An international archaeological volunteer camp draws the history of Manises through ceramics

A group of young people aged between 16 and 30 are drawing the history of Manises through its ceramics in the Archaeological Youth Volunteer Camp 2022, which began today as part of UNESCO’s Creative City programme and which this year becomes international with the participation of students from the Jordanian city of Madaba, which also belongs to the international organisation’s network.

The councillor for the Promotion of Ceramics of the Manises Town Council, Xavier Morant, pointed out that “this is the first time that this camp is international, as we have two people from a city with which we share participation in the UNESCO Creative Cities cluster”. For her part, the councillor for Youth, Amparo Martínez, added that this year we are returning to this activity so that the young people taking part can get to know the essence of Manisera ceramics through archaeology”.

The camp consists of collaborating in the archaeological excavations being carried out in the Obradors neighbourhood of Manises, which is the artisan space where pottery was made from the 14th century until the end of the 20th century.

The activity takes place in two one-week shifts between 27 June and 8 July, and Manises Town Council provides accommodation and meals for young people who come from other creative cities. During their stay, the international students live with a group of local young people in the excavations and also have the opportunity to carry out other cultural activities within the framework of this programme adapted to their characteristics during the afternoons and weekends.

During the excavation, directed by the director of the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts, Jaume Coll, the volunteers will learn about the history of ceramics, techniques and archaeological notions on the correct treatment of the material from the excavation and extraction of the material. Then, for another week, they will learn in the laboratory about the selection, arrangement, cataloguing and chronology of the materials and preparation for public presentation in exhibitions or in the halls of the Manises Ceramics Museum.

The Obradors district where the archaeological volunteer work is being carried out was the centre of production of ceramics with a golden lustre and decorated in blue from the 14th to the end of the 20th century. Nowadays it is a large site of demolished buildings in the subsoil of which lies the history of the most important low medieval pottery production centre in Europe.

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