Archaeological heritage as a resource for development: Definitions, issues, and opportunities for evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Archaeological heritage has significant impacts on development in the Global South. Projects have informed environmental policies or improved local communities’ prospects in managing their heritage resources, and sites promote local economic development through tourism. However, many of these development impacts are short-lived or disappointing due to a lack of critical awareness and tracing of how the project fits with local objectives and its consequences over time. This is related to inadequate or insufficient evaluation.

This paper argues that the heritage sector has much to gain from considering evaluation problems through a development lens. It reviews how archaeology contributes to development, the successes and shortcomings of past efforts, and how evaluation can help. The paper then discusses public archaeology as a natural theoretical and methodological bridge between archaeology and international development, and examines the limits of current evaluation methods, which are not systematic or focus on a limited number of impacts.

Looking ahead, the review recommends testing development evaluation methods in the context of archaeological projects to develop the toolbox of evaluation methods available in the heritage sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Archaeology
Issue number1-4
Early online date16 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • public archaeology
  • development
  • evaluation
  • impact
  • methods

Cite this