Between Popularization of Science and Public Orientation: Tendencies in Exhibiting Archaeological Heritage in Lithuania
Keywords:archaeological exhibitions in Lithuania, archaeological heritage, tendencies in exhibiting, modern museum
Museums displaying archaeological heritage have been increasingly moving away from the practices rooted in the 19th and the early 20th century and associated with the ideas of positivism. Although most Lithuanian museums have renewed their permanent archaeology exhibitions, their quality and impact on the public have not been assessed. The aim of this article is to analyze and highlight the main trends of archaeological exhibitions in Lithuanian museums using the criteria and principles of modern archaeological display. The study reveals that a positivist approach, characterized by a chronological-typological point of view, factual information and a neutral look at the past, has been dominating the Lithuanian exhibitions. A third of the exhibitions consist of mixed displays, set up using modern principles of exhibiting archaeological artifacts but with varying degree of positivism. Among the exhibitions analyzed, only one case corresponds to the principle of the new concept of archaeological display. The revealed tendencies in exhibiting archaeological heritage in Lithuanian museums show that the artifacts of the past often remain ‘silent’ and the stories are likely undiscovered.
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