Supporting Community Archaeology in the UK
On 10 April 2010, the CBA released its report Community Archaeology in the UK: Recent Findings.
‘Community Archaeology’ has recently become a popular term in archaeology, being used to describe activities ranging from work carried out by professional archaeological organisations in which public involvement is encouraged, through to the many activities that are initiated and led by local communities themselves, such as historic building conservation, landscape survey projects, and of course excavations. However, the exact scale and types of activities taking place, that may be classed as ‘community archaeology’, has yet to be identified at a national level.
The CBA has always championed the role of the voluntary sector in archaeology, and with recent funding from the Headley Trust, we have appointed a Community Archaeology Support Officer, Suzie Thomas. The first phase of her work is to carry out a major piece of research into the scale, nature, location and needs of the voluntary sector in archaeology in the UK. Just how much archaeological work is carried out on a voluntary basis? And how can an organisation like the CBA better support those voluntary participants?
The research will take the form of a nationwide survey of the groups and societies that may be engaging, or have the potential to engage, with community archaeology in its many forms. In addition, Suzie will be out and about visiting groups, community archaeologists and other heritage professionals to gain a greater impression of the types of interactions taking place, and, where appropriate, what potential there is to develop this further. Her travels and adventures, as well as progress updates, can be followed at the Community Archaeology Support Officer Blog.
A final report will feature on the CBA website in due course, but any enquiries in the meantime can be emailed to Suzie. Another intended outcome of the research is the enhancement of the Community Archaeology Forum. So, please do take a look at this website, and email with any suggestions.
For those interested, the transcript and Powerpoint presentation of a recent paper presented by Dan Hull and Suzie Thomas on the development of the Community Archaeology Forum at the Institute for Archaeologists conference in Torquay, in a session titled “Communities in the Field”, can be viewed below:
On 12th September 2009 the CBA held a workshop on community archaeology. The presentations from this workshop are now available to view:
- A History of Community Archaeology in Leicestershire: Peter Liddle (Leicestershire County Council) (PDF | 1.8 MB)
- Community Archaeology: a volunteers perspective: Rosemary Leavesley (Barkby Field Walking Group) (PDF | 0.9 MB)
- CBA Community Archaeology Research: Suzie Thomas (CBA) (PDF | 0.7 MB)
- Community archaeology and outreach in Warwickshire: Christina Evans (Warwickshire County Council) (PDF | 2.5 MB)
- Community archaeology in Northern Ireland: Malachy Conway (National Trust) (PDF | 1.3 MB)
- The Adopt-A-Monument Project: Phil Richardson (Archaeology Scotland) (PDF | 3.4 MB)
- The Victorian Terraced House Excavation, Sheffield: Sally Rodgers (Heeley City Farm) (PDF | 1.6 MB)
- Public Excavations at the Butts, Worcester: Justin Hughes (Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service) (PDF | 2.0 MB)
- The Exploration Tywi Project: Alice Pyper (Dyfed Archaeological Trust) (PDF | 1.3 MB)
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