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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ROM's Eye View...

Maybe not quite what really happened - but how one person saw our demonstration at the Royal Ontario Museum last weekend:

We also explored “experimental archaeology” this weekend, where Viking reenactors came in to show off how vikings would have lived. Here, a family explores and uses a loom. Elsewhere, our Vikings walked around the museum, engaging the public, showing off viking dress, life and other awesome things.

Just beside the dig we set up a metal working station, where everyone had the opportunity to see how swords, coins and all things metal were created in the past.

Photos by Gabriel Broderick, digital edits by Kiron. Gabriel is a @ROMKids assistant and is currently wrapping up grade 12

Copied directly from the ROMKids web site

The first image shows Anne in conversation at the warp weighted loom. Daughter Elizabeth cards wool in the foreground. (This was Elizabeth's first time as a costumed demonstrator with DARC!)

The second image shows Darrell demonstrating pewter casting. Sorry, I was not actually talking about sword making!

Key to DARC was that our presentation was well received by all the ROM staff I talked to - including the current Director. Dr Robert Mason, our initial contact, was also quite pleased with the whole group performance. We were able to re-new old contacts with a number of key department heads and staff members
This all adds up to a excellent first working contact to the ROM, with many decision making individuals quite eager to see us return for future (hopefully more complex) demonstrations.

The blend of living history with modern displays of experimental archaeology appeared to work extremely well. Those in costume did end up with more commentary that our usual character portrayals, but this certainly was what the audience was most interested in.

'Family Day' at the ROM does present a different audience that what most of DARC is used to. Typically the visitors were young families, with parents in the late 20's to early thirties having between one to three children. Typical ages of the children was between 4 - 8 years old. For future presentations, we will be better prepared to offer both physical samples and physical activities more in keeping with this younger age spread.

So the net result was an excellent presentation package, with good work undertaken by all. Our status increases, our reputation with the ROM proven and increased.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DARC at the ROM

Archaeology Weekend

Royal Ontario Museum

Bloor at Queen's Park - Toronto

Saturday, April 14 and Sunday April 15

Come and find out what archaeologists do to make their discoveries! Meet archaeologists showing things they’ve dug up and explaining why they are important. Get up close to objects usually hidden in the museum’s vaults. Try your hand at being an archaeologist as you learn some of the skills they use in the field and labs. Then meet people who do "experimental" archaeology by trying to do things the way they were done in the past, and "living history" re-enactors of the Viking era who try to understand the past by living it!

Pewter Casting
Canada Court (Level 1)
Watch the process of how pewter is cast in a traditional method.

Living History
(Third Floor Heritage Block, Level 3)

The Viking Age
Experience the Viking Age with the help of the Dark Ages Re-creation Company. See how people worked and lived, and displays of experimental archaeology where people figure out how things found in the archaeological record were made and used.

(text from the ROM web site)

DARC's presentation will include:

Iron Smelting - experimental archaeology, passive display
Glass Bead Making - experimental archaeology, passive display
Cloth to Clothing - experimental archaeology, passive display.
Tablet Weaving - living history / craft presentation
Domestic Life - living history / 'sea chest'
Sheep to Shawl (Warp Weighted Loom) - living history / craft presentation

See the rest of the programming available on the ROM web site