Sagnlandet Lejre is a private foundation run on a non-profit basis. Until March 2009, it was known as Lejre Experimental Center (Historical-Archaeological Experimental Center), our full official name is now Centre for Historical-Archaelogical Research and Communication .
Thanks to a generous grant from the Carlsberg Foundation, the Centre was established in 1964 as an archaeological research station in a unique moraine landscape with woodland, lakes, bogs and fields. Here, professionals from within cultural-historical disciplines and the natural sciences met and continue to meet in order to gain new knowledge about people in the past, their living conditions, methods of cultivation etc. through practical experiments on a multidisciplinary basis.
The unique and controversial experiments involving the reconstruction of houses and agricultural implements from the Iron Age and testing them in practice aroused great public interest. People flocked to the Centre to watch the researchers’ efforts as they literally ploughed and chopped new knowledge about our ancestors’ daily life out of fields and timber. The basis for experience-orientated communication of the researchers’ work was formed and terms such as activating communication and historic workshop teaching arose from the fruitful meeting between learned and layman regardless of sex, age, social and educational background.
The meeting between research and the public is central to our work here in Sagnlandet Lejre and is formulated in paragraph 2 of its statutes:
“The Experimental Centre’s purpose is to run a research centre for the carrying out of ethnological, historical and archaeological experiments, execution of associated research tasks and dissemination of the results through scientific channels and through active communication and instruction.”
Qualified attention to these aims is ensured on a day-to-day basis through Sagnlandet Lejre’s management and the appointment of professional personnel within academic, technical and trade professions such as archaeology, history, communication, didactics, education, landscape management, forestry, handicrafts, pottery and film/photography. The appointment of a diverse broadly-based corps of instructors, comprising students and pupils within these same disciplines ensures effective and inspiring contact with the educational and training sector and the thoughts and ideas which are foremost there.
The head of Sagnlandet Lejre reports to a competent board of researchers, politicians and business people.