Are you interested in archaeological monuments or old buildings? Would you like to do something concrete in their favor? Adopt a monument program encourages everyone to appreciate and preserve sites in their own neighborhoods. It gives a chance to start a new hobby taking care of the cultural heritage. The caretaking of an old building or archaeological site is done on voluntary bases. The adopter does not own its site, but maintains it, monitors its condition, can research its history and organize variety of events on the site.
The role model or our program is the Adopt-a-Monument programme run by a Scottish citizen-based organization Archaeology Scotland. Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum started its own Adopt a Monument program in 2008. The first caretaking contracts of archaeological sites were signed in the following year. Starting from 2013 the programme has been expanded to include also the built heritage.
You can read more about the programme from our brochure.
Caretaking is based upon agreements signed between the owner of the site, the adopter and the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum. The museum is responsible for drafting the agreements and also carrying out negotiations between involved parties. A management plan for the site in question is drawn up, taking into account its condition, maintenance needs, as well as the caretaking group’s resources. Contracts are entered into for an indefinite period, but the caretaking work does not have to be a never-ending chore. If a site’s original adopter wishes to resign, a new adopter for the site can be looked for.
The adopter of an old building or an archaeological site may be, for example, a community, an association, a company or a public entity, such as a school. Some groups have formed an association specifically to meet the criteria of adopter. Anyone can take part in most of the events organized at the sites. No previous experience, special skills, or prior information on cultural heritage or environmental issues is required of the caretaker. The interest and enthusiasm are sufficient as the tasks of caretaking are best learned by doing!
Professionals in the field of cultural heritage such as archaeologists, built heritage researchers, and a master builder of traditional buildings are employed in Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, and their expertise available to the adopter at all times. The museum also organizes educational events and tours within which participants can learn more about the cultural heritage, its management, as well as meet other adopters.
WHAT IS DONE EXACTLY?
Caretaker monitors the site’s condition and when needed does different kind of maintenance duties according to the management plan. Changes to the site’s condition and maintenance duties are reported annually to the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum. The purpose of adoption is also to make the sites known to public. For example information boards can be designed and erected to the sites.
An important goal of the caretaking of an archaeological site is to make it more readily visible. This often means the annual cleaning up debris and clearance of excess vegetation by mowing and cutting coppice.
In the caretaking of an old building often even small-scale and simple maintenance and restoration works are of great importance. Such chores include for example, painting, keeping the roof and rainspouts clean, and clearing vegetation along the walls. In addition, monitoring the condition of the building can prevent possible damages developing into serious issues threatening the whole building.
WHAT KIND OF BUILDINGS CAN BE ADOPTED?
Our everyday surroundings include a lot of small buildings which depict the local history and are situated in visible places. Particularly buildings that are unused are in need of care. Suitable for adoption are uninhabited buildings or structures located in the Pirkanmaa region. The building or structure should also be scenically somewhat significant, and relatively small in size, in which case the maintenance work remains reasonable. A suitable target could be, for example, a village house, a cottage, a croft, a mill, a station, a song stage, a kiosk, a barn, a granary, a chapel, a milk pier, a bridge or a storehouse. Even the smallest building can be significant!
Do you know of a suitable building or structure? Suggest it to the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum: fill a form here on our website, send an e-mail to adoptoimonumentti[at]tampere.fi or call 040 800 7389.
WHAT KIND OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES CAN BE ADOPTED?
Pirkanmaa region is rich in a variety of archaeological monuments from thousands of years old Stone Age dwelling sites to the fortifications dating to the First World War. All archaeological sites in Finland are protected by law, and must not be touched without permission.
Archaeological sites are often difficult to detect, and unknown and their significance not always understood. However, they are an invaluable part of our history.
Suitable for adoptions are, say, hill forts, dry stone walls, burial mounds, catch pits, ancient places of residence, and fortifications.
The Finnish National Board of Antiquities maintains a database of archaeological sites called Muinaisjäännösrekisteri (only available in Finnish) where you can check if there are any ancient remains located in the vicinity of your home.
Suggest interesting items to the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum: fill a form here on our website, send an e-mail to adoptoimonumentti[at]tampere.fi or call 040 800 7389. A few sites available for adoption can also be found on this website.
- Guided tours
- Literacy of traces of history in scenery
- Voluntary work camps
- Break from everyday life
- Concrete handwork
- Meaningful leisure activities
- New people
- Comfortable and versatile environment
- Beloved building or place maintained
- Good mood?