‘Public Participation in Archaeology’, book number 15 in the Heritage Matters series has just been published. This volume is edited by Dr Suzie Thomas (Lecturer in Museology at the University of Helsinki) and Dr Joanne Lea (an educator with the Trillium Lakelands District School Board in Ontario, Canada).
Public archaeology has many facets, especially the ways in which it is understood, practised and facilitated. In some places it is unknown, in some it is actively discouraged; in others it has been embraced fully and is considered normal practice, appearing in the form of ‘community archaeology’, active school and college programmes, rethinking museum strategies, and the encouragement of on-site visits and demonstrations during archaeological fieldwork. However, in a difficult economic climate public archaeology is at risk as funding cuts demand changes in priorities for heritage organisations and local and national governments, resulting in the loss of community-based archaeological and heritage projects.
This volume examines public archaeology internationally, exploring the factors which are currently affecting how it is practised. Questions of how different publics and communities engage with their archaeological heritage are discussed, using a selection of international case studies described by experienced practitioners and theorists. Divided into sections dealing with international models, archaeology and education, archaeology and tourism, and site management and conservation, this book presents a contemporary snapshot of public participation in archaeology which will be of relevance for students, academics, participants and practitioners within the fields of archaeology, heritage and museum management.