Museum of Archeology and Ethnography of Elvas
Environment design
Augmented reality
Content production
Interactive video mapping
App

Municipality of Elvas

2021

Teamed with:

Stripeline

Closed to the public in 2004, the MAEE is the largest museum to cover this subject in the Alentejo. In 2021, after adaption work, it reopened in the former Military Maintenance building in Elvas. The museum combines the collections of the António Tomás Pires Archaeology Museum with the collection of the Grémio da Lavoura de Elvas, giving rise to the permanent exhibition: “The Territory, from Past to Present, People and Objects”.

 

The museographic and the digital environment project is based on three interconnected pillars. First History. The history of the territory, people and objects present throughout the exhibition, inspired by the language of the graphics, which are rich in the colours and shapes of the Alentejo. Secondly People. People as the main element of the narrative, communicating with the visitor through objects, illustrations and animations. And lastly Time. The museum maintains a relationship with the future too, with an independent digital layer and preparation for accommodating updates.

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In the Library room, an Augmented Book shows printed information about the two collections and institutions that give life to MAEE. As the visitor leafs through the book, digitally animated content appears on the pages, which supplements the existing 20 pages and enriches the information provided.

 

The Oven room is dedicated to the trinity of Mediterranean cuisine, Bread, Wine and Olive Oil, represented on 3 separate tables, symbolic of family life, gatherings and mealtimes. Interactive video mapping allows visitors to touch certain points and access animated content, which helps to interpret objects and understand the diet of the original farmworkers.

 

To honour the intangible cultural heritage of Elvas, we created a magical space that we called “Contanário” (a source of stories). Its snail shape refers to childhood memories around the fire, when grandparents told stories and passed on knowledge, ideal for seeing and/or listening to the most diverse stories of the people of Elvas.

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At the entrance of the main room, visitors are invited to explore the vast network of people and institutions that contributed to Archaeology in Elvas, as well as to most of the objects displayed in the different rooms, through interactive video mapping projected on a wall that reacts to the visitor's touch.


Surrounding this wall, we find a long room divided into five timelines, which articulate ethnography in communion with archaeology, through graphics, illustrations and display units that invite discovery. In this room, we will also find two mandatory stopping points. The first has a vertical screen, which works as a window for the Villa Romana at Quinta das Longas, completely reconstructed in 3D, and which can be explored using the commands present on an interactive digital totem display.

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Further down, a display unit full of semolina (a variety of wheat widely farmed in Elvas in the last century) invites all visitors to become archaeologists for a brief moment. When excavating the Praça da República with their own hands, they will discover, digitally, different objects found there and learn about their function. But gently, so that the objects don't break and so visitors can complete the challenge like true archaeologists.


The visit is coming to a close and the feast of Saint Mateus can already be heard in the distance. But first, we are immersed in a darker and more intimate environment, which reveals different burial rituals that took place over the centuries, through exhibits and animated digital content, designed and controlled from an interactive totem display.


The MAEE was developed so that, first, the people of the territory of Elvas can feel proud of their past and their traditions and, secondly, so that those who visit Elvas can see that there is a lot to discover in this territory. For our part, we hope that the time spent in this museum will be rewarding and invite you to a second or third visit.

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