The Bronze Age brought back to life:  exploring Europe’s remarkable cultural heritage.

The most extraordinary portfolio of Bronze Age artisanship in Europe comprises work from El Argar (south-eastern Spain), Únětice (Central Europe), Füzesabony (eastern Hungary) and Vatin (southern Serbia). The EU-funded CRAFTER aimed at inspiring contemporary art by drawing on this rich cultural heritage and celebrate traditional craftsmanship. 

Potters from Spain, Germany, Hungary and Serbia came together to create ceramic vessels representing the outstanding Bronze Age cultures of Europe, harking back to prehistoric pottery as well as producing innovative art. This process was captured in documentary films which permit the public to share and rediscover Europe’s legacy and will disseminate the skills of Bronze Age societies in a broader European context. The project’s final initiative sought to make the ceramic reproductions available at museums and online shops to generate further awareness of present-day potters’ work and the obstacles that traditional trades face. It also opened new venues for these creations and broadened their market. 

In the autumn of 2018, all cultural heritage professionals and local artisans from the participant countries gathered to share experiences and exchange knowledge. This event tied into the European Year of Cultural Heritage which was celebrated in all EU member states. 

The final CRAFTER exhibition was simultaneously held in Spain, Hungary, Germany and Serbia at the end of 2019. The ceramic replicas, some new creations and the documentaries were all shared with the wider public at the event. The vessels displayed allowed the public to experience the aesthetic value of this cultural history. The completed documentaries showcase more pottery locations in all four countries. They premiered in autumn 2019, accompanying an exhibition that displayed Bronze Age inspired ceramics produced approximately 4000 years ago. The documentaries were also shown at several international film festivals as a unified work titled ‘In Their Hands’. The latter was awarded a special mention at the Nyon Archaeological Film Festival 2021 "for its formal quality, aesthetics, for its delicate expression of gestures and memory". It also received a distinction from the jury of the Rassegna Internazionale del Cinema Archeologico di Rovereto, who considered it “a successful attempt to refresh the past, in this case the history of pottery in Europe of the Bronze Age, through the hands and mastery of today's craftsmen”.  

Given the success and interest generated by the exhibition at the Déri Museum in Debrecen, Hungary by the end of December 2019, it was decided to publish a bilingual (Hungarian - English) booklet that would collect the information offered in the exhibition itself. Overall, the CRAFTER project was a significant celebration and propagation of European cultural heritage. 

The EU-funded CRAFTER project is an example of how the mobilisation of innovators across the EU and the region is crucial, and the Western Balkans is no exception. Horizon Europe, the EU’s new seven-year framework programme (2021-2027) for research and innovation, represents the most ambitious research and innovation programme ever and is also open to researchers and small and medium sized enterprises based in the Western Balkans. 

Horizon Europe  

Investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe’s future. Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies. It creates jobs, fully engages the EU’s talent pool, boosts economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area. Horizon Europe is fully open to participation from the associated Wester Balkan partners. 


Project website: https://exarc.net/eu-projects/crafter

Project funded by the Creative Europe Programme, Project n. 2018-1257/001-001

Geographical focus
  • European Union (EU 28)
  • Serbia
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Humanities

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on October 13, 2021
Modified on October 13, 2021