Session: #197

Theme & Session Format

Global change and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Crafting Relevant Stories: Steps Towards a Socially Engaged Urban Archaeology
This session explores how we can re-imagine the public benefit of urban archaeology (across any time period or location) in light of the increasing adoption of field and digital technologies which enable the development of ever more ‘high resolution’ understandings of past urban societies. Contributors are asked to explore ways in which archaeological data might be used to open new areas of research which address or align with the concerns, identities and challenges of contemporary urban communities such as environmental sustainability and resilience, migration, and social inequality.
An ambition to engage archaeological research in other policy areas to maximise its public benefit is a key pillar of the EAC’s Amersfoort Agenda. This framework, when coupled with innovative research approaches in urban archaeology, which include methods as wells as innovative cross-disciplinary research questions, creates potential to stimulate the closer alignment of archaeology with the wider field of urban studies on any continent. This, it is proposed, would have the effect of changing how we understand archaeology’s public benefit, by creating possibilities for the findings of archaeological work to have direct and tangible impacts on decision making by urban communities outside of the limited scope of heritage management.
The intended outcomes of the session are to:
1. Debate how archaeological techniques and perspectives can be applied in innovative ways to address questions of broad relevance.
2. Explore how the concept of public benefit in urban archaeology might be re-imagined through the use of archaeological data to better understand the dynamics of urban communities and to have a tangible impact on urban decision making in the present.
3. Present best practice examples of how the public and urban practitioners in other fields might be engaged in the co-creation and communication of archaeological research which resonates with, and addresses the concerns of, contemporary urban societies.
Urban, Resilience, Sustainability, City, Public archaeology, Heritage
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Main organiser:
Ben Jervis (United Kingdom) 1
Monika Baumanova (Czech Republic) 2
1. Cardiff University
2. University of West Bohemia in Pilsen