Johan Veeckman

(Stad Antwerpen Archeologie, Belgium)

In 2002 the archaeological service of the city of Antwerp (Belgium) decided to create a website, intended to inform the public on the archaeological heritage of this important Flemish city on the river Schelde. A first round up on this initiative was presented at the 2003 ‘Enter the Past’ conference in Vienna. Two years later it is appropriate to make a new evaluation.
The Antwerp archaeological service, being part of the city planning and development department, is not responsible for presenting the local archaeological heritage in a museum environment. By creating a virtual museum the archaeological service tried to fill this void. The still growing number of visitors proves this website to meet a need of the public. During the past two years the success of the website continuously increased. At this moment it counts an average of ca. 200.000 hits per month, representing 6 to 7000 visitors.
From a technical point of view a new back end was created making the website even more flexible to change and add information. All pages of the website are now database oriented and can easily be modified on line.
Recently two other Flemish partners joined the Archeoweb project, i.e. the city of Ghent and the city of Mechelen. While Mechelen is still preparing its version, the Archeoweb Ghent is on line since the beginning of 2005. Thus, the initial idea of building a network of partners using the same format starts to take form. Our next goal is to find partners outside of Belgium and to create an international network. The technology is available to anyone interested in return for a very modest financial contribution.