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RavalEsCiencia: the Raval, a 6000 years ago story

The citizens in Barcelona can know about their distant past through this scientific dissemination project.

 


How knifes were produced in the Neolithic? Demonstration about production of sílex tools in the frame of the project Raval, a story of 6000 years The Raval is a district in the heart of Barcelona. The project ‘Raval, a story from 6.000 years ago’ (Raval, una historia de hace más de 6000 años), aims to bring science in general, and particularly archaeology, to one of the most dynamic Barcelona neighbourhoods. This initiative is led by the CSIC’s Institució Milà i Fontanals. Barcelona City Council  is also involved, along with several institutions, associations and companies. The project is funded by the FECYT (Fundación Española para la Ciència y la Tecnología).  

 

The proposal aims to explain some aspects of our distant past, in a didactic and entertaining but also scientifically rigorous way. At the same time, the project is socially inclusive as it is addressed equally to neigbours and to  visitors (tourists or people from other districts in the city) and offers a very different picture of the Raval district than the one reflected in the media.

'Raval, a story of 6000 years' explains to all audiences, from children to retired people, the history of their ancestors who lived during the Neolithic on the Barcelona plain. In the last few years, the urban works have allowed the discovery of several archaeological remains which are scientifically very relevant. Nevertheless, the discovery of these sites has been unnoticed by citizens and visitors of the Raval, which is one of the most crowded neighbourhoods in the city.  

We want the public to know about the first shepherds and farmers who arrived in the Iberian peninsula from the Mediterranean coasts, in consecutive population migrations that started in the Middle East. That’s why we have organized different activities for citizens to know their past and the archaeological sites that they have beneath their feet and which they cross every day. Although the activities are designed differently according to the age of the audiences, all of them have been thought of and assessed from a scientific point of view.   

The program includes talks, speeches and workshops in places as unexpected as restaurants where we will demonstrate how to prepare a silex knife for cutting the meat that we will eat. Or in bakeries, where we will speak about the origin of cereals and agriculture. Also, we are preparing a puppet show for the little ones to learn what is History and Arqueology. And we will introduce in the annual Fiesta Mayor of the Raval a female Cabezudo, dressed as a Neolithic woman.

In conclusión, we want to provide the people with the subject matter we study  every day in our research activity in the lab of archeology at the Institució Milá i Fontanals, in the Raval of Barcelona.

PhD. Juan Gibaja
Departamento de Arqueología y Antropología
Institución Milá y Fontanals (IMF-CSIC)

Website of the project: http://www.raval6000anyshistoria.com/