What's the meaning of Stonehenge

Lorna Richardson, Tony Pickering

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Contemporary social media, of whatever type, is a “field site for the examination of heritage-focused social & economic power structures, of political expediency, & the source of symbolic resources for nationhood & identity” (Richardson 2019). I want to understand what professional archaeological expertise means to people outside the archaeological sector, especially to people who rarely encounter the formalities of academic archaeology. It’s relatively straightforward for a professional archaeologist to understand the latest interpretations of Stonehenge (or elsewhere) by other academics. But there have been relatively few attempts to understand what the process of archaeological work, the finds & the many narratives presented in the media might mean, if anything, to most everyday regular people. This has always seemed to me to be a huge oversight for archaeologists. Understanding what the wider public might understand about archaeology means we can support more responsive public engagement, improve access & storytelling, & have a better view of the role that archaeology plays in informing our national & individual identities
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationEpoiesen: A Journal for Creative Engagement with Archaeology and History
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021


  • public archaeology
  • Stonehenge
  • digital research
  • Archaeology

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