The Havering Hoard
Museum of London Docklands | 2020
The Havering Hoard, discovered in 2018, is the largest Bronze Age hoard found in London. Objects include axe heads and fragments of swords, making up a total of 453 bronze objects dating between c.900 and c.800 BC.
Fascinating though they are, to the untrained eye, the hoard objects can seem like an unpromising bunch of non-descript grey lumps. In order to draw visitors in to the mystery of the hoard, we made the gallery highly atmospheric. It is likely that the Bronze Age people workshipped the sun, and the settlement in Havering was orientated along the East to West axis of the sun’s path. We made this a central feature of the exhibiton. Keeping the lighting warm and low around the four hoards themselves, we arranged them in the formation in which they were buried and located along an axis running through the gallery from the sunset discovery in 2018, through to a giant video projection of sunrise over the marshy landscape as it would have been at dawn 3000 years ago. Theatrical lighting and a newly-commissioned soundscape give drama to the displays.
A scaled-down Roundhouse, tactile objects and an object mapping AV display creates interactivity engagement for families with children. At the end of the exhibition, visitors are bathed in the cool light of scientific analysis in a white laboratory of archaeological analysis.
In developing the exhibition, we collaborated with:
Seeing Things: Graphic Design and co-Creative Direction
Chocolate Films: AV
DHA: Lighting Design
Exhib: Build & Install
Museum of London Docklands
Photos: John Chase, Museum of London