Dom under is situated in Utrecht and focuses on the archeology research into the area under the main square of the city: Dom square.
Some facts and figures
Dom under opened just over a year ago and was fully booked throughout this whole year. Dom under still has to turn away people who have not registered in advance on a daily basis.
The set up of the museum
The tour exists of three parts: 1) historical information provided by a guide 2) a storified movie and 3) the visit to the archeological site, including two more movies.
The museum visitor enters the museum building based on the Dom Square. Here, visitors receive an introduction into the history of the area and the city of Utrecht in general. With the help of large plastic maps of the Dom Square, the guide walks you through the development of various time periods. To engender curiosity and in order to provide some hands-on context on those time periods the visitor is invited to hold and touch the different types of stones that were digged up on site. This is followed by a movie in which the discussed time periods are storified. Hereafter, the visitor goes onto the Dom Square to take the stairs down to the archeological site under the Dom Square. The actual site is not lit and quite dark. Here, the visitor receives an interactive flashlight with an audio piece. Here too a movie is displayed about the history of the area and the site in specific. After this movie, the visitor gets to walk through the site and search for artifacts with help of the flashlight. Sensors throughout the site sense the light and play corresponding audio fragments. Half way through the tour in the archeological site a third movie plays. After another round of ‘flash light digging’ the tour ends.
After our group took the tour, we discussed our experience with the guides and one of the museum professionals. Several points were discussed. Since the elements that left room for improvement were discussed more elaborately, they are enlisted below.
- The stories from the first movies were not followed up in the exhibition. Some of our group expected to lean more of the characters that were introduced in the movie or about the stories they represented.
- Some people experienced that they searched for the sensors instead of the objects.
- Some people felt that the audio fragments were not very much related to the artifacts themselves. They therefore felt they were not engaged as much with the artifacts they just found.