Session: #165

Theme & Session Format

3. The new normality of heritage management and museums in post-Covid times
Session format:
Session with keynote presentation and discussion

Title & Content

People Power? Past, Present and Future for Public Participation in Archaeological Fieldwork
This session invites presentations about public participation in archaeological excavation. 2021 marks ten years since the Faro Convention came into force on 1 June 2011, calling for civil society to be more closely involved with heritage. In some countries ‘closer involvement’ has increasingly included public participation in community excavations but other countries, participation in the archaeological investigative process by people other than archaeological professionals or students remains rare, or even forbidden.

This session aims to bring together archaeologists with experience of public participative investigations and those who are interested in their potential. The session includes a keynote presentation on the aims and outcomes to date of the ‘Community Archaeology in Rural Environments’ (CARE) project ( (2019-23) which by the end of 2020 had involved around 350 residents of ten rural communities in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland and UK in new local archaeological excavations, with the aim of advancing knowledge of the past and exploring the benefits to communities and heritage.

Complementary papers for this session are invited on public 'citizen science' participation in archaeological fieldwork, especially (but not limited to) those which have involved excavation. These may include (but are not limited to) presentations on (a) challenges and solutions for setting up and carrying out participative archaeological investigations in different countries; (b) the value of their discoveries for advancing understanding of the past, including from places with little or no previously known archaeology; (c) the impact of participative community archaeology on participants and local communities, and its risks and rewards for archaeology and archaeologists; (d) the future for this sort of archaeological practice, whether viewed idealistically or pragmatically, optimistically or pessimistically, including considerations of the impact of the Faro Convention, or more 'hyper-localised' world which may develop in the wake of Covid-19.
Public archaeology, Participative archaeology, Excavation, Communities, Settlements, Heritage legislation
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Main organiser:
Carenza Lewis (United Kingdom) 1
Heleen van Londen (Netherlands) 2
Arcadiusz Marciniak (Poland) 3
Pavel Vařeka (Czech Republic) 4
1. University of Lincoln
2. University of Amsterdam
3. University of Poznan
4. University of West Bohemia