Questioning War and Peace while Celebrating Gods:

The first Time Travel on the Roman Fort Timacum Minus near Knjaževac, Eastern Serbia

In order to present and implement the main principles of the Time Travel method, as a possible way of using cultural heritage sites as a learning resource, experts of the The Homeland Museum of Knjaževac and Kalmar Läns Museum, with support of the Swedish Institute and Knjaževac Municipality, organized the first Time Travel event at Timacum Minus, Roman fort near Knjaževac in March this year. The Roman fort Timacum Minus, from the late Antique period, used to be a military camp and an administrative center of a mining region (territorium) that was governed by a civil governor as well as military commander of the Legion. Its economy was based on copper and silver mining and agriculture in the fruitful valley of river Beli Timok.

Scenario, Timacum Minus, 370 AD

“It is the 19th of March, Mars day, the Quinquatrus Festival has begun and the people of the Timok valley are gathering around the fort of Timacum Minus to celebrate it together with their protectors and invaders - Roman legionnaires. In order to please Mars, God of war, but also spring and agriculture, people have collected fruits and vegetables, meat, milk and cheese; on the other hand to please Roman legionnaires they have to pay taxes and give supplies of food, wood and other goods necessary for life in a fortified settlement. While preparing for the festival but also to strengthen the fort for a possible future war, the people are discussing what the future will bring and why there is often a war here? What do we fear and what is our hope? What is our future, war or peace, hostilities or agriculture?“

Reflections

Twenty eight participants from numerous museums in Eastern and Southern Serbia, together with teachers and pupils of Knjaževac’s High schools, and members of NGO’s, participated in this Time Travel event and opened for interesting reflections on war and peace. Afterwards we discussed about the benefits of the TimeTravel program, the practical use in schools, museums, social centers, NGO’s. And also about its constructive role in communication and conflict resolution and the meaningful use of cultural heritage and historical sites. 

MA Milena Milošević Micić, Senior curator, Art historian, Homeland Museum of Knjaževac