Cultural Routes in Focus: Interview with Bodo ZEHM, Project Manager of the European Route of Megalithic Culture
Why and how did your cultural itinerary begin?
The Megalithic Routes started in 2011 as an attempt to combine all touristic and archeological institutions in Europe, which are dealing with the oldest monuments of European history, the monuments of the prehistoric Megalithic Culture. The aim is to highlight and preserve these monuments as essential parts of the cultural landscape and to share this target with archeological Open Air Museums and Geo- and Nature-Parks. The visitors are invited to explore their natural and suburban surroundings to discover its character as a cultural heritage area.
How does your Cultural Route contribute to European values, history and heritage?
The phenomenon of megalithic culture can be found all across the European continent. These cultural places, many more than 5000 years old, reveal a common background and serve as a reminder of our common European heritage. It is our responsibility as Europeans to preserve these monuments and to share the characteristics and purposes of these megalithic-building cultures in order to frame this part of our history for future generations.
In which new countries do you see your Route in the near future?
Following the distribution of different types of megalithic monuments in Europe the start of the project included only one special culture, the Funnel Beaker Culture, which is distributed over Scandinavia , the Netherlands and Germany. Since 2015 the project gathered new members in Spain, Portugal and Great Britain, which represent other types of megalithic-building cultures. This process should consider also Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland. After this it should look for Turkish members because of their most conspicuous monuments, which are known as the origin of the megalithic culture.
Which are the other Cultural Routes with whom you have a regular relationship?
In the future we are considering a closer cooperation with the Prehistoric Rock Art Trails project, because in many cases the megalithic monuments are decorated with special types of rock engravings. On the other hand, Megalithic Routes mantain the contacts with nature and geo parks because of their responsibility for the different types of the cultural and geological aspects of the European landscape in order to frame concepts for a low impact tourism.