This interdisciplinary project, an effort of archaeologists, anthropologists, and teachers, explores histories and heritage of the Middle East and its people in today’s Finland.

The project opens up and discusses the complex trajectories of Middle Eastern objects that often have gone undocumented, entangled in notions of western colonialism. We develop and implement critical, hands-on pedagogical resources from stored-away Middle Eastern objects in Finnish museum collections through 3D digitisation and printing. 

We explore biographies and dive into subjectivities, listening to the stories of those who have roots in the Middle East and live in Finland today. We look into how they perceive their material heritage. We develop pop-up museums within the heart of communities across Finland, pop ups that gather people around science and art, pop ups that weave links between people from here and there, around stories of the past, of the present and of possible futures.

The project is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and carried out within the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires at the University of Helsinki. It partners with the National Museum of Finland and the Finnish Heritage Agency, as well as other museum institutions.