BEHIND THE SCENES - Visualising the Past at the Archaeological Park in Xanten 

This one-day session examines changing views on archaeological reconstruction, site interpretation and presentation using the archaeological park in Xanten (Germany), which has been in existence for 40 years, as a case study. The session begins with four short introductory lectures, followed by a site visit to the archaeological park at Xanten and ends with a workshop on ‘Guidelines for archaeological interpretation’.

Dr Peter Kienzle (LVR-Archäologischer Park Xanten/LVR-RömerMuseum, Xanten, Germany) will be your main host, accompanied by Sue Hodges, Ben Thomas and Marc Kocken.


The Archaeological Park at Xanten (APX) opened its gates to the public in 1977. Today, the park covers most of the area of the former Colonia Ulpia Traiana, a total of 700.000 m² and is one of the best protected archaeological sites in Germany, drawing 500.000 plus visits a year. Reconstructions, site interpretation, conservation and presentation took place over the last 40 years reflecting an increase in knowledge and changing attitudes as well as the preservation conditions of the archaeological remains.


At Xanten we will have the chance to explore the background information and discuss the decision-making process for site presentation, interpretation and conservation issues. We will also see a presentation on how the site has developed over the last 40 years.


Workshop participants will be actively involved in debating topics such as: the future of archaeological reconstruction; challenges with interpreting archaeology; physical vs digital reconstruction; the role of illustrations in interpreting archaeology; the impact of new technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality; archaeology and social inclusion; and emerging international issues in reconstruction. The workshop will conclude with a summary before a return trip to Maastricht.


The excursion to Park Xanten will start at 7.30 a.m. and end 7.30 p.m.

The “Harbour Temple” protection shelter and partial reconstruction

Full reconstruction of three artisans houses. View of the workshop.

Welcome at the 23rd Annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

Please find the welcome movie here


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Programme of Sessions

The programme of Sessions is now available. (last updated: 28 July 2017).

Click here to download the Programma Book.

Click here to download the Abstract Book.


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