Heritage Studies

***While the museum building is closed for
renovation, scientific research continues at Tervuren.***

heritageThe ‘Heritage Studies’ scientific service continues to pursue the main objectives of the former Ethnography and Archaeology sections of the RMCA, which had existed since 1898, and combines then with those of historical linguistics. It is a research centre and specialised service for the public, devoted to the past and present of African societies.

The service is unique in its focus on the study of material culture, with the purpose of recreating the context in which ancient and contemporary material culture was used and produced.

Objects are analysed from two perspectives: that of formal and stylistic comparison, manufacturing processes, and study of materials; and their uses and geographic distribution.

This approach uses methodological tools deriving from disciplines that include:

  • anthropology;
  • ethnology;
  • historical linguistics;
  • lexicostatistics;
  • historical and prehistoric archaeology;
  • history;
  • art history.

The service’s operations also require close collaboration with the Archives and Collection Management service. It is also involved in projects with the museum’s other services as well as with national and international institutions and universities, particularly in Africa.

The service is partner of the European SWICH project.
 

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