Public Archaeology – HM814

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
AUEB, Athens
(version 2)
View Timetable
7 15 (7.5)


This module is taught at the Athens Centre, and is therefore only available to students studying on the MA in Heritage Management.


Public archaeology has developed as part of a need for a more socially engaged, publicly significant archaeological practice. It is representative of a reflexive turn in archaeology that has opened the discipline up to its social impact, as well as the social factors that influence and shape it. Heritage management, as part of public archaeology, is similarly affected by the social context in which it develops, and is influenced by local or global relationships with the remains of the ancient or more recent past, as well as ideas about resource ownership.

This module has been designed to provide the knowledge necessary in addressing the social implications of an archaeological site, and evaluating the impact of its management program. It will present the key debates in the field by critically presenting the genealogy of public archaeology, and present issues that may arise from the way the past is understood and used today. Students should be able to design and conduct their own research with relevant groups and stakeholders, and be aware of several techniques for public engagement and collaborative community work.

This module will run throughout the spring term, with a 3-hour lecture/seminar each week. In every lecture/seminar, you are expected to hand in a short summary (600 words) of the main points of the required bibliography, and then present their main points of interest in class so as to initiate discussion. These assignments do not have a percentage in the final grade but they will be discussed in class and you will be marked absent if you fail to submit them.


This module appears in:


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Indicative reading

Castañeda, Q., Matthews, C., (eds) (2008). Ethnographic Archaeologies; Reflections on Stakeholders and Archaeological Practises. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press;
Merriman, N., (ed) (2004). Public Archaeology. London: Routledge;
Meskell, L., (ed.) (1998). Archaeology Under Fire. Nationalism, Politics and Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean. London: Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to recognise and describe issues in public archaeology as interdisciplinary and cross-cultural phenomena;
Students will be able to evaluate the political, historical, and social issues related to an archaeological or heritage site;
Students will be able to understand, assess and compare different theoretical approaches on public archaeology;
Students will be able to demonstrate skills in critical analysis through an engagement with a number of public archaeology issues;
Students will be able to identify stakeholders, interests, and audience groups for a given site and engage them in a culturally intelligible way;
Students will be able to demonstrate skills relating to heritage management and other related subject areas.

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