Public Archaeology

About the Community

Established: 2013
Last renewed: 2015
Lorna Richardson (
Jaime Almansa Sanchez (

With nearly 30 colleagues from 9 countries, the 19th Meeting of the EAA in Pilsen saw the birth of the new Working Group in Public Archaeology.

During the last years we have attended an increasing interest in topics directly related with public archaeology. This is why in 2012, a small group thought about starting an international network for public archaeology, founding "the Public Archaeology Group". Conscious that public archaeology should be a transversal discipline within archaeology, we thought that taking part in other major associations was essential, and we started this group.

During the first WGPA meeting, which was attended by a dozen colleagues (and backed by over 50 during the first session), we discussed the main topics of interest; amongst these, the definition of Public Archaeology itself seemed to be a priority. We agreed, both in the meeting and the following EAA session, that Tim Schadla-Hall´s definion published in the European Journal of Archaeology (Schadla-Hall 1999) was the starting point, and that it was important to maintain a broad sense of the term, as the multiple relationships between archaeology and society, was the better option to keep moving forward.

The WGPA decided:

  •  to set a network of professionals working in public archaeology, as the basis for further communication and a wider group;
  • to raise the profile of Public Archaeology within the EAA, organizing sessions related to public archaeology during meetings and participating with public archaeology papers in other sessions where they can fit;
  • to try political lobbying, as a way to highlight the need to include clear policies in many aspects related to public archaeology. We see with fear some legal changes across Europe and a lack of participation. The group would help to promote standards or anything needed;
  • to work as a platform to help people to start working in Public Archaeology, as we feel from practice that many people misunderstand public archaeology and the consequences of a wrong practice can be worrying. We do not pretend to be the only source of "rightness" but we think we can provide consultation to people willing to practice public archaeology;
  • to leave the theoretical debate for the sessions, (co-)organized by the WGPA and use the meetings of the group only for organizational issues.

Right now, Lorna Richardson (UCL) and Jaime Almansa-Sánchez (JAS Arquelogía) are acting heads of the group, in order to take care of organizational issues.


Read more, interact and follow

Public Archaeology Working Group
(content available to current EAA members).