Civilizations in Contact

Civilizations in Contact is a registered charity (1148995), which aims to promote greater understanding between today's world cultures by demonstrating how those cultures and civilizations interconnected and interacted in the past.

The charity grew out of a research project within the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. The project, which took place from 2008 to 2011, investigated and mapped various ways in which civilizations and cultures made contact through trade, travel and other forms of exchange (up to the year 1800).

One of the results of this research was an awareness that a better understanding of the interconnections and exchanges between civilizations in the past could have a profound impact on relations between peoples and cultures in the modern world. The independent charity was founded in 2012 to present the research to the general public and help provide a more cohesive view of world history, which could in turn lead to greater understanding between cultures.

Civilizations in Contact intends to share this information with new audiences in two ways:

  • By creating a web-based history learning resource that will help children and adults explore history creatively
  • By engaging in educational outreach activities

Civilizations in Contact is a public engagement project connected to the University of Cambridge.

New Educational Project

CiC is currently working on its second educational outreach project, "Exploring Britain's Viking Heritage with East Anglian Schools." Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will expose more than 300 Key Stage 2 Primary schoolchildren to Britain's Viking history in three ways: through art, drama and dance in their classrooms; through role play at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village near Bury St Edmunds, and through a visit to the British Museum's exhibit, "Vikings: Life and Legend".

This project looks to build off the successes of CiC's first project, "Bringing Pompeii and Herculaneum to Cambridgeshire Schools", by expanding to include a more realistic historical environment for the children's roleplay at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village. As with the Pompeii project, it is hoped that the children will not only gain a new appreciation for their heritage, including the Vikings' 200-year occupation of Britain, but also see links between cultures, as they learn about the many peoples with whom the Vikings' traded and had contact.