Public Archaeology from the Ground Up

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January 16, 2013 by Lorna Richardson

As part of the 19th Annual Meeting of the European Association for Archaeologists in September in Pilzen, Czech Republic, Jaime & are are hosting a round table discussion titled ‘Public Archaeology from the Ground Up’, and we are looking for participants. We will also be formally launching the Public Archaeology Group, with the formation of a Committee for Public Archaeology within the EAA. If you are interested in taking part, please get in touch with me or Jaime – contacts below.. and here’s the official call:

Organisers: Jaime Almansa-Sánchez (JAS Arqueología SLU, Spain) and Lorna Richardson (University College London, UK)

Contact: almansasanchez[at] or l.richardson[at]

Although Public Archaeology has grown as a distinct discipline in archaeological practice during the last decade, there is an urgent need to explore, rethink and define the terms we are working with. The theoretical basis of Public Archaeology is still extremely weak and poorly understood outside the Academy. Yet Public and Community Archaeology is a growth area, as engagement, participation, community and dialogue become political buzzwords in a difficult economic climate. As a discipline, we cannot continue to expand without a clear framework of theoretical understanding and working concepts. Several initiatives have already started that seek to address these issues, and the support and involvement of the European Association of Archaeologists is central to these ventures.

This round table session will discuss current aspects, issues and problems facing the discipline, and sketch out the future aims of Public Archaeology, in order to understand where we are and decide where we want to go. As a starting point for the definition of the discipline from our European perspective, we are seeking debate around the concept and practice of Public Archaeology, its theoretical framework, the social and ethical implications of our work and the tools available for sharing and developing the discipline internationally

The session will also host the elections and first meeting of the new Committee of Public Archaeology.

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