by Katrin Hieke
Ice Age Europe network meeting in the Basque Country
In March 2018 the Ice Age Europe network members gathered for their largest network meeting so far, hosted by two of our members in the Basque Country, Ekainberri and Isturitz & Oxocelhaya Caves.
Ekainberri, the replica of the World Heritage site Ekain cave, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018. The museum has become an important site and partner for the region and beyond. It presents about 85 % of the exceptional rock art found in the cave in a very realistic way. Our members enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tours, tested the fabulous educational programs and enjoyed the beautiful location in the middle of green hills.
Since 1913, Isturitz & Oxocelhaya Caves are inexhaustible sources of knowledge from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens. On a private tour of the caves the members learned about past and ongoing research, marvelled at large rock formations as well as tiny bats, and listened to enchanting music played live on an Upper Palaeolithic flute replica by Mixel Etxekopar.
The network gathering started with a pre-meeting tour to Lezetxiki cave, lead by Álvaro Arrizabalaga. A part of the meeting also took place at Gordailua, the Heritage Collection Center of Gipuzkoa. Network members explored the find processing units and depots with Carlos Olaetxea. The center, built in 2011, houses different collections on a total of 9.000 qm. 200.000 items are stored in the archaeological section alone.
Like at the last network meeting, we once again had the pleasure to inaugurate our #IceAgeEuropeNow exhibition in a new location. This time it was in the beautiful village of La Bastide-Clairence, the only French venue in 2018. The large scale images of the exhibition fit perfectly into the historical setting of the village. Finally, we also toured San Telmo Museoa in the historic centre of Donostìa-San Sebastián, where the exhibition will be on show from April to June 2018.
In between the visits, the members shared latest news and research results from their sites and museums and discussed planned and ongoing projects, including the new issue of our network magazine, a photo competition and the launch of the first Ice Age Europe Day on 23 September 2018!
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