Session: #351

Theme & Session Format

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

Title & Content

Community Archaeology in Europe
Community Archaeology is recognised as a major developing field within Public Archaeology at a global level. Archaeologists as well as governmental bodies are increasingly aware that engaging with local communities during archaeological projects is of ethical importance to our profession, with this point being reflected through an increase in publications on community archaeology as well as in legislative documents such as the Faro Convention and Strategy21. This work has enabled members of the public to develop their knowledge of their local heritage through direct involvement in archaeological research and fieldwork, while at the same time becoming more familiar with archaeological practice. Community Archaeology, however, has also demonstrated that it has a strong social value – encouraging heritage management, resolving conflict and (perhaps most timely in today’s society) holding the potential to assist in developing greater levels of self-esteem among participants, thereby making a valuable contribution towards overall community cohesion and well-being. The increased adoption of Community Archaeology as a form of public outreach in the last two decades has led to a diversity of approaches that reflect the variety of practitioners’ goals and adaption to unique circumstances. The session invites speakers from across Europe to present examples of Community Archaeology projects in action. Papers reflect on examples of positive – and negative – interactions and engagements between archaeologists and local communities, the strategies used to intertwine community involvement with archaeological research, the methodologies that have been used to measure the social value and impact of projects, and whether Community Archaeology has been successful in meeting communities’ expectations while satisfying a wider research agenda. Ultimately, the session aims to provide a platform from which practitioners can discuss methods, share experiences, and improve communication within the field.
Community, Society, Social value, Fieldwork
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
EAA Public Archaeology Community


Main organiser:
Colm Donnelly (United Kingdom) 1
Camille Westmont (United States) 2
Francesca Benetti (Italy) 3
Grace McAlister (United Kingdom) 1
Christine Baker (Ireland) 4
1. Queen's University Belfast
2. University of Maryland
3. University of Padua
4. Fingal County Council, Ireland