Session: #342

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological heritage and museum management: future chances, future risks
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Publicly Speaking: The Changing Face of Public Archaeology and International Heritage Interpretation, EAA 25
Public Archaeology (sometimes equated with “Community Archaeology” in the UK and elsewhere) is the practice of presenting archaeological data and interpretations of that data to the public. Projects labelled as “community archaeology” tend to emphasize substantial efforts in community engagement and power sharing. International guidelines and terminology in public interpretation and presentation practice are provided by the ICOMOS Charter on Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites and other specialized organizations engaged in international interpretation collaboration such as Interpret Europe, the National Association of Interpretation, and the Association for Heritage Interpretation. The ICOMOS charter of 2008 provided definitions of ‘presentation’ and ‘interpretation’ and other terms as well as principles and objectives for interpretation that have been used and applied, and to some extent redefined in the decade since, for public archaeology practice. In these activities internationally, who is "the public" in differing contexts? How are principles of public interpretation applied by public archaeologists in geographically and culturally diverse settings? Do these terms and principles have global relevance or is there a need to develop separate, idiosyncratic, and culturally defined methodologies and approaches? What are the common denominators? How are the challenges in archaeological heritage interpretation changing the image and practice of public archaeology today?
public archaeology, community archaeology, cultural heritage interpretation and presentation, changing methods and approaches
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EJA Editorial Board


Main organiser:
John H Jameson (United States) 1,2,3
Robin Skeates (United Kingdom) 4,3
2. 12,000 Year History Park (USA)
3. EJA Editorial Board
4. Department of Archaeology, Durham University