Do you even know what public archaeology is? Trends, theory, practice, ethics

Lorna-Jane Richardson, Jaime Almansa-Sánchez

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90 Citations (Scopus)
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Archaeology is a discipline influenced by emerging cultural trends, especially with regard to theoretical approaches to interpretation and practice. Public archaeology is a relatively young approach, still finding its feet, and loose definitions of it have opened the door to multiple perspectives and opportunities. When research agendas include the issue of public engagement, we need to approach our practices critically from the beginning, and consider the consequences of ‘doing’ public archaeology. Moving beyond an understanding of the theoretical backdrop to our work, we first need to situate our work socially, politically and economically. This article will bring necessary critique to some current trends in public archaeology, proposing that commitment to sustainability, inclusivity and ethics are the basis for a responsible practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-211
Number of pages18
JournalWorld Archaeology
Issue number2
Early online date13 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • economy
  • ethics
  • politics
  • practice
  • Public archaeology
  • theory

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