it can all be shared within seconds. Since that first trip it’s all been about prepping for this day when everything is possible.

Corso was created a year later and went out on adventures, some of which have been declared d.n.f. due to poor preparation. A broken toe halted a walk from Lund in Sweden to Rome, Italy and an i.t-knee injury put a stop to the search of Ötzi. As the saying goes: by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Not so this time. However, some things are more difficult to foresee than others, such as a broken toe for instance.

To gain access and a bit of knowledge Corso was sent to school to get some archaeology. The students were told extraordinary stories in the most boring ways. Not at fault of the teachers, some did try, but it’s difficult to take a moment from the past and give it life in a small classroom.

Before all this, when studying art in Florence, we were told about the renaissance and five minutes later the whole class was standing in front of a masterpiece. This was the way to be taught, I thought ;) to be in place! Surely there’s a case to be made for the same in archaeology – in situ edu.

Archaeology always has a place. Something happened at a specific place and we know this because we’ve found something. People change, environments change, things are moved, events are forgotten, time changes but the place remains the same. By visiting the place the past comes to life when we start to imagine what it might have been like at a different time at that exact spot.

Having studied events through time in books it’s time to visit them for real. What if you could take the classroom with you – go to these places, interview the experts and let the students ask their questions in real time?! The technical hurdles has been cleared and it’s now possible to leave the classroom. So why don’t we?!

This goal has always been to start – never to finish – and it’s about time. This is not a project but a movement, there are endless moves to be made and you’re invited to come along.

We never did find Vermeer’s house, but we had a great time looking for it :)