The aim of this community is to create a place for discussion of issues that particularly affect Early Career Archaeologists (ECAs) in the academic and commercial sectors. The creation of a forum to discuss the raising of awareness and development of recommendations to address these issues will greatly improve the representation of this cohort.
Early Career Archaeologists (ECAs), defined here as postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers and young professionals, are under-represented and under-supported in archaeology.
Challenges encountered by ECAs typically include job insecurity, imposed mobility, and lack of research freedom, independence and results ownership[SF1]. Employment precarity is being exacerbated by a trend of casualisation and proliferation of short fixed-term contracts in the academic and commercial sectors, as well as a culture of publish-or-perish even during periods of under- or un-employment. Pressures on ECAs working in archaeology are compounded by the fact that archaeology is a small, competitive field, with no standard ethical practices regarding, for instance, recognition of contribution to archaeological fieldwork and authorship. As it stands, there are few places for ECAs to come together as an international community, particularly transecting sub-disciplines of archaeology and professional sectors. The ECA Community will provide that platform.
• To promote the representation of ECAs in the wider archaeological community and their recognition as ‘professionals‘, regardless of their educational and occupational status.
• The creation of an inter-sectorial platform for the raising of ECA-related issues and discussion.
• Encouraging membership and participation of ECAs in the EAA to help create a representative discipline, reflecting the diversity of scholarship and career trajectories pursued by ECAs.