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Archaeology in Society and Daily Life Challenges and Co-operation in the 21th Century

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life Challenges and Co-operation in the 21th Century


Anne-Mari Lehto Tutkija Kokoelmakeskus 040 773 8352 Kauhakorvenkatu 56, 33720 Tampere PL 487, 33101 Tampere

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

©2013 Authors and Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum Editors: Ulla Lähdesmäki, Sami Raninen, Kerkko Nordqvist Cover Photos: Front © Reetta Tervakangas, Vapriikki Photo Archives 2011: Tammerkoski Rapids in Tampere. Back © Vadim Adel, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum 2004: Medieval village in Kalliala, Tampere Region Publisher: City of Tampere, Museum Services, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum Printing: Eräsalon Kirjapaino Oy, Tampere 2013 Tampereen museoiden julkaisuja 133 ISSN 1237-5276 ISBN 978-951-609-713-1 (paperback) ISBN 978-951-609-714-8 (PDF) 2

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Contents Ulla Lähdesmäki: Foreword ...........................................................................................


Päivi Maaranen: Social and Political Dimensions of Preservation of Archaeological Cultural Heritage: Some Notes Concerning Citizens’ and Politicians’ Points of Views in Finland .....................................................................................................


Mieke Smit, Corien Bakker & Willem Derde: Archaeology in Everyday Life: A Blessing or a Curse? Perspectives from the Netherlands and Flanders, Belgium .......................................................................................................................


Leena Koivisto: 25 Years of Site Management in Finland. What Next? .......................


Jaime Almansa-Sánchez: A Problem of Value? Public Perceptions of the Past and Daily-life-archaeology in Spain ............................................................................


Georgios Alexopoulous & Kalliopi Fouseki: Exploring the rift between archaeological heritage and local communities in a period of economic crisis: Public perceptions from the city of Elefsina, Greece ..................................................


Ben Thomas & Meredith Anderson Langlitz: Sustainable Site Preservation: AIA and the Future of Saving the Past .......................................................................


Ingrid Ulst: Responsible Metal Detecting as a Tool for Enhancing the Protection of Archaeological Heritage ..............................................................................................


Aino Nissinaho: Experiences of the Adopt-a-Monument Programme in Finland .......


Leena Lehtinen: How do Archaeology and Its Products Appear in Popular Culture and Everyday Life? ........................................................................................


Ulla Lähdesmäki: There’s no Place like Home: The Medieval Village as an Archaeological Site and Modern Farm ..................................................................


Sara Kayser: Can the Egyptians’ Close Relationship with Archaeology be Used to Enhance Preservation of Sites and Monuments? .....................................



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life


Foreword affect the status and situation of archaeology in modern society. As part of the Museum Centre Vapriikki, the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum has worked actively on the protection of archaeological heritage in Finland over the last decades. The Museum has developed interactive methods for communicating and participating in the Tampere Region. Developing archaeology as an element of the cultural environment by playing an active role in the society is a continuing process, with numerous challenges. Among its efforts in these areas, the Museum wants to activate social debate and discussions on archaeology. It was an interesting opportunity to hold a scientific session on the topic during the 18th annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Helsinki in 2012. The session was organised by the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, by researchers Ulla L채hdesm채ki, MA, Vadim Adel, MA, and Aino Nissinaho, MA, together with Ingrid Ulst, PhD, from the University of Tartu in Estonia. With participation from colleagues from Estonia, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, Spain, Greece, Egypt and Finland, the session presented and discussed issues related to modern archaeology within tourism, heritage protection, volunteerism and contract archaeology. In order to foster further dialogue, the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum has now published most of the articles presented then in this publication by the Tampere Museums. It serves also as a cross-section of the different conditions in which archaeological efforts are carried out in Europe and beyond.

rchaeology is meaningful and important to archaeologists wherever they work. But what is its significance to the rest of society? Despite the relevance of the field to many contexts, indifference is displayed towards archaeological heritage in many instances in the modern world. Archaeology may be seen as an obstacle to development in society, and it sometimes becomes involved in environmental conflicts. Today, archaeology is a growing aspect of tourism, and it is becoming a popular hobby with large numbers of volunteers. There is no one answer as to how work should be done within archaeology, and no single right way to interact with people in the society. Some archaeologists even claim that there is no need to question or debate the significance or status of archaeology in society. Archaeologists as individuals in organised institutions make demands on public resources destined towards archaeological work, whether it is done at universities or in heritage protection organisations, museums or the private sector. This is one of the reasons why archaeologists must think about how their community communicates and interacts with its various stakeholders. In addition to developing archaeological research and heritage management, it is essential that we consider questions such as How does archaeology appear in society? To what extent do archaeologists allow the public and extra-archaeological communities to take part in their work and to experience archaeological heritage in its various forms? Besides their scientific and ethical responsibilities, archaeological communities have a social mandate. Archaeologists themselves can

ULLA L채hDeSm채ki Archaeologist, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland 4

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Social and Political Dimensions of Preservation of Archaeological Cultural heritage: Some Notes Concerning Citizens’ and Politicians’ Points of Views in Finland PäiVi mAArANeN Phil. Lic. The National Board of Antiquities Finland


in general. However there are no big differences concerning the social issues between the citizens’ and politicians’ levels. Both groups seem to value the social sustainability very highly and positively, though their points of view are different. The economical sustainability seems to be a problem to some extent for both groups. As a conclusion, the article points out that interaction and discussion between the different groups within the society are the keys for better understanding of archaeological cultural heritage. Keywords: archaeological heritage, management, participation, sustainability


his article discusses how citizens and politicians of the State of Finland take a stand with the archaeological cultural heritage. In this connection the article reflects the way we see the past and how we understand and value it. In addition, the article tries to figure out some relevant ideas for promoting the consciousness and comprehension concerning the archaeological heritage in general. There have been two different kinds of source materials in looking into these questions of consciousness and comprehension of the past and archaeological heritage. The framework for discussion is sustainability, which provides relevant aspects of modern-life human activities and allows grouping the study results into relevant entities from society’s point of view. According the study results at a citizen level the social issues get more weight and positive attitudes are connected to them. At a political level the environmental issues are mostly in focus, which may present the needs of the society

Introduction The concept of past is actually a big question, which is under ongoing discussion and redefinition. What we think about the past and its importance connects to our knowledge of realities and options of past and present people and societies. In my mind, the past always connects to remem5

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Forestry (Maa- ja metsätalousministeriö 1999; 2011).

brance and how we understand the subjects we remember. There are both individual and common memories that are important parts of the cultural heritage connecting to us. Thus archaeological heritage reflects our common inherited past but this may be sometimes rather difficult to really understand, especially by other people than experts of archaeology. Indeed, questions of archaeology are not just subjects of remembering but always of knowing too, and it is knowledge that makes the archaeological heritage more understandable. However, knowledge also connects to power and especially to dimensions of ownership and interpretations of the past (Skeates 2000, 20–1). These aspects of power, knowledge and the way we use them must always be taken into consideration as well. In this article, I take a look at how both citizens and politicians of the State of Finland take a stand with the archaeological cultural heritage – the points of view used here include the ones of participation and sustainability. The article is based on a paper that I presented at the 18th annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Helsinki, Finland, 30 August 2012. In that paper my aim was to discuss the way we see the past and how we understand and value it. This article takes the discussion further and tries to figure out some relevant ideas for promoting the consciousness and comprehension concerning the archaeological heritage in general. The background for the discussion is provided by the result of a previous research concerning the topic (Helminen 2007) as well as my own studies of the political strategies by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and

Sources of the Study I have used two different kinds of source materials in looking into the questions of consciousness and comprehension of the past and archaeological heritage. The first of these consists of the results of a questionnaire study from year 2007, which concerned the attitudes of local landowners towards the management of archaeological sites and monuments (Helminen 2007). At that time, the National Board of Antiquities was responsible for the management and maintenance activities of ancient sites and monuments and had the need to get feedback from the landowners. Though the questionnaire study is several years old, its results still give some understanding of common people’s ideas of archaeology and its relevance to their daily life. The study included several questions that gave landowners an opportunity to express their ideas of the management activities and their results, as well as of other matters connected to ancient sites and monuments. Concerning this article, the questions in the questionnaire were not fully focused, but still valid-enough to provide material for discussion and interpretations.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

big issue in person’s position or status. The so-called everyman’s right guarantees public the free access even to privately owned lands, with only some restrictions applying (Ympäristöministeriö 2007). The second source material consists of a textual analysis of a political strategy called Finland’s National Forest Programme (Fi. Kansallinen metsäohjelma), which is administrated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Maa- ja metsätalousministeriö 1999; 2011). The Programme itself contains a political decision of the Finnish government. In this connection, the importance of forestry and the economic activities connected to this branch must be taken into consideration. In Finland, there is a slogan ‘Suomi elää metsistä’ (En. Finland lives from the forests) that mirrors the central role the forest-based production has on the welfare of State. Therefore, the National Forest Programme is like a window to the minds of political decision makers and allows making assumptions about attitudes and ideas relevant for them. The National Forest Programme presents big and vast political alignments of the forestry branch. It includes the aims and goals, as well as the intended concrete actions to fulfil the aims, and several work groups and other bodies work intensively to ensure that the goals are achieved under the Ministry. These experts at work are not professionals of archaeology, or even cultural heritage, but forest developers, nature researchers and other experts and administrators. Nevertheless, they must remember and take into consideration the questions of cultural heritage in general, as well as matters of archaeological heritage, landscape and built environment in

Fig 1. Small medieval castle of Junkarsborg in Raasepori, southern Finland, is an example of a monument which has been a target of vast and ongoing management activities. Photo Päivi Maaranen, National Board of Antiquities.

In this connection it is important to notice that people who participated in the questionnaire study were familiar both with ancient monuments and archaeologists because of ongoing, and sometimes quite extensive, management activities made by the National Board of Antiquities (Fig 1). Therefore they present a special group of citizens with some knowledge of archaeology gained through their own experiences and relationships with experts of archaeology. Actually, they can not be seen as tabula rasa when archaeology and its meaning in everyday life are considered. In addition, it is worth mentioning that Finnish land ownership differs from many other European countries, and is based on rather small estates owned by common people. In this sense owning land is not a 7

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Some Theoretical Aspects and the Study Results

particular. To most of these experts archaeology is familiar due to different kinds of forest use activities as well as administrative actions concerning the preservation of different kind of archaeological heritage and other features of forest culture. The textual analysis covered the body texts of both versions of the National Forest Programme: the National Forest Programme 2010 (38 pages) and the National Forest Programme 2015 (49 pages) (Maaja metsätalousministeriö 1999; 2011). During the analysis words culture, heritage and landscape were sought from the body texts. In addition, the contexts of words were studied in order to understand the relations in which they should be understood and interpreted. The seeking of words was managed with a digital search programme, and all words with their textual context were extracted for closer study. As a conclusion, the two source materials differ from each other in many ways and therefore handling and interpreting them has been quite a task. The main challenge has lain in achieving a level of reliability – how to make any relevant conclusions about the attitudes of the society based on rather limited sources and studies with contextually narrowly analysed results? Further, how to figure out any real life actions, which would successfully promote the importance of archaeological heritage both at laymen’s as well as at political level? Keeping this in mind, I suggest that the reasoning and ideas presented in the following are seen more indicative than real facts.

When thinking about the importance and valuation of archaeological heritage, there are several theoretical frameworks available for discussing the matter. In this case I decided to choose the framework somewhere between practice and theory and ended up to sustainability (eg Bartlett 1998; Kates et al 2005). This may be a bit old way to see the world but it still provides relevant aspects of modern-life human activities. Further, it allows grouping the study results into relevant entities from society’s point of view. Life is something more than just our everyday activities; it always contains dimensions of past and future as well, which, on its behalf, adds to the importance of the selected point of view, sustainability. In my study, the spheres of sustainability are actually tools for both understanding our present and planning the future.

Fig 2. Spheres of sustainability and relationships between them. Inspired by the Three Spheres of Sustainability (2010).


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

in general. However, very interesting viewpoints appear in connection to questions the landowners did not answer or towards which they have the most negative attitudes. These questions mainly connect with matters of cooperation with administrative bodies and financial support systems governed by the Finnish state and the EU. Interestingly though, the landowners found the most problematic the question of grazing at sites and monuments, which, in fact, would be the traditional way of agricultural management of land. Most respondents gave a negative answer and many left the question concerning grazing open. This is rather surprising because most landowners were farmers or owned land suitable for farming. When the questionnaire answers are organised from sustainability’s point of view, we get closer to the landowners’ way of thinking (Fig 3). The questions concerning the social sphere of the management of archaeological sites and monuments have the most positive answers, except for the cooperation with administrators. General approval for the site management activities and visitors coming to see the archaeological cultural heritage could reflect that social interaction between the members of the society is generally accepted and even welcomed. The questions providing knowledge of the economical sphere seem to mirror mainly negative attitudes, which should wake the State and its representatives. If common people are not even interested in support systems and applying money for taking care of the heritage, there must be problems in the systems themselves, as the heritage is intrinsically seen in a positive light.

Sustainability includes social, cultural, economical and environmental spheres (Fig 2). These spheres are not separated but closely connected, which I find extremely important. For instance, no human being exists without environment, or culture or economy without social relationships. Such connections should awake us to notice that the balance between the spheres is rather important and requires caretaking and understanding. People cannot live without social context because we all need support at least during childhood and adolescence or when falling ill. Further, economy grows or holds firm only when there is a tolerable well-being amongst the members of the society. Without healthy and resource-rich environment we are not able to live long and without culture we are maybe not capable of producing anything long-lasting in this world. This may sound simple, but basically many things seem to depend on the interaction between man and nature as well as man and society.

The Questionnaire Study The questionnaire study focused mainly on private landowners on whose land the National Board of Antiquities had managed ancient sites and monuments. The number of questions in the questionnaire was 15 and the number of randomly selected landowners 145. Of these, 64 replied making the response rate of the study 44.1%, which can be seen moderate at least. A quick glimpse into the questionnaire results reveals that there is a general approval for the archaeological site management activities amongst private landowners. This could imply that they also have positive attitudes towards cultural heritage 9

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life






80 60 40 No answer


Negative Interest towards grazing

Benefits of the activities

Interest towards of supports (heritage)

Interest towards supports (agriculture)

More co-operation in the activities

Disorder caused by visitors

Disorder caused by activities

Information of the activities

Management activities



Fig 3. Results of the questionnaire study from sustainability’s point of view.

of the analysed texts: ‘Forest-based culture represents a centuries-old continuum for business and leisure activities, as well as a source of personal experiences’ and ‘Completing inventories on the cultural heritage sites located in state-owned forests, and launching inventories on private forests’ (Maa- ja metsätalousministeriö 2011, 28, 31). The first example describes how culture is connected to the everyday activities of the society, whereas the second example presents one concrete indicator for measuring the achievements of the Programme. Concerning both versions of the National Forest Programme, the amount of paragraphs containing words culture, heritage or landscape was not very numerous. In addition, word archaeology did not exist at all, but the prehistoric remains were mentioned in few cases in the older version. The analysis revealed that the National Forest Programme mainly concentrates on general ideas of Finnish cultural heritage and how to maintain it during forestry activities. In addition, there seemed to be a general need

The questions concerning the environment were too few but the answers connected to grazing may mirror some vexation amongst the landowners. The environmental sphere should largely be seen in the context of financial support systems of agriculture provided by the EU and the State. In addition, nature protection activities, which the landowners often experience in a negative way, are part of this context. According to this study, landowners experience grazing as a negative option, but without further studies we do not know if this is due to the strict grazing regulations placed by the financial support systems or if grazing is just a non-interesting option for tending the land.

The Textual Analysis of the National Forestry Programme Complete body texts of the Finland’s National Forest Programme were placed under a textual analysis and cultural heritage issues were focused on at different points. The following examples give an overall idea 10

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

ideas of common Finnish cultural heritage, as well as mental ideas of culture and mental welfare. In addition, measures through which general knowledge of forest heritage is achieved gain weight. The later version of the Programme, 2015, seems to put more weight on the social sphere than the earlier, 2010 Programme.

to underline that cultural heritage must be taken into consideration when managing forests. When the results of word analysis are organised from the point of view of sustainability (Fig 4), we get closer to the way of thinking practiced in administrative and political contexts. In this connection, the social sphere seems to be concerned with 9 8


7 6


5 4 3 2


1 0

Pointed in the forestry program 2015 Pointed in the forestry program 2010

Fig 4. Results of the word analysis from sustainability’s point of view.

gramme, which may connect to the differences in socio-economical situation of the Finnish society during the time when the versions were written. In general, the versions are both prepared in a rather steady economical situation without a fear of economical or other problems. However, some slight changes connected to the social sphere could indicate wider changes in Finnish society, including the increasing influence of multicultural groups and growing understanding of culture and its changing character through the time.

The environmental sphere appears to have more weight in the Programme than the social sphere. Maintaining heritage and landscape during forestry activities appears to be important and especially the earlier 2010 version underlines these matters in many paragraphs. The economical sphere is very rarely brought into discussion in the context of cultural heritage. However, there are already attempts to incorporate heritage as a part of the economical use too. There are some differences between the two versions of the National Forest Pro11

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Concluding Remarks

Based on the analysis, there are no big differences concerning the social sphere between the citizens’ and politicians’ levels. Both groups seem to value the social sustainability very highly and positively, though their points of view are different. The economical sustainability seems to be a problem to some extent for both groups. There even rises a question, what is the economical sustainability like that would serve both the citizens and politicians in heritage questions? Also the environmental sustainability is a good question that would require more consideration, because it connects so deeply to the preservation activities in general. Indeed, preservation requires positive attitudes from citizens and politicians alike to succeed. The needs for making this pre-study originate from a worry that cultural heritage in general, and archaeological cultural heritage in particular, are not seen ‘important enough’ in our modern societies where economical needs get all the time more and more weight. Archaeological sites and monuments are not producing quick returns and sometimes their very existence is difficult to understand – things you are not seeing are not in your mind. Further, understanding historical contexts connected to cultural heritage in general may be difficult and requires knowledge concerning the past. Without knowledge and information the archaeological cultural heritage is irrelevant and does not require or get any attention.

In general, the study presented in this article is in itself a pre-study with an attempt to use different kinds of sources in revealing ideas and attitudes towards archaeological cultural heritage and its preservation. A study concentrating on these kind of questions is naturally challenging and would require a deeper analysis as well as better source materials produced in more systematic ways. However, the present results point out that, if necessary, there are possibilities to get relatively good knowledge of citizens’ and political decision makers’ viewpoints concerning questions of cultural heritage. This kind of knowledge helps us to understand each other better, as well as to plan and carry out more effective preservation measures. When comparing the knowledge acquired through the landowner questionnaire and the analysis of the National Forest Programme texts, some interesting differences become visible. At a citizen level the social sphere gets more weight and positive attitudes are connected to it, which is rather understandable. Social connections are actually part of everyday life of the citizens and rather easily managed by them. At a political, or should I say an administrative, level the environmental sphere is mostly in focus, which may present the needs of the society in general. It is very interesting that the economical sphere gets noticed so little, and in a rather negative way, from the citizens’ side. Would the situation be different nowadays with severe global economical problems and the ever-going discussion of growth?


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

keys for better understanding of archaeological cultural heritage. To promote archaeology in the society we all should be part of a larger circle of ongoing and steady discussion, in which everybody speaks and really listens to each other (Fig 5). When we listen we understand and when we understand we can express ourselves better to other people – and when other people understand us, they may give more value to the heritage that is so important to us archaeologists. It takes time, and some pain too I am afraid, but in real life it may wake more positive interest towards the preservation of archaeological cultural heritage and even guarantee us those financial resources that we always so deeply need in archaeology. 




Speaking Fig 5. Dimensions of understanding in situations of interaction.

As a conclusion, I want to point out that interaction and discussion between the different groups within the society are the

References Bartlett, A A, 1998 reflections on Sustainability, Population Growth, and the environment – revisited, Renewable Resources Journal 15(4), 6–23 [online], available from: [18.8.2012] helminen, m, 2007 kysely maanomistajille koskien muinaisjäännösten hoitoa maalis-huhtikuussa 2007, Unpublished questionnaire study report, National Board of Antiquities, helsinki kates, r W, Parris, T m, and Leiserowitz, A A, 2005 What is sustainable development? Goals, indicators, values, and practice, Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 47(3), 8–21 [online], available from: kates_0504.pdf [18.8.2012] maa- ja metsätalousministeriö,1999 Finland’s National Forest Programme 2010, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Publications 2/1999 [online], available from: attachments/metsat/kmo/5gpA9OecX/The_programme_2010en.pdf [9.1.2013] maa- ja metsätalousministeriö, 2011 Finland’s National Forest Programme 2015, Turning the Finnish Forest Sector into a responsible Pioneer in Bioeconomy. Government resolution 16, December 2010, Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry [online], available from: http:// [9.1.2013] 13

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Skeates, r, 2000 Debating the Archaeological heritage, Duckworth Debates in Archaeology, Gerald Duckworth and Co. Ltd., London Three Spheres of Sustainability, 2010 The Three Spheres of Sustainability [online], available from: [18.8.2012] Ympäristöministeriö, 2007 Everyman’s Right in Finland, Public Access to the Countryside: Rights and Responsibilities [online], available from: asp?contentid=25603&lan=fi [4.12.2012]


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Archaeology in everyday Life: A Blessing or a Curse? Perspectives from the Netherlands and Flanders, Belgium Drs. mieke SmiT City archaeologist Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Drs. COrieN BAkker City archaeologist Den Haag, The Netherlands

Drs. WiLLem DerDe Director Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation Hoge Mote, Belgium


People of the Heath) celebrate the great acts of their forebears, the Germans, in their lyrics. On their album Uit oude grond (En. From old soil) they sing about the Batavian Revolt (AD 69–70).1 Their texts are based on local archaeological research. They claim to educate their public, to teach history. This is an example of archaeology in everyday life, which few professional archaeologists seem to take seriously. Their reaction is rather mildly amused or even bemused, with perhaps a touch of disbelief.


s a result of the implementation of the Treaty of Malta the discipline of archaeology has outgrown the university lecture halls and has become an important economic activity. With the growth of professional archaeology the relevance and benefit of archaeology for society in general is put into question. This situation is unfortunate because the need for a popular archaeology has never been greater. Keywords: Belgium, the Netherlands, professional archaeology, popular archaeology

Prologue The folk metal band Heidevolk (En. The




Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

A growing divide

interest and involvement in the results of archaeological research. This growing divide between professional archaeology and popular demand exists both in the Netherlands and in Flanders (Fig 1). If archaeology wants to bridge this gap, we will need to rethink its status: is it an activity that can only be performed by university-trained students, or can archaeology fulfil a role that goes beyond professional archaeology and help to restore a link with our past for all of us?

In 2012, there seems to be a growing divide between scientific or professional archaeology and archaeology in everyday life or popular archaeology. On the one hand, there is the general feeling that the products of professional archaeology (scientific reports, for instance) are of no use to a larger public. And yet, that very same public has to foot the bill! On the other hand, it is noticeable that there is also considerable

Fig 1. Map of Belgium and The Netherlands . Gemeente Nijmegen, bureau Archeologie en Monumenten.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Once, archaeology was a pastime, a hobby for the well-to-do. In the 17th century Nijmegen, eastern Netherlands, for instance, father and son Smetius, both vicars, were ardent collectors of Roman antiquities, who used their collection to write the history of Nijmegen. In later centuries, too, archaeology was dominated by amateurs who practised their hobby in their spare time. Again, this can be illustrated by another example from Nijmegen: at the beginning of the 20th century Gerard Marius Kam (1836– 1922), who had made his fortune in commercial shipping and steel trade, invested a large part of his wealth in the collecting of Roman artefacts found in the area. Nowadays, his collection can still be seen in the Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen2. An interesting figure from the early days of Belgian archaeology is Edouard Joly (1812–87) from the city of Ronse, western Belgium. This lawyer and notary amassed a fortune thanks to the thriving textile industry in the city. He conducted several archaeological excavations at Ronse and beyond. His most spectacular find was a Celtic golden torque, today exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Interestingly, he was also one of the founding fathers of tourism to the Belgian Ardennes, since he instigated an archaeological theme park there: in Bois Joly the remnants of this park, including a so-called menhir and a dolmen, can still be seen (Fig 2). Parallel to this ‘amateur archaeology’, from the 19th century onwards, archaeology also developed as a science. For a long time, however, scientific archaeological re-

Fig 2. In the 19th century Edouard Joly instigated an archaeological theme park in the Belgian Ardennes. Photo Ename Center.

search remained small in scale and scope, and depended on, for instance, the more or less coincidental interests of museum directors.

Professionalisation in archaeology In the Netherlands this changed only after World War II. Many Dutch cities were heavily damaged, and when reconstruction began after the war, new roads and houses were built on a scale never seen before. In 1947 a government agency was established to conduct archaeological research. Several cities started to employ their own archaeologists too. Furthermore, a number of universities conducted research. The amateur archaeologists, having formed their national society in 1951, were allowed to practise their hobby, and excavate either directed by professional archaeologists, or, occasionally, even completely on their own. Since 2007, when the Treaty of Malta was implemented in Dutch law (Culture Heritage Agency n.d.), a completely new

2 The website of the museum:


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

the results and the finds. In other words, the relevance and benefit of archaeology for the society in general is put into question, because archaeology has turned into a profession that is mainly assessed from an economic perspective. This situation is unfortunate, because anno 2012 the need for a ‘popular archaeology’ has never been greater.

situation has developed once again. More than before, archaeology has witnessed a remarkable growth of professionalisation: apart from several local authorities, commercial archaeological companies, bound to follow the rules set down in the Quality Norm Dutch Archeology (SIKB n.d.), now conduct fieldwork. Amateur archaeologists feel side-tracked, for there seems to be little room for them in the new system. In Flanders, the situation is more or less the same. There used to be local archaeological organisations, run by amateur archaeologists, who were active at different levels of professionalism. Only the universities and the state agency for archaeology performed large scale scientific excavations. However, contrary to what happened in the Netherlands, amateur archaeologists never organised themselves on a national level. Today they are without a voice. The world of archaeology is dominated by companies who pop up like mushrooms and who create their own professional lobby groups.3 Along with the growth of professional and commercial archaeology there has been a steady increase of criticism against archaeology in general. This is the case both in the Netherlands and in Flanders. Newspaper articles with headings such as ‘After the pestilence, the bill’, with a story about the discovery of a medieval pestilence mass grave in the city of Dendermonde in Belgium (De Standaard, 2011a), or ‘One coin costs 1 million euro’ (De Standaard, 2011b), or ’50,000 euro just for two pots’ (De Standaard, 2011c) are no longer the exception but the rule. What they have in common is a critical assessment highlighting the heavy costs in comparison to

Fig 3. Children’s playground in The Hague, on the site of a 13th-century farmhouse. Photo gemeente Den Haag, afdeling Archeologie.

‘These stones cannot speak for themselves’ The involvement of the public with, and its interest in, the results of archaeological research often are extensive. For instance, public opinion surveys and street interviews in Den Haag, the Netherlands, 3 See the website of VONA, the professional organisation of Flemish archaelogy firms, available from:


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

between 2009 and 2012 tell us that 60% of the people like initiatives of archaeological visualisations in public areas, and especially in their own neighbourhood (Fig 3;, n.d.). In 2011, emotions were running high in Nijmegen due to the discovery of the foundations of a 14th century tower, the existence of which had been unknown until that time (De Geldelander 2011). For the professional archaeologists these foundations, although doubtless of great scientific interest, were essentially nothing more than a pile of bricks. To the general public, however, they were much more than that. After an article in the local newspaper, these brick foundations were soon called ‘the Lost Tower’. Public attention was overwhelming, and when it became necessary to cover up the foundations in order to protect them from the worsening weather, people kept on asking to be allowed to see the ruins. The people of Nijmegen expressed their wish to preserve the foundations and to make ‘the Lost Tower’ on view at the exact spot where it had been found. When it became clear that the costs of preserving the tower in its present location would be inhibitive and that the remains would have to be relocated, a wave of protests broke out. The protesters implied in newspaper articles that the alderwoman responsible for the matter did not care for the cultural heritage of the city. They saw themselves as the true defenders of the city’s past with the words: ‘These stones cannot speak for themselves, so we must be their voices!’

In Antwerp, Belgium, a rather similar story can be told about the former Spanish city walls, now known as the ‘Leien’. Demolished in the 19th century to make room for the expansion of the city, they were excavated in the opening years of the 21st century during road construction works. A committee was formed to plead for the preservation of the walls. When that turned out to be impossible, the people of Antwerp suggested preservation at a different location. To archaeologists, this was out of the question, since that would be contrary to

Fig 4. The foundations of a 14th-century tower in Nijmegen, called ‘the Lost Tower’. Photo gemeente Nijmegen, bureau Archeologie en Monumenten.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

ual link with the past. To them, archaeology is an exciting journey of discovery into the past of their own city or region.

the ‘historical truth’ – they did not care about the emotional aspect of the matter ( 2005).


Despite reconstructions, apps, and modern technology, people want to be part of this journey of discovery, and some are prepared to go quite a long way. We can only succeed in channelling that interest, to preserve our common heritage and ensure that the money and resources poured into archaeological research remain acceptable to the public, if we, as professionals, succeed in sharing that exciting feeling of discovery with the general public. 

What do these mounting emotions show? A growing amount of scientific reports is not what people want. Instead, they seek the opportunity to get into contact with archaeology in a direct way by getting the chance to feel and handle authentic material, by getting an explanation that makes sense and by being provided with understandable visualisations or reconstructions. More and more, they search for an individ-

References, 2005, Archeologen niet opgezet met actie pater Versteylen [online], 4 April 2005, available from: [7 march 2013] Cultural heritage Agency, n.d. Archaeological monuments [online], available from: http://www. [7 march 2013], n.d. Factsheets Stadsenquête 2011 [online], available from: http://www.denhaag. nl/home/bewoners/to/Factsheets-Stadsenquete-2011.htm [7 march 2013] De Gelderlander, 2011, [newspaper articles] 17 January, 19 January, 25 January & 21 February 2011 De Standaard, 2011a [newspaper article], 1 April 2011, 10–1 De Standaard, 2011b [newspaper article] 14 July 2011, 23 De Standaard, 2011c [newspaper article] 11 August 2011 SikB, n.d. About SIKB [online], available from: [7 march 2013]

Suggestions for further reading Deconinck, J, 1963 Quelques mots sur les documents d’edouard Joly, Annalen Geschied- en Oudheidkundige Kring van Ronse en het Tenement van Inde 12, 32–75 Verfürden, B, 2010 Uit de marge in het brandpunt: erfgoed, identiteit en politiek in ’s lands oudste stad, Neerlands hoop. Erfgoed en politiek, 54–67


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

25 Years of Site management in Finland. What Next? LeeNA kOiViSTO Researcher Satakunta Museum Pori, Finland


ment and upkeep of the landscape, informative management (signposts, information boards) and physical accessibility (paths, stairs). Management became possible with the implementation of the Employment Act, which released funds from the state’s employment budget (Koivisto & Tiitinen 1995; Mikkonen-Hirvonen & Tiitinen 2000). The NBA’s management program encompassed nearly 250 ancient remains annually up until 2010 (National Board of Antiquities’ Database for Managed Sites and Monuments). It was then that the NBA began a reorganization which, together with severe budget cuts, led to a dramatic drop in the amount of available resources in 2011–2012. Today the management of ancient remains has decreased by about 60% from what it once was. This is in direct conflict with the claims of the Ministry of Culture and Education concerning the importance of cultural heritage education and the fact that cultural heritage belongs to everybody. We face a major upheaval. Who is responsible for the cultural heritage considered to be one of the basic elements of a good life?


n Finland the systematic site management of ancient remains was begun by the National Board of Antiquities in 1988. The management program encompassed nearly 250 ancient remains per year. Budget cutbacks led to dramatic cuts in the amount of available resources in 2011-2012 and today the management of ancient remains has decreased severely. In Satakunta region a questionnaire was conducted to study opinions toward site management work and archaeological sites as places of interest. Based on the results the importance of site management work is discussed - not only for the accessibility and good conditions of the sites but also for understanding the past and respecting archaeological heritage in general. Keywords: site management, archaeological site, questionnaire, accessibility, maintenance, path, information board

Introduction In Finland the systematic management of archaeological sites and historical monuments was initiated by the National Board of Antiquities (NBA) in 1988. Here, site management means the concrete manage21

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Survey of opinions on site management Site management work began in the region of Satakunta, South-West Finland, in 1994. In 2011 the Satakunta Museum and the NBA conducted a survey in order to study opinions and expectations concerning site management and archaeological sites as places of interest. The Satakunta Museum in Pori has organized field trips and archaeological excursions for the general public in Satakunta for the last several years. These trips have proven very popular, most years with full busloads of people interested in prehistory visiting archaeological sites. There were excellent opportunities for site visits thanks to the NBA’s annual work in the past 15 years managing and caring for some 30 to 50 archaeological monuments in the Satakunta area (National Board of Antiquities’ Database for Managed Sites and Monuments). During an excursion in the fall of 2011, a questionnaire was handed out to participants, to examine their opinions about these field trips and sites, and especially their feelings towards the management of the archaeological sites (Koivisto 2011). There were 39 responses, from 13 male and 26 female respondents. No background information on their age or education level was requested, but it is known that there were representatives from all age groups: students, the working aged and senior citizens. Some of the participants were longtime friends of the museum and enthusiasts of archaeology who take part in all the events organized by the museum, but there also were many members of the “general public”, out on their very first archaeological field trip.

Fig 1. Guided tours to archaeological sites are very popular. Photo Carita Tulkki, Satakunta Museum.

The survey indicated that the main reason to take part in the field trip was to learn about the prehistory and archaeology of Satakunta, and to find out about the sites in question. The participants were keen to hear stories and tales about the sites. Only a few respondents mentioned nature experiences or beautiful views as a reason to take part. The respondents felt that on a guided field trip such as the one where the questionnaire was handed out, the most important thing was to have something concrete to see at the site, such as stone or earth structures, pits, cairns, etc. It is worth pointing out in this context that many archaeological sites in Finland have very few structures; for example, most Stone Age sites are now cultivated fields or sand pits. The second most important thing for the respondents was that the site should be well taken care of and pleasant to explore and 22

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look at. Many also mentioned information boards as an important facility at the site. When asked about visiting a site without a guide, the respondents’ priorities differed somewhat, with 38 out of 39 respondents citing having a good information board at the site as the most important thing. The actual structures to be seen were only listed second. Other facilities, such as a rest area with benches and bathrooms, were mentioned by only a few. All the sites visited during the trip were included in the NBA’s management program, but some had been without care for the preceding couple of years. The questionnaire asked to what extent the visitors valued the site management work that was carried out. All respondents said that management was either “very important” or “quite important”. The goals and methods of site management work were discussed during the excursion. It was stated that the main goal is always to preserve the site and ensure its protection, but that it is also a priority to develop the use of sites as places of interest. The survey asked what the visitors considered the biggest and most important achievement of the site management work. The top two responses were good informative signage in order to find the place in question, and good information boards at the site to tell visitors about the site’s history. Good visibility and maintenance of the site and its structures were mentioned by many, as were the good condition and clear markings of the paths leading to and around the place. In conclusion, the survey found that visitors consider accessibility to be the most important job of archaeological site maintenance and management. Uniform

road signs are needed to help visitors find the site in the first place, and information boards must be in place to indicate what the site is and why it is important. Paths should be marked and surrounding areas and structures cleared to make it possible to explore, see and understand what the site is about. Rest areas, toilets, coffee and ice cream can be found elsewhere. Those who go to the trouble of finding their way to an archaeological site want to get as much information about it as possible. The time and place for refreshments come after.

How should we respond? Is it possible to fulfil these needs in Finland today?

Fig 2. The medieval site of Liinmaa castle in Eurajoki became one of the first archaeological sites in Satakunta to have site management in 1994. Photo Pentti Pere, Satakunta Museum.

In the near future, the management and maintenance of sites in Finland will probably be left mostly to volunteers, such as various societies or adopters of monuments. The NBA is currently building a new pro23

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gram to financially support land owners and societies who wish to manage a specific archaeological site (National Board of Antiquities press release 2012). This so called “site management benefit” was launched in September 2012, but at the moment it is unknown how it will work, who can apply for it, who will supervise and instruct applicants and recipients, and – ultimately – how long the program will last. All the recent changes will bring new problems. For example, uniform road signs directing visitors to the site and information boards at the site are not items that volunteers can produce or put up. They are subject to licence, some from the landowner and others from the local authority. Both the licences and the signs are costly. Also the information on the boards should be written or at least checked by an archaeologist. A bigger problem is the selection of sites. Landowners who take care of archaeological sites on their land, possibly near their house, may not want it to become a place of interest for tourists and visitors. There are societies willing to take care of a site by clearing the paths from vegetation once or

twice every summer – when the sun shines and coffee is served – but they are probably unwilling to pick up litter or clean up graffiti once a week at a site frequented by larger groups of people. Demand and supply might not meet here. The sites most in need of maintenance are the least likely to receive it. In many cases, sites that have been on a management program for years will not be maintained in the future. Facilities have been erected, including stairs and steps, rails and bridges, signs and boards. Who will be responsible for those structures when they start to collapse and break? After twenty-five years of good management of archaeological sites we now face a new situation in Finland. Those who have learned to visit and enjoy well-organized and maintained sites may be disappointed in the future. We who have worked with management for many years cherished the thought that managed sites were “a showcase for archaeology”: they helped the public to understand prehistory and in some cases made locals see the need to protect ancient relics. For some they were an in-

Fig 3. Bulwarks and ramparts were easy to see and understand as the grass was mown and the coppice cleared every summer. Photo Pentti Pere, Satakunta Museum.

Fig 4. Nature strikes back fast. Liinmaa site just one year after the end of the management programme. Photo Leena Koivisto, Satakunta Museum.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

citement to change their attitudes and actions. We saw it as a way of giving back to the taxpayer. We are not sure we know how to go on from here. 

Fig 5a, 5b. Information boards and signs also require maintenance. Photo Leena Koivisto, Satakunta Museum.

References koivisto, L, & Tiitinen, T, 1995 “The management of Archaeological sites and historical monuments in Finland”, Karhunhammas 16, 99–109 koivisto, L, 2011 Mitä odotat retkeltä muinaisjäännöskohteelle? Questionnaire, Satakunta museum Archive National Board of Antiquities’ Database for managed Sites and monuments, available from: [28 December 2012] National Board of Antiquities press release, 2012 [online] 13 September, available from: http:// [28 December 2012] mikkonen-hirvonen, S, & Tiitinen, T, 2000 ”Taking Care of Archeological Sites in Finland”, ABOA Turun maakuntamuseon vuosikirja 1999–2000/63-64, 49


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

A Problem of Value? Public Perceptions of the Past and Dailylife-archaeology in Spain JAime ALmANSA SáNChez JAS Arqueología S.L.U. Spain


transforming daily-life-archaeology from empty advertisements to an engaging discourse, which helps to value, and hence protect, archaeological heritage. Keywords: public archaeology, daily life, social networks, popular culture, value


hile the Arab Spring was taking place in 2011, the hashtag #turismobisbal became a trending topic in Twitter after a famous Spanish singer said: ‘Egypt pyramids have never been with so few visitors, hope the uprising ends soon’. Meanwhile, Spanish archaeological sites remained almost empty, as usual. People spend thousands of euros travelling around the world to visit great ‘archaeological’ wonders from Stonehenge to Las Vegas, guided by a strong tradition of alternative archaeology, cinematographic misconceptions and National Geographic. Whether we like it or not, the main value of archaeological heritage for society is beauty, closely followed by adventure and mystery. Does society undervalue the ‘ordinary’ heritage? In Spain, we lack proper studies about the image of archaeology and the use of archaeological resources, but the few data we have are interesting. Almost one third of the population has a high interest in archaeological sites, but only half of them ever visited one. There is a serious rift between archaeology and society. Several initiatives are changing the panorama step-by-step, but there is still a long way to go. The key lies in

Introduction ‘How is your life as Harrison Ford going?’ Luckily this time she did not mention Indiana Jones directly. ‘Wish I was Harrison Ford!’, I answered. We had not seen each other in five years and that was a friendly icebreaker for her. Half an hour later, the fact that I used heavy tools was almost as surprising as the fact that my trips were for meetings instead of mysterious adventures. The above describes my last visit to the doctor – on the day I start writing this – and may serve as an example of the many similar situations that made me become a public archaeologist. When I started to design the presentation for the EAA meeting in Helsinki, I decided to use only examples deriving from the latest weeks to define the presence of 26

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are not only talking about a solitary whim of a celebrity or a particular worldwideknown cultural treasure, but also about the means of livelihood for thousands, as well as a strong identity builder.

archaeology in daily life in Spain. One week after the meeting, visiting a cattle show with my father, I had the opportunity to meet in person the manager of a brand of wines I used for the presentation. Coincidence?

Spring 2011 – #turismobisbal During the Arab spring in 2011, famous Spanish pop singer David Bisbal published an unfortunate tweet about the pyramids: ‘Egypt pyramids have never been with so few visitors, hope the uprising ends soon’ (@davidbisbal). In less than 24 hours, the hashtag #turismobisbal was a trending topic in Spain with thousands of comments answering his post (Rodríguez 2011). But what did he actually say? Probably something that many people were thinking at that point – but being famous has its consequences. When we face major conflicts like the occupation of Iraq, the civil wars in Libya and Syria or the upraising in Egypt and other Arab countries, cultural heritage is not the first thing we think about. The political and social drama is too important and overrides everything else. It is through the professional networks we usually get the knowledge of what is happening, but the transcendence of such information is normally limited to the sphere of our social media, and hardly appears in mass media. As a result, public concern about looting of antiquities in armed conflicts is minimal. Meanwhile, talking about archaeology evokes images of sites that are located in these countries – sites people pay to visit. In the increasing commoditisation of archaeology, tourism plays a fundamental role in countries like Egypt, Mexico, Peru, Ethiopia, Greece and so on (Fig 1). Thus, we

Fig 1. Archaeology as a commodity for tourists. Photo Jaime Almansa Sánchez.

The phenomenon of social networks has helped to democratise the cultural heritage, but it does not represent a panacea for its protection. Most of the public consideration and influence the heritage has in the internet comes from damage already done, imminent danger, pseudoarchaeology and other grotesque images.

Summer 2012 – #eccemono, Movies and Drinks Curiously, when preparing the slide in the presentation about #turismobisbal, I ran into the Twitter’s cultural heritage sensation of the summer 2012 – #eccemono. The story is sad, as heritage is once again represented in the light of sarcastic mockery in the social media; an old woman was asked to help in a church to ‘clean’ some 27

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of the paintings, including an Ecce Homo, which ended up as a grotesque figure of Jesus Christ (Fig 2). The lack of news in August brought the story to the media, including every TV station in the country, and Twitter did the rest. In less than a week the story was even in the Japanese news and the church started receiving thousands of unexpected visitors. This woman has already done several commercial advertisements this fall in Spain and even participated in a New Year’s Eve TV show on a national network.

draft of the new regional law and its disastrous consequences (AMTTA 2012; Ansede 2012). Spreading it in the social media, we hardly engaged other professionals beyond ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on Facebook. As if archaeology did not matter, our claim only reached the media due to the mention of Eurovegas. However, if the proposed casinos ever come true they will probably copy the trends of other similar projects in Las Vegas (Holtorf 2005) or the frustrated Gran Scala, also located in Spain (see Gran Scala 2012), appealing to archaeological images. Why does archaeology only matter in those contexts? The power of archaeology in commodity branding is high, and we can see examples of it everywhere, everyday. In cities with an important archaeological past, like Athens or Rome, just walking around gets you closer to archaeology. Going to the cinema, archaeology is usually present. Prometheus and Tadeo Jones were two of the most watched movies of the summer 2012 in Spain and both of them were starred by archaeologists. But it is in the daily consumer goods the phenomenon is most interesting. Why do people name their products or businesses with archaeological names? Using a Greek god as the logo of a gym makes sense, but using a motif from rock art on a bottle of wine looks different. Beatriz Comendador and me have been indentifying hundreds of such examples in our blog (Comendador and Almansa 2012), but here I will only focus on two recent examples found in the summer before the EAA conference in Helsinki. The first example is a bottle of lime juice intended to mix with spirits that I found accidentally at a party. Dama de Baza is one

Fig 2. ‘Viva la Restauración’. Author unknown.

Becoming a trending topic is not an easy task, and cultural heritage rarely has this ‘honour’. Not even complaining together with other scientists about the cuts in research funding, we get to appear in the Top 10 at any moment of the day, while celebrities, splash news and football overload the internet. This is why, when heritage comes to the question, we need to take advantage of the moment. One of the most relevant news of the summer 2012 was the approval of a new casino complex in Madrid, Eurovegas. In order to get into the media, Asociación Madrileña de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras en Arquelogia (AMTTA) leaked out the 28

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more typical of an Easter one. They have assumed for a brand a past that they did not really care about. Now, they care due to their product. The second brand uses an image of schematic rock art as its label, but has a name that does not evoke archaeology: Hechanza. During the late 20th century, brands used contemporary art and modern shapes. Today, publicists recycle an idea of the ‘old’ as cool.

of the most famous sculptures of Spanish Iron Age, but also one of the largest producers of non-alcoholic liquors and mixers in the country (Fig 3). There is no apparent connection between the two – however, the archaeological piece was found 60 km from the factory just in the years the company was starting its non-alcoholic line. As an element of identity and pride, archaeology plays an important role in contemporary society. This is well reflected in this kind of product branding and the impact it has on consumers.

Fig 3. Product line of Dama de Baza. Photo Industrias Espadafor S.A.

Fig 4. Archaeological wines from Salamanca. Photo Jaime Almansa Sánchez.

The second example is a brand of wine, or to be exact, two brands from the same cellar. There are dozens of wine brands that use archaeological motifs or names, but this is the newest I found, and I also had the opportunity to meet the producer (Fig 4). When publicists proposed Arribes de Vettonia as a brand, the owners did not like the idea. However, publicists were right and it sold very well. Vettonia is the name of the cellar’s geographical region in the Iron Age, but the figure of the horse on the label does not match with this region and is

The daily presence of products like these is an opportunity to consciously increase the presence of archaeology in social debates. All such products have been branded without professional archaeologists, which means that public interest has formed the basis and reason for this kind of branding. Oddly, this interest does not encompass scientific knowledge, and pseudoarchaeology plays its cards better than us. What are we doing wrong? 29

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The Walking Dead – Problems for a Public Archaeology

been hidden for decades, while its impact in people’s lives has increased considerably. We thought archaeology was public by definition, but, in fact, the public were far away from us. Most of the population e.g. in Madrid, lives or works near an archaeological site, even one that has been studied recently, but most of those sites are ‘dead’ and currently buried under tons of concrete. Can we revive them and spread a constructive image of daily-life-archaeology?

The first time I explained the topic of my PhD work to my Spanish supervisor, her answer was: ‘But, archaeology is public by definition in Spain.’ And suddenly I realised the theoretical rift between us. Since then, I have not finished my PhD, but I have been able to spread the concept of ‘public archaeology’, which is nowadays widely used and generally understood. Why was archaeology ‘public’ in Spain? Because cultural heritage belonged to all of us, being under the control of the government? Nevertheless, this did not mean either public management, or wide public access to heritage. The number of studies analysing the public perception of archaeology or people’s attitudes towards cultural heritage is still very low. I conducted a survey in 2005 (Almansa 2006) and ended up with a surprising result: while 98% of respondents thought archaeology was very important, only half of them could hardly define it. The National Survey of Cultural Habits of 2010–11 (Ministerio de Cultura 2011) shows also a worrying trend: only 14% of the Spanish population visited an archaeological site during the previous year. How many of them passed by one during their everyday routines but did not know it was there? For years, Spanish archaeology was the private stronghold of Academia. Since the late ‘80s it turned into a business, which could hardly record the sites in danger before the construction works began. And just when this practice was starting to be more inclusive and efficient, the economic crisis stopped it all. As a result, archaeology has

Discussing Solutions from Public Archaeology When we define public archaeology, the variety of concepts to deal with is large (Schadla-Hall 1999; Ascherson 2001; Matsuda 2004). I have tried to give a simpler definition (Almansa 2010), but its breadth is still difficult to encompass. The multiple relations between archaeology and society open doors into an infinite range of possibilities on both sides. For the focus of this paper, I am going to concentrate on two main aspects: the public image of archaeology and community participation. After years of research I can only intuit some of the public attitudes towards cultural heritage, and knowing where we are is essential to get any progress. Spreading a good image of our profession and the role of archaeology and archaeological sites is vital for the protection of cultural heritage and for our work itself. From the data we have (see Holtorf 2007, 51–61 with references), there are some basic sources for the image of archaeology in contemporary society, but we do not take part of them, at least as we should. The problem is maybe in our position towards divulgation, giving what we want instead of what people 30

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ing of products? There are dozens of possibilities to divulgate archaeology through alternative channels. We have the advantage that archaeology fits well with many contexts and that it even has market value in times of construction crisis and funding cuts. By giving relevance to brands and building new commodities based on cultural heritage, daily-life-archaeology can affect public perceptions. Fourth, bringing people to the site is the common strategy of traditional public archaeology (community archaeology) and one of the best ways to practice more participatory archaeology. There are hundreds of examples but I like specially two: The Prescott Street (2008) and Torre dos Mouros (2012). Fifth, reviving sites for the community. Even when the site has already been dug, there are possibilities to engage with the community in innovative ways. Here I am not talking about sites already ready-tobe-visited, but all those lost or hidden. In 2011, Philadelphia used a skyscraper for an archaeology awareness campaign (Jeppson et al 2012) and during the summer 2012, AMTTA started a new project to make hidden or destroyed sites in Madrid visible through thematic routes (Combates por la Historia 2012). The limits for any action are only in our imagination, and by using public archaeology we can actually improve things. Archaeology is everywhere but we underestimate and underuse it. Looking around, we can realise all the opportunities we miss if we just think about the past – although we have ‘killed’ some sites, archaeology is alive among people. Public interaction goes beyond us, but we have the chance to take

do (Ascherson 2004, 157). That opens the door into several frontlines not directly related to traditional research in archaeology. In the following five such points will be briefly presented. First, as every site is different, every community also has its peculiarities. This is why knowing the public we are working with is one of the first things to find out when designing any research strategy. Even in situations in which we need to deal with multiple audiences, preliminary research must be done. Depending on the type of research intended to be executed, it can vary from large sociological studies to simple enquiries preceding the actual research. Nowadays, this is not contained in almost any project, and if we are still claiming for project design in traditional archaeological projects (Carver 2011), however this might sound utopian, it is still necessary. Second, knowing the multiple sources of information, and using them. If TV, radio, newspapers, movies, tourism and casinos are the first sources of information about archaeology for the public, we, as archaeologists, need also to know them and participate in them. Depending on the country, the presence of archaeologists in mainstream media has been poor until recent years (see the exception of Mortimer Wheeler; Moshenska and Schadla-Hall 2011), and still today it is lower than the one of pseudoarchaeologists. Increasing our presence in the media is not an easy task, but it is definitely needed. Third, using alternative sources of information. Did you ever think about writing a novel? Selling jewellery with attached historical narrative? Assessing advertising companies in the ‘archaeological’ brand31

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public community is the only way to increase the value of our work, sustain our profession and protect cultural heritage. 

part in it in an innovative way. The Public, the People, are the ones who vote, who visit, who buy, who support, who loot, who watch, etc and therefore being part of the

References Almansa, J, 2006 La imagen popular de la arqueología en madrid, ArqueoWeb 8(1) [online], available from: [12/01/13] Almansa, J, 2010 Pre-editorial: Towards a Public Archaeology. AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology 0, 1–3. [online], available from: [12/01/13] AmTTA, 2012 Alegaciones de AmTTA al borrador del anteproyecto de ley de Patrimonio histórico de la Comunidad de madrid (8 de junio de 2012) [online], available from: http:// [12/01/13] Ansede, m, 2012 Arqueólogos denuncian que madrid facilitará la destrucción de yacimientos para atraer eurovegas, Materia [online], 16 June, available from: http://esmateria. com/2012/06/25/arqueologos-de-madrid-vinculan-eurovegas-a-cambios-ley-de-patrimonio/][ 12/01/13] Ascherson, N, 2001 editorial, Public Archaeology 1(1), 1–3. Ascherson, N, 2004 Archaeology and the British media, in Public Archaeology (ed N merriman), routledge, London, 145–58 Carver, m, 2011 Making Archaeology Happen. Design Versus Dogma, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek Combates por la historia, 2012 Combates por la Historia [online], available from: [12/01/13] Comendador, B, and Almansa, J, 2012 Pasado Reciclado [online], available from: [12/01/13] Gran Scala, 2012 Gran Scala Blog [online], available from: [12/01/13] holtorf, C, 2005 From Stonehenge to Las Vegas. Archaeology as popular culture. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek holtorf, C, 2007 Archaeology is a brand. The meaning of archaeology in contemporary popular culture. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek Jeppson, P L, muschio, G, Winograd, h, haas, m, Oxholm, G, and Nishino, k, 2012 Archaeology via skyscraper: Outcome and experience AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology 2, 55–80 [online], available from: pdf [12/01/13] matsuda, A, 2004 The concept of ‘the public’ and the aims of Public Archaeology. Papers from 32

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the Institute of Archaeology 15, 66–76 [online], available from: [12/01/13] ministerio de Cultura, 2011 Encuesta de Hábitos y Prácticas Culturales en España 2010-2011 [online], available from: [12/01/13] moshenska, G, and Schadla-hall, T, 2011 mortimer Wheeler’s Theatre of the Past, Public Archaeology 10(1), 46–55 Prescott Street, 2008 Prescott Street [online], available from: [/01/13] rodríguez, D, 2011 Leches, cacaos, barricadas y egipcios: Bisbal. El País [online], 01 February, available from:] [12/01/13] Schadla-hall, T, 1999 editorial: Public Archaeology. European Journal of Archaeology 2(2), 147–58 Torre dos mouros, 2012 Torre dos Mousros [online], available from: [12/01/13]


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

exploring the rift between archaeological heritage and local communities in a period of economic crisis: Public perceptions from the city of elefsina, Greece GeOrGiOS ALeXOPOULOS Research Associate Initiative for Heritage Conservancy Greece

kALLiOPi FOUSeki Lecturer Centre for Sustainable Heritage University College London



his paper discusses what is widely perceived as a rift between local communities and their archaeological heritage in Greece within the context of the on-going ‘Greek’ and ‘global financial crisis’ and its impact on archaeology and heritage management. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in the Greek city of Elefsina this study will demonstrate how the afore-mentioned crisis and its resulting socio-economic problems have influenced public views towards the archaeological heritage. In this particular case study nega-

tive attitudes about the uncertainty of the future, predominantly among young and elder people, were reflected in their perception of archaeological heritage. These perceptions, it is argued, have also been shaped, to significant extent, by the media and more general reactions to the crisis. Key words: socio-economic problems, archaeological heritage, local communities, public perceptions, qualitative research, Elefsina, Greece


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life


The present article draws from research conducted in Greece between March and August 2011 during the tenure of a Visiting Researcher Fellowship funded by the Initiative for Heritage Conservancy1 . The focus of the wider project was to identify barriers in the visitation of archaeological sites and museums in three Greek cities (Patras, Athens, Elefsina) but the material gathered has provided interesting insights on broader issues. More specifically, this paper is

This paper discusses some key issues impacting on the relationship between local communities and their archaeological heritage in the Greek city of Elefsina within the context of current social and economic circumstances. Our study will reflect on what is identified as a rift between archaeologists and local communities in Greece and will subsequently outline the impact that the on-going ‘Greek’ and ‘global crisis’ has had on archaeology and heritage management in the country. Having summarised certain themes in relation to Greek antiquities that have dominated the Greek and international media during the last 2-3 years we will focus on the findings of a research project at Elefsina in order to demonstrate how socio-economic problems can shape public perceptions about cultural heritage.

The initiative for heritage Conservancy is a not-forprofit charity with the aim of promoting best practice in archaeological site management and planning in Greece as well as abroad (


Fig 1. The archaeological site of ancient Eleusis: a view from the courtyard towards the Greater Propylaia and the acropolis hill, June 2011. Photo Georgios Alexopoulos.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

sire for and antithesis to the West’ (Plantzos 2012, 224). One would assume that this special gravitas afforded to antiquities equals a very close connection between contemporary Greek citizens and their archaeological heritage. Nevertheless, recent discussions on the relationship between local communities and archaeological sites in Greece have identified the existence of a rift –also referred to as a chasm, crevasse, divide or lack of common ground (e.g. Sutton and Stroulia 2010, 3-9). This rift between past and present, between archaeologists and local residents, often pushes people who live near archaeological sites to view the latter with indifference or antagonism (Sutton and Stroulia 2010, 4). Many factors have been considered in an attempt to explain this phenomenon. Michael Fotiadis (2010, 449) has pointed to the negative impact of ‘the institutional frame that shapes both archaeology and the dispositions of its lay public’. According to his view, formal education in archaeology is rendered (by state institutions and other factors) superfluous to people’s worlds while state legislation for antiquities establishes a monopoly of strict state control and ownership over archaeological heritage that, in turn, causes archaeology to be associated with state bureaucracy (Fotiadis 2010, 449-54). This state authority feeds into the perceived authoritative attitude of archaeologists that generates conflicts in the management of archaeological resources (Fouseki 2009; Alexopoulos 2010) echoing what Laurajane Smith (2006) has termed the ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’. Friction and conflict are commonly sustained by the constant disputes over land use and ownership, particularly

based on data rendered by 100 face-to-face interviews conducted on various locations within the city of Elefsina between July and September 2011 (see Appendix for a brief outline of the archaeological significance of Elefsina). The interviews were conducted following an open-ended semi-structured questionnaire. In order to maximise the possibility of getting a sample that represents mostly the citizens of Elefsina and the immediate vicinity people sitting in public spaces (e.g. squares, parks) as well as cafeterias, bars and restaurants were approached. In addition, employees of various shops situated in central Elefsina were also interviewed. Indeed, approximately 78% of the respondents were residents of Elefsina or other neighbouring areas of the Thriasian plain.

Archaeologists and local communities in Greece Archaeology has played, and in many ways still plays, a fundamental role in the lives of Greek people. Classical antiquities in particular have constituted a symbolic capital that has been used in the construction of national identity (Hamilakis and Yalouri 1996; Plantzos 2008) while maintaining the status of both national and global heritage (Lowenthal 1988; Yalouri 2001). Since the formation of the Modern Greek state in the nineteenth century, state archaeology facilitated the deployment of classical heritage so that Greek people could ‘portray themselves to themselves and to others as the heirs of that heritage’ (Hamilakis 2007, 76). Within this context, quite interestingly, Greek antiquity has not only been used as ‘a yardstick for the nation’s cohesion’ but also as ‘a measure of its simultaneous de36

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two major political parties) and towards the banks and the foreign powers (Lowen 2012) – constituting in the public view the so-called “foreign finger” (Herzfeld 2011, 24). At the time of writing, it is estimated that the crisis is far from over (Smith 2013). Within this context, the Greek Archaeological Service belonging to the General Secretariat of Culture –the main authority exercising archaeology in the country and being responsible for the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage– and all aspects of heritage management in Greece have been affected by the on-going crisis. The austerity measures have resulted in huge budget cuts and reductions in the employment of personnel and the Archaeological Service itself has undergone significant structural and administrative changes (SEA 2011, 2012b). It is fair to underline that the state mechanism for archaeological and heritage management, as with many other aspects of the Greek political system, has been forced under these circumstances to pursue greater transparency and accountability (Alexopoulos and Fouseki, 2013). However, the threats posed by these developments on the ability of the state services to adequately cope with the protection and preservation of the numerous archaeological sites and museums in Greece have been subject to debate (Apostolou 2012; Kennedy 2012; Padel 2012; SEA 2012a, 2012b). The Association of Greek Archaeologists (the professional union of archaeologists working in the Archaeological Service) has expressed its concern and has actively protested against the current situation. In a recent press release it has underlined the important social role of archaeological heritage and museums as a public good and

when it comes to forced expropriations for the sake of preservation of archaeological remains or the issuing of construction permits in protected areas or (Herzfeld 1991, 218-19; Hamilakis 2007, 37-38), as well as by the tendency of both the Greek state and the archaeologists working in it (Greek and foreign) to construct archaeological sites by pulling them back from their modern surroundings (Sutton & Stroulia 2010). As a result, many Greeks feel little affinity towards archaeological sites and the latter become, to some extent, heterotopias – i.e. places separate from the viewer’s daily reality (Leontis 1995; Hamilakis 2007). One could assume that the, so-called, ‘rift’ can only be further aggravated by the current climate of the national and global economic crisis.

The impact of the ‘Greek’ and ‘global crisis’ on archaeology and heritage management Greece is at the centre of the current global and European financial crisis with the country being, depending on one’s point of view, ‘key player, scapegoat, or manipulative operator’ (Herzfeld 2011, 22). Greece seems at times to monopolise the attention of worldwide media for all the wrong reasons: public deficit, long-lasting recession, political corruption, potential exit from the Eurozone (“Grexit”), social unrest due to the imposed austerity measures, rising unemployment, racism and growing ultranationalist sentiment in relation to illegal immigration problems etc. Currently, apart from the feelings of despair, misery, anxiety and uncertainty there is a lot of anger and aggression directed towards the Greek state and political system (particularly the 37

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ticket sales to archaeological sites around Greece (Hope 2010). This proposal –followed by the quote “Why not securitise the Parthenon?”– met with very strong reactions (even though it was made almost a decade earlier) and was highly publicised in the Greek media (Eleftherotypia, 17 February 2010). Similar criticism was vented upon the circulation of the comments made by a Greek MP of the conservative party that proposed the renting of the Acropolis for the organisation of privately funded activities and events in order to avoid cuts on pensions and salaries (To Vima, 09 January 2012). In addition, the decision of the Greek government to exploit several major archaeological sites as backdrops for filming and photographic shoots, due to the intense pressure by the EU and IMF for income-generating solutions, has also raised a few eyebrows and fuelled the debate over the limits of acceptable commercial use (Smith 2012). A Greek economist and former MP was quoted saying that antiquities are under-utilised despite being “the greatest brand on earth” (ibid 2012). Strong criticism was also directed towards the circulation of a list of 25 islets that the Greek government was planning to lease for 99 years – particularly since the list in question included protected archaeological zones and areas of recognised environmental value (Ethnos, 01 September 2012; To Vima, 18 September 2012). Classical antiquities have been widely used on various occasions and for several reasons to make political or other explicit statements. For example, Dimitris Plantzos (2012) has recently demonstrated how the “Kouros of Keratea” statue was used as a performative declaration against the su-

has criticised the processes that undermine the public value of heritage: ‘we should not let the economic crisis turn into an ethical and social crisis, into a crisis of culture’ (SEA 2012b).

Archaeological heritage, the media and reactions to the crisis A very interesting area which has not, so far, enjoyed thorough investigation is the potential impact of the current economic crisis on public perceptions towards the archaeological heritage. This paper attempts to address this gap by offering some insights from an audience research project carried out in the Greek city of Elefsina in the period of recession and on the eve of some of the most important recent socio-political developments in the country. However, before examining the observations gained from this specific case study it is useful to take a look at the particular climate and sentiment cultivated by the media, both national and international. This is particularly useful as the views and opinions expressed by the interviewees (see following section) seem to have been strongly influenced, among other things, by information widely reported in the media. The exploitation of cultural heritage for commercial purposes has always been a contentious issue within the archaeological community of Greece (Yalouri 2001, 12327). However, in desperate times several calls have been made for alternative ways of fundraising and these voices have been met with a variety of reactions. On February 2010, the Financial Times reported on a proposal (made in 2001) by a former finance minister to issue a securitisation bond backed by the revenues from future 38

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premacy of the state in a dispute between the Greek state and the community of Keratea (near Athens) over the creation of a landfill in the area. In the same manner, the cultural heritage of the Greek nation as an unreliable debtor – particularly after the outbreak of the economic crisis in Europe – has been used in humoristic or offensive (depending on one’s point of view) images such as the controversial front cover of the weekly German magazine Focus (Number 8, 22 February 2010). The image in question showed the famous statue of Aphrodite of Milos (Venus de Milo) with a wretched Greek flag covering her waist and sticking up the middle finger (apparently to the European Union) along with the headline “Swindlers in the Eurofamily”. The uproar that this “insult” caused, after extensive media coverage in Greece (Kathimerini, 24 February 2010; Ta Nea, 26 February 2010), already added to the existing negative attitude towards the rich European countries that are viewed, at least by some segments of the public, as perpetrators of a conspiracy to subdue the Greek nation. With regard to the role of Germany in the negotiations for tackling the Greek public deficit, the constant references to the Second World War, the Nazi occupation of Greece and the debate over the relevant war reparations sustain bitter memories and negative feelings among members of the Greek public (Smith 2010; Lowen 2012). In this war of the tabloids a Greek newspaper (Eleftheros Typos, 23 February 2010) attempted to retaliate by publishing an image of the statue of Berlin’s Victory Column holding a swastika under the headline “The economic occupation of the 4th Reich is expanding”. It is worth noting, at this point, the prolif-

eration of images of ancient Greek antiquities, particularly the Parthenon temple on the Athenian Acropolis, featuring in numerous newspapers and on-line articles that deal with the current economic crisis in the country. The use of these images in a context that is often irrelevant to Greek archaeological monuments testifies to the strong international association of the country with its antiquities.2 Nevertheless, as will be demonstrated by the data collected in the city of Elefsina, such irritating imagery coupled with the power of media and the overall negativity and feeling of resistance to foreign criticism seem to play a significant role in the formation of public views and perceptions about archaeological heritage. Finally another issue related to archaeological heritage that has made a strong presence in the media during the period of economic crisis is the looting and illegal trade of antiquities. The general concerns over the capacity of the Greek Archaeological Service to offer adequate protection to sites and museums while being understaffed were followed by reports about the rise of

The Focus magazine is widely known for its satirical comments and often controversial front covers. Despite the negative reactions to the Venus De milo depiction and a subsequent law suit for libel and insult, the same magazine published another front cover (Number 18, 03 may 2010) depicting the same statue extending the left arm (as if begging for money) along with the headline “Greece and our money!”. Yet another front page (Number 38, 19 September 2011) showed both the Acropolis of Athens and Venus De milo sinking in deep water under the title “is our money lost?”. Both images had a direct reference to the bailout money that German tax payers would have to produce for saving the Greek economy.



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Socio-economic problems and their impact on public perceptions towards the archaeological heritage: reflections from the city of Elefsina

looting of antiquities (Kathimerini, 18 Juny 2011) and later two shocking incidents that rocked the archaeological community and the Ministry of Culture. In less than two months, two paintings (including a Picasso) and an ink drawing were stolen from the National Gallery of Athens (on 09 January 2012) and an armed robbery at the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games (on 17 February 2012) near the World Heritage Site of Ancient Olympia resulted in the theft of more than 70 artefacts, most of them ancient. These incidents gained enormous publicity and further sustained the impression that cultural heritage in Greece is in danger and that the economic crisis had created special circumstances that pose additional threats (To Vima, 17 February 2012). In fact, along with the international appeal against the financial cuts imposed to Greece the Association of Greek Archaeologists has very actively campaigned against the looting of antiquities with a number of posters under the title ‘Monuments have no voice, they must have yours’ and with a video spot that was widely circulated on the internet. The latter was, quite interestingly, not accepted and officially endorsed by the Central Archaeological Council as it depicted the kidnapping of a young girl and an ancient statue from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and thus provided many negative implications about the situation in Greece – the video spot was indeed inspired by the armed robbery at the museum near Ancient Olympia (To Vima, 30 August 2012).

Even though the economic crisis in Greece was not per se part of the aims and objectives of our research project at the city of Elefsina its wider repercussions became evident during the conduction of several interviews.3 Overall, the data collected enabled us to identify three main themes that seemed to impact on public perceptions of the archaeological heritage. The first theme represented a pessimistic approach towards the present and the future of the country which devalues the archaeological past as a priority. This pessimistic view was mostly expressed by young, unemployed individuals and retired people. For instance, a young, female interviewee holding a high educational degree stated: ‘Fine, we had a past, what will happen with the present and the future? By occupying myself with the Eleusinian Mysteries I can answer some questions intellectually but this will not help me in the future!’ (Interview 8). Similarly, another young interviewee stressed that: ‘Right now the priority for people of our age, under 25s, is finding a job, finding what to do with our futures’

in the course of a few weeks, during the conduction of the interviews in elefsina, several bars and cafeterias on one of the most popular pedestrianised streets had closed. in addition, on numerous occasions potential interviewees refused to participate citing their general bad mood over the miserable socio-economic climate as the main reason (or excuse).



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

17). These findings verify Nick Merriman’s (2000, 4) contention that negative or positive perceptions about the present and the future can influence and shape the engagement with the past accordingly. Finally, the third theme relates to the economic exploitation of the archaeological past as this is being acted either by the imposition of entrance fees or by the appropriation of the country, and consequently its heritage, by foreigners. Charging a fee seemed to be a main concern for families and young unemployed people – as an interviewee stressed ‘A family with children would not go to a site or museum that requires a 10-15 Euros entrance fee if it doesn’t even have money to buy meat’ (Interview 26). A female university student also maintained that ‘I do not agree with the loans we have taken and that we are giving away our islands, our antiquities, the money and the economy should stay in Greece, it should not go to foreigners. On the island of Corfu, many Germans have bought houses, they want to sell Corfu but we will not give it to them…I believe that when we were employed we could afford to deal with museums’ (Interview 27). The appropriation of the cultural heritage by foreigners was viewed as ‘sacrilege’ (Interview 35) a common and recurrent theme in other studies that deal with the engagement or disengagement of the Greek public with antiquities (see Hamilakis and Yalouri 1996). Discussions related to the economic crisis and the appropriation of the country and its resources, including its cultural heritage, can also provoke emotions of anger. A young, car mechanic emphatically stated that ‘With the IMF and the economic crises we are run by countries that do not have

(Interview 27) – a view expressed by other young respondents as well (Interviews 26, 38, 78). A retired respondent (Interview 15) highlighted that cultural heritage is not or should not be a priority at the moment as the Greek state is not even in the position to pay people their pensions.

Fig 2. Remains of the Roman aqueduct of Elefsina on Dimitros Street, July 2011: an example of the “blending” of the archaeological heritage within the contemporary cityscape. Photo Georgios Alexopoulos.

In contrast to this pessimistic approach towards the present and the future –which also negatively influences the ways in which the public engages with the past– a more optimistic approach was adopted by employed middle aged respondents. This segment of the population considered the archaeological heritage as ‘the only escape and particularly with the problems we are having now’ (Interview 25) or as an ‘inspiration’ and ‘motivation’ to move on ‘particularly in these difficult days (Interview 41

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Greece. As a consequence, this study revealed vividly that general perceptions and public views are strongly influenced by the socio-economic context of the country as well as by discourses dominant in the media. The research clearly indicated that for those respondents who face severe economic difficulties, such as unemployment and poverty, visiting a museum or a site is not a priority. On the contrary, for several of the respondents who did not face unemployment issues, antiquities were viewed as a form of ‘escape’ from the current severe economic climate as well as an inspirational force for moving forward to the future. Between these two polarised groups of respondents, a large segment of the interviewees commented on the economic exploitation of the country by the ‘foreigners’, for example the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and the subsequent appropriation of the Greek cultural heritage. Overall, it could be argued that the views of the interviewees varied according to their emotional state in relation to their personal socio-economic situation. Emotions ranged from disappointment and anxiety about the future, to hope and/or anger. More thorough research is required on how national and personal socio-economic agendas shape public attitudes and views about the ‘past’. Furthermore, this paper indicates that the role of the archaeologists and heritage professionals in addressing and tackling the apparent rift between local communities and their archaeological heritage in Greece becomes even more complicated and challenging within the current circumstances of social tension and financial austerity. What is required is a critical reflection towards the wider socio-econom-

history!’ (Interview 44). More worryingly, the current economic crisis in Greece has cultivated xenophobic instincts against foreigners (particularly illegal immigrants) that are often triggered by racism. An incident that occurred shortly before the conduction of this research (on 15 April 2011) involving the theft of around 60 ancient artefacts from a building located inside the archaeological site of ancient Eleusis by two Romani men (Eleftherotypia, 06 May 2011) led one of the respondents to state that: ‘… when I heard that the gypsies came and stole antiquities I became a racist! I was racist against gypsies but I became even more after this event! They came from their sh**y countries, it’s not enough that we feed them but they also steal from us!’ (Interview 31). Although this particular comment was exceptionally negative (along with Interview 15) within the overall sample collected for this research it clearly echoes both social tensions in contemporary Greek society as well as the sense of the vulnerability of antiquities to looters outlined in the previous section.

Conclusions This paper attempted to illustrate the influence of socio-economic factors on the formulation of public views towards the archaeological heritage in Elefsina, a small industrial city on the outskirts of Athens with a nevertheless glorious ancient history (see Appendix), through the findings of a research project that employed open-ended face-to-face interviews. The responses given by the interviewees of this case-study were placed in the wider context of the impact of the on-going economic crisis to archaeology and heritage management in 42

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the centre of the Greek capital. The modern city has expanded around the remains of ancient Eleusis which was considered among the five most sacred cities in ancient Greece (Preka-Alexandri 2007). The ancient city hosted the famous Eleusinian Mysteries –one of the most important religious events in Greek antiquity– and was also the birthplace of the great ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus. In modern history, Elefsina emerged as the hub of major industrial development in the area and today is home to the largest oil refinery in the country. The archaeological site of Eleusis and its relevant museum are by far the most popular visitor attractions in the city (Papangeli 2002). The latter lie at the very heart of the modern city and are managed by the 3rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, a regional service of the General Secretariat of Culture (Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports). Various archaeological remains are scattered around the cityscape of Elefsina (Papangeli and Hlepa 2011) – some visible and well preserved, others less so – and archaeological activity, particularly in the form of rescue excavations has an important presence in the city centre. 

ic environment and its impact on public involvement with heritage. What remains to be answered is whether involvement with the archaeological heritage can have a socio- or psycho-therapeutic role and impact, and if this is the case, what could that role be and how powerful.

Acknowledgements We would like to thank the Initiative for Heritage Conservancy, and Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis in particular, for funding the research that has inspired this paper. Thanks are also due to the organisers of the “Archaeology in Society and Daily Life” session at the 18th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (Helsinki, 2012) and all the participants for their feedback and useful comments on a version of this paper presented in the afore-mentioned conference.

Appendix: The case study – Elefsina and its archaeological heritage Elefsina (or Eleusis) is a city located in the Thriasian plain to the north of the Saronic Gulf, in the prefecture of Attica, Greece. It has a population of nearly 30.000 and is located only 20 km to the northwest from

References Alexopoulos, G, 2010 Reconciling living religious heritage with value-based management: the case of Mount Athos, Greece. Unpublished PhD thesis, University College London, institute of Archaeology Alexopoulos, G, and Fouseki, k, 2013 editorial: managing Archaeological Sites in Greece. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 15 (1) - Special Issue: Archaeological site management in Greece, 1–12 43

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Apostolou, N, 2012 Greek treasures take a hit. USA Today [online], 13 September, available from: [17 September 2012] Fotiadis, m, 2010 There is a Blue elephant in the room: From State institutions to Citizen indifference, in Archaeology in Situ: Sites, Archaeology, and Communities in Greece (eds. A Stroulia and S B Sutton), Lexington Books, Lanham, maryland, 447-456 Fouseki, k, 2009 “i own, therefore i am”: Conflating Archaeology with heritage in Greece: A Possessive individualist Approach, in Taking archaeology out of heritage (eds. e Waterton and L Smith), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge, 49-65 hamilakis, Y, 2007 The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece. Oxford University Press, Oxford hamilakis, Y, & Yalouri, e, 1996 Antiquities as symbolic capital in modern Greece. Antiquity 70 (267), 117-29 herzfeld, m, 1991 A Place in History: Social and Monumental Time in a Cretan Town. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey herzfeld, m, 2011 Crisis attack: impromptu ethnography in the Greek maelstrom. Anthropology Today 27 (5), 22-26 hope, k, 2010 Securitisations set sights on Greek ruins. Financial Times [online], 16 February, available from: html?nclick_check=1 [08 June 2010] kennedy, r, 2012. Greek antiquities, long fragile, are endangered by austerity. The New York Times [online], 11 June, available from: archaeologists-say-greek-antiquities-threatened-by-austerity.html?_r=1 [25 June 2012] Leontis, A, 1995 Topographies of Hellenism: Mapping the Homeland. Cornell University Press, ithaca Lowen, m, 2012 Debt-laden Greeks give vent to anti-German feelings. BBC News [online], 27 Feburuary, available from [25 June 2012] Lowenthal, D, 1988 Classical antiquities as national and global heritage. Antiquity 62 (237), 726-735 merriman, N, 2000 (1991) Beyond the glass case: the past, the heritage and the public, University College London, London Padel, r, 2012 Greek crisis imperils a nation’s heritage. The Independent [online], 11 Juny, available from: [26 June 2012] Papangeli, k, 2002 Ελευσίνα: ο αρχαιολογικός χώρος και το μουσείο, Olkos publications, Athens (in Greek) Papangeli, k, and hlepa, e-A, 2011 Οι Μεταμορφώσεις του Ελευσινιακού Τοπίου: Αρχαιότητες και Σύγχρονη Πόλη. Έκθεση: Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο Δήμου Ελευσίνας «Λεων. Κανελλόπουλος» 05/07-28/8/2011. Athens (in Greek) Plantzos, D, 2008 Archaeology and hellenic identity, 1896-2004: the frustrated vision, in A 44

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Singular Antiquity: Archaeology and Hellenic Identity in twentieth-century Greece, (eds. D Damaskos and D Plantzos, eds) Benaki museum, Athens, 11-30. Plantzos, D, 2012 The kouros of keratea: Constructing subaltern pasts in contemporary Greece. Journal of Social Archaeology 12 (2), 220-244 Preka-Alexandri, k, 2007 Ελευσίνα (4th edition), ministry of Culture, Athens SeA 2011. Ενημερωτική εγκύκλιος για τον Ν. 4024/2011 και αποφάσεις της τακτικής συνεδρίασης του ΔΣ του ΣΕΑ στις 6/11. Association of Greek Archaeologists, Athens 11/11/2011, Protocol Number 419, available from: pages/viewinformation.aspx?informationiD=227 [5 may 2012] SeA 2012a, Για το νέο κύμα “εφεδρείας” που συζητά η κυβέρνηση. Association of Greek Archaeologists, Athens 10/08/2012, Protocol Number 260, available from: http://www.sea. [26 August 2012] SeA 2012b, Δελτίο Τύπου για τη μείωση του προϋπολογισμού στο ΥΠΠΟ. Association of Greek Archaeologists, Athens 16/11/2012, Protocol Number 362, available from: http://www. [20 November 2012] Smith, h, 2010 Bitter legacy behind war of words between Greece and Germany. The Observer [online], 28 February, available from: [15 February 2012] Smith, h, 2012 Greece’s ancient sites to play starring role in recovery. The Guardian [online], 20 January, available from: [15 February 2012] Smith, h, 2013 Greek debt crisis ‘far from over’. The Guardian [online] 02 January, available from: [02 January 2013] Smith, L, 2006 Uses of Heritage. routledge, London and New York Sutton, S B, & Stroulia, A, 2010 Archaeological sites and the Chasm between Past and Present, in Archaeology in Situ: Sites, Archaeology, and Communities in Greece (eds A. Stroulia and S. B. Sutton), Lexington Books, Lanham Yalouri, e, 2001 The Acropolis. Global Fame, Local Claim. Berg London and New York


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Sustainable Site Preservation: AiA and the Future of Saving the Past BeN ThOmAS, Ph.D. Director of Programs Archaeological Institute of America

mereDiTh ANDerSON LANGLiTz Senior Programs Coordinator Archaeological Institute of America


America (AIA) established a Site Preservation Program with the goal of providing grants for preservation and conservation to archaeological sites around the world. To oversee the programme, the AIA formed a Site Preservation Committee1 and charged the members with the task of selecting projects for grant support. In the year that followed, Committee members chose two conservation projects – one in Assos, Turkey ( and the other on Easter Island, Chile ( As the projects proceeded, Committee members discussed the longterm goals of the Site Preservation Program and asked themselves a series of challenging questions, in an effort to determine how the AIA could make significant and useful contributions to the field of site preservation. These questions included: (1) What are the best ways to preserve archaeological sites for the long-term? and (2) Who benefited from the projects that the AIA was supporting and would support in the future?


n recognition of the increasing threats to archaeological sites posed by factors such as development, tourism, warfare, and environmental change, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) redirected its Site Preservation Program to support holistic community-specific approaches to preservation. AIA-supported projects foster heritage stewardship and empower local communities through outreach, education, economic development, and community engagement in order to provide a sustainable solution to preserving archaeological heritage. By supporting this grassroots approach and disseminating the results, we hope our paradigm will become standard practice in the field of archaeology and site preservation. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the AIA approach through collected data, case studies, and ongoing research. Keywords: Preservation, conservation, sustainability, community engagement, stewardship, best practices

The AIA and Site Preservation In 2007, the Archaeological Institute of 46

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to projects that took a holistic approach to site preservation. Projects that were eligible for AIA support would address factors like outreach, community involvement, and economic development along with direct preservation and proper site management. Research and preservation plans for the site would consider all stakeholders, including archaeologists, conservators, local residents, and local and national authorities, and present strategies for outreach along with plans for preservation2.

A close examination of the programme and its effectiveness led to a realisation that long-term protection of an archaeological site could not be achieved simply through conservation. Conservation had to be linked to programmes that created the conditions in which long-term preservation could be effectively sustained. While some threats to sites are natural (environmental changes, natural disasters) the majority, such as looting, vandalism, war, irresponsible development, and tourism are anthropogenic. Thus, any effective solution would need to combine preservation techniques with programmes that could change people’s behaviour and attitude towards protecting archaeological sites. These included outreach, education, and local community engagement. Involving local people in preservation efforts and empowering them to be stewards of their cultural heritage were critical to the success of any site preservation initiative. Based on these observations, the AIA Site Preservation Program adopted a new paradigm under which awards would be given

1 in 2011, the Site Preservation Committee was combined with the Cultural heritage management Committee to form the Conservation and Site Preservation Committee. For the rest of this essay, the authors will refer to the Committee by its current name. 2 To read more about the projects being supported by the AiA and the Site Preservation Program, please visit www.

In 2009 the AIA relaunched the Site Preservation Program with this revised mission. To date, under the guidelines of the revised programme, the Institute has directly funded over a dozen projects on five continents (Table 1).

Table 1: Sites supported by the AIA through grants, awards, and special fundraising efforts Site Preservation Grant Assos, Turkey Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia Carr Plantation, Montserrat Easter Island, Chile Gault, Texas Hoyo Negro, Mexico Kissonerga, Cyprus Lod, Israel Paynes Creek, Belize Stafford Civil War Sites Thimlich Ohinga, Kenya Umm el-Jimal, Jordan

Best Practices Award Azoria, Crete Kaxil Kiuic, Mexico La Blanca, Guatemala Tell Mozan, Syria


Special Fundraising Drives Blackfriary, Ireland Queen Anne’s Revenge, North Carolina Tulsk Priory, Ireland

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Site Preservation and Best Practices

Margaret Mook were awarded an AIA Best Practices in Site Preservation Award for their work at the site of Azoria on the island of Crete ( azoriacrete). From the early stages of excavation, Haggis and Mook enlisted the services of local specialists to stabilise and conserve the architecture being exposed by the excavations (Fig 1). Along with the stabilisation of exposed remains, Haggis and Mook prepared the site to withstand the pressures of year-round visitation. Their conservation programme was the first formally reviewed study of the methods, materials, and techniques needed to implement sustainable preservation at an excavated site on Crete. The Azoria Project is an excellent example of an integrated project. It demonstrates that the future of an archaeological site is most secure when excavation and preservation, stabilisation, and protection of archaeological remains go hand-inhand.

In addition to funding projects, Committee members wanted to identify notable strategies, techniques, and outcomes and spread these best practices so that anyone planning to study, modify, develop, or otherwise affect an archaeological site would be able to benefit from the knowledge and experience of people already integrating preservation measures into the overall research plans for their sites. To facilitate the identification of best practices, the Site Preservation Program organised and hosted a workshop in January 2012 at the 113th AIA–APA Joint Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The workshop, entitled Site Preservation: The Future of Saving the Past, included presentations by AIA Site Preservation grant winners and members of the AIA Conservation and Site Preservation Committee. Four themes emerged from the discussions at the workshop. Theme One: Integrating Site Preservation into Archaeological Projects Preservation efforts at archaeological sites are more often than not considered to be separate from archaeological investigations and are frequently viewed as actions that happen after excavation and research has been completed at a site. The theme that emerged from the discussions and comments at the workshop was that archaeologists should design integrated plans that combine research with preservation for the sites that they are studying. In 2012, on the recommendation of their peers, archaeologists Donald Haggis and

Fig 1. Conservation of a step exposed in excavations at Azoria, Crete. Image courtesy of the Azoria Project.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

munity participation (Fig. 2) in the conservation and management of this important site through community workshops and by providing residents and other stakeholders with a forum to raise issues about how the changes and work at the site will impact the community and the region (

An integrated master plan for an archaeological site is a critical first-step to its long-term preservation. If a plan does not exist, archaeologists should work with the appropriate specialists, authorities, and other stakeholders to create an appropriate plan. If the existing plan is deemed insufficient or unsuitable, archaeologists should encourage the revision of the plan. Archaeologists should work closely with conservators and include these specialists in the initial stages of planning. When possible, collaborations and partnerships with existing research, education, conservation, and economic development programmes should be established and encouraged. Any preservation plans for a site should take three factors into consideration: (1) Impact: how will the proposed actions affect the site? (2) Implementation: are there sufficient resources to put the plan into action? and (3) Sustainability: are the proposed measures appropriate and viable for the long-term?

Fig 2. Local educators view restored remains on a tour of Thimlich Ohinga, Kenya. Photo by Isaya Onjala.

Theme Two: Site Preservation and Community Engagement

At the site of Lod in Israel, archaeology and site preservation are being used to promote the rich history of the ancient city and provide enrichment programmes that bring together both Arab and Jewish children ( lodcommunityarchaeologyprogramisrael). But community engagement can take many different forms. At Kissonerga in Cyprus, local community members and volunteers participated in the reconstruction of a Chalcolithic roundhouse and by so doing became a part of the site’s preservation history (

Project directors at the workshop discussed the need for community support to establish and sustain preservation projects. Getting the community involved is an important factor in the continued success of preservation efforts. The site of Thimlich Ohinga in Kenya contains spectacular 500-year-old stone structures but the site is in a fairly remote location. The local population continuously used the fortification site until recently for everything from harvesting medicinal plants to housing livestock. Project directors at Thimlich Ohinga are attracting com49

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

zansyria), plans include incorporation of the sites into larger eco-archaeological parks being planned for the region.

Sustainable site preservation requires commitment on the part of the archaeologists, the preservation specialists, local communities, and national authorities. Everyone involved has to believe that it is important to preserve the site and should work together to foster local heritage stewardship. Community engagement is achieved through outreach, education, and training. Many of the projects discussed at the workshop used outreach and education to make stakeholders more fully-aware of the importance and significance of the site in local, regional, national, and global terms. Several of the projects trained local residents to implement and participate in the long-term preservation of the site.

Fig 3. Guide trainer and trainees at Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia. Photo courtesy of Heritage Watch.

Theme Three: Site Preservation and Economic Development

In many parts of the world, plans for the development of an archaeological site should specifically include economic opportunities for stakeholders. If a site is viewed as a resource, an asset, and a possible revenue source rather than as a liability or obstacle to development there is a greater chance that the site will be preserved and that a long-term commitment will be made to the protection of the site. Direct economic benefits will engage the community but could also provide for the costs of long-term preservation and maintenance. Any discussion of possible economic benefits should be approached realistically. It is always possible that some sites will not generate much in the way of revenue. Furthermore, economic development, which often directly or indirectly promotes tourism to sites, should be undertaken cautiously, should be sustainable and benefit local communities, and should consider the long-term impact on the site. Opening a

Archaeological sites should be seen as assets and resources rather than liabilities and obstacles. When possible, plans for the future of sites should include opportunities, economic or otherwise, for local residents and other stakeholders. Inevitably, economic development based around archaeological sites involves the tourism industry. A new highway has opened the site of Banteay Chhmar in Cambodia to increased visitation. Heritage Watch, through an AIA Site Preservation Grant, is providing language and archaeological training for local residents and preparing them to be tour guides at the site (Fig. 3) – a move that will allow the community to benefit from the increased tourist revenue ( At sites like the aforementioned Thimlich Ohinga in Kenya and Tell Mozan in Syria (

Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

site to visitors introduces many new stresses and can lead to a more rapid deterioration of the site. Any plans for realising economic benefits from an archaeological site have to be carefully considered and adequate measures have to be taken to ensure proper protection, implementation, maintenance, and supervision. One of the initiatives undertaken by the AIA was to work with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) to create a set of guidelines for proper behaviour while visiting archaeological sites (; The ATTA, a membership organisation of travel companies, has made it a requirement for members to accept the recommendations set out in the guidelines. Theme Four: Ensuring Longevity and Success Project longevity is achieved when all stakeholders are committed to the protection and preservation of the sites. Principals directing the project should have a long-term commitment both to the site and to the surrounding region. If this commitment extends beyond the life of the research project, plans for the transfer of the project to capable hands must be in place. Longterm commitment to a region can only be achieved through cooperation with the appropriate local and national authorities, political entities, and other stakeholders. On Easter Island, the Easter Island Statue Project, in addition to surveying and working to preserve the famous moai, is working with residents to create a local monitoring and conservation team that will eventually take over management of the project and be responsible for the long-term protection of the monoliths (Fig 4). At Paynes Creek in

Fig 4. Monitoring efforts on Easter Island, Chile. Photo courtesy of Easter Island Statue Project.

Belize, project directors have implemented a comprehensive programme that combines research with preservation including the creation of a viewing platform that will allow visitors to see the underwater remains while minimising the impact of these visits (Fig 5). The project has also put together an exhibit, offered workshops, created a website and educational materials for local schools, and worked closely with local media to inform people about the site (www. At the site of Umm el-Jimal in Jordan the creation of a virtual museum and educational centre and the inclusion of materials in the 51

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a comprehensive site management plan that included designs for ongoing research, strategies for the stabilisation and conservation of uncovered remains, and a blueprint for the future of the site; (2) Make realistic assessments of the condition of the archaeological remains. Not all sites can be uncovered and stabilised. Sometimes the best course of action to protect a site may be to rebury it; (3) Include efforts to reach out to the local community and all other stakeholders (both national and local) in a variety of ways to inform and involve them in any projects that are being planned for the site; (4) Reach out to a wider community beyond the local area and make the information gathered and the lessons learned available to inform and educate them about the site; (5) Present techniques and outcomes to the larger preservation community and draw out the best practices; and (6) Be adaptable and evolve as circumstances and resources changed. While the AIA Site Preservation Program is still fairly new, we hope that through our efforts and with the cooperation of the larger archaeological community we can make holistic preservation an inherent part of the archaeological process. We anticipate that conservation combined with outreach and community engagement will provide longterm security for archaeological sites. Outreach is especially important in areas where local residents do not feel a sense of attachment to the sites in their area. It is critical in these cases to allow people to connect with the archaeological sites at all different levels – inform people about the significance of the site and/or promote the site as economic and cultural asset so that local residents do not see the site as a liability. As with any young programme of this na-

local Jordanian curriculum will ensure that the project remains relevant to future generations of Jordanians and anyone travelling to the area ( projects/ummeljimaljordan).

Fig 5. Plan of viewing platform at Paynes Creek, Belize. Image courtesy of Heather McKillop.

Projects should be regularly audited and evaluated. Successful practices should be continued and ineffective ones discarded or revised. The results (both positive and negative) should be made available to the wider archaeological and preservation communities.

The ‘Ideal’ Project Identifying the noteworthy features and strengths of the various projects has enabled the authors to create an ‘ideal’ project. This project would: (1) Ensure that principals and stakeholders worked within the parameters of 52

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an increasing commitment on the part of archaeologists to incorporate conservation efforts into the original research design. It is our belief that these efforts will ultimately help with the preservation of our irreplaceable and fragile cultural heritage. ď ľ

ture, the true results of the AIA Site Preservation Program may not be evident for several years. In the meantime, through the efforts of AIA supported conservation projects we are seeing more engaged communities around archaeological sites, renewed attention to site preservation, and

Further Reading iCOmOS, 2011 The Paris Declaration on Heritage as a Driver of Development. iCOmOS 17th General Assembly, Paris iCOmOS international Cultural Tourism Committee, 2002 ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Charter: Principles and Guidelines for Managing Tourism at Places of Cultural and Heritage Significance. international Council on monuments and Sites, iCOmOS international Cultural Tourism Committee, December 2002 mandal, S, and O’Carroll, F, 2011 A New Model for Site Preservation and Archaeological Practice. heritage, Conservation, and Archaeology, Archaeological institute of America ( Nardi, r, 2010 Conservation in Archaeology: Case Studies in the Mediterranean Region. heritage, Conservation, and Archaeology, Archaeological institute of America (archaeological. org/sitepreservation/hca) Padon, B, and C, 2012 Public Partnership in Site Preservation: the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program. heritage, Conservation, and Archaeology, Archaeological institute of America ( matero, F, 2008 Heritage, Conservation, and Archaeology: An Introduction. heritage, Conservation, and Archaeology, Archaeological institute of America ( World Conference on Sustainable Tourism, 1995 Charter for Sustainable Tourism, available from:


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

responsible metal Detecting as a Tool for enhancing the Protection of Archaeological heritage iNGriD ULST PhD University of Tartu, Estonia



rchaeology is not the sole privilege of archaeologists but should be open to all community groups, including detector users. This paper discusses the assumption that strict detecting regulations alone do not entail better protection of archaeological heritage than the reasonable combination of regulation and cooperation between detectorists and archaeologists. Based on the example of some EU countries, I seek to evaluate whether and how the discovery and protection of heritage would be improved by the inclusion of detectorists as opposed to strict limitations on their activity. I believe that responsible detecting has good potential for contributing to the discovery of archaeological heritage. If applied properly, I believe such a contribution would be a valuable resource for any government with a scarcity of resources. I do not wish to justify illicit searching or a lack of rules, but I do find it important to highlight that there is no country in which strict regulation alone would have considerably improved the protection of heritage. Keywords: metal detecting, heritage protection, archaeological heritage, detectorist

In the field of archaeology, metal detectorists are often connected with looting and illicit trading of archaeological heritage. Looting of major sites, a cynical attitude and disrespect for laws on behalf of some treasure-hunting metal detectorists, combined with the enormous volume of the black market for antiquities, have generated continuous conflict between archaeologists and metal detectorists. However, it is important to bear in mind that the detectorist community includes very different people with different motives, and illicit archaeology is not the only aspect to consider when talking about metal detecting in archaeology. There are certainly many lawabiding detectorists and we should remember that many archaeological items have been discovered thanks to their activity. I believe that well-established, responsible detecting has strong potential for contributing to the the discovery and protection of archaeological heritage. In fact, I think it is a valuable resource for governments



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to rely on in making new finds, if applied properly, as metal detectorists are usually motivated volunteers willing to spend their personal material resources and time on the discovery of heritage. Therefore, next to legal requirements, it is important to address the cooperative attempts and the attitudes from both parties regarding the regulatory environment and future perspectives. This paper is based on my recent Master’s thesis (Ulst 2012). The objective of this paper is to answer the following questions: i) What is the practical contribution of metal detectorists in different countries to the discovery and protection of archaeological heritage? Can cooperation be enhanced and how? (ii) If there were more involvement of detector users and less regulation, would this enhance or worsen the discovery and protection of archaeological heritage? The discussion is based on data from the following countries: United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the State of Saxony (in Germany) and Estonia. References to the current legislation of the said countries can be found in Ulst 2012.

Regulations, contribution and cooperation Metal detecting is a popular hobby in most of the examined countries. In smaller countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia1 the heritage protection authorities estimate the number of detectorists to be up to 1,000. This is also the case in Saxony, although Germany as a whole probably has between 5,000 and 10,000. In Finland the estimated size of their detectorist community ranges between 1,000 and 5,000 members. In the UK there are about 8,000–10,000 detector users actively participating in hobby detecting, and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is aware of 186 metal detecting clubs (Clark 2008, 15). The UK is the only country in which more than 75% of detector users belong to a detectorist organisation. In all of the examined countries, the use of metal detectors on scheduled sites is prohibited without a licence. Concerning the use of metal detectors on unscheduled sites, the regulations in the examined countries vary greatly. There are no direct provisions governing the use of detecting devices in Latvia and Finland. Sweden is an example of utmost strictness in regulating detecting, as all unlicensed detecting activities are prohibited and detectorists generally seem to feel that it is quite difficult to obtain a licence. Similarly, metal detecting is prohibited without a licence in Saxony. In Estonia, the use of detecting devices in the search of items of cultural value requires proper authorization. In Denmark, the use of metal detectors depends on the ownership and status of the land, and there are generally no restrictions on detecting on

1 About 10–25% of estonian detector users are organised. kiudsoo suggests that there are probably some couple of hundred treasure hunting detectorists in estonia (kiudsoo 2008, 14–5). however, in addition to treasure hunters there is a considerable number of active hobby detectorists who search objects not for monetary reasons but because of high personal enthusiasm. On the basis of her research, carried out among detectorists in 2009, kangert suggests that the number of people practising detecting in estonia is 500–1,000 (kangert 2009, 18).


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of the discovery of archaeological heritage in the country. A low estimate of the metal detectorists’ share in discovery of new finds often goes hand in hand with a high estimate of the amount of detectorist finds not reported to the heritage protection authorities. In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, the authorities estimate that only up to 10% of all detectorist finds are actually reported. In the UK and Denmark, the estimated reporting rate is more than 75%. Metal detectorists themselves often estimate the reporting rate considerably higher than the authorities do: for example, in Finland the detectorist estimations vary between 50 and 75% and in Estonia between 25 and 50%. In the UK, metal detectorists have contributed much to the discovery of artefacts, and their share of discoveries seems to have increased in recent years. For example, in 2008 some 6,870 finders recorded finds and 4,328 of them were metal detector users (Bland 2009). While a few years ago around two thirds of the finds reported to the PAS were discovered by metal detectorists (Clark 2008, 27), the figure was already 88% in 2010. Moreover, according to the PAS, metal detecting accounted for 95% of treasure cases in 2009 (British Museum 2010, 27). There is no doubt that some detector users aim for more “productive” sites and there will be always people who will keep the authorities uninformed. However, responsible metal detecting activity creates new knowledge and on some occasions helps to rescue heritage that would otherwise remain unknown. For example, Haldenby and Richards have demonstrated that artefacts in plough soil are much more

private land, if the landowner’s permission is obtained. The UK has the most liberal and flexible regulation system of the examined countries. Detecting is in principle legal in England, Wales and Scotland, but the users of detectors must have the landowner’s permission. In Northern Ireland the rules are different and the search of archaeological objects on any land requires a licence. In Estonia, Sweden and Saxony, the obligation to report all finds in the course of metal detecting goes together with the detecting licence. In Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, only objects of cultural value must be reported. Differing from the other examined countries, the system in the UK (excluding Scotland) entails both compulsory reporting and voluntary recording, depending on the particular situation. Objects and assemblies of objects which qualify as “treasure” must be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Additionally, the voluntary recording of any other objects is suggested. The rules of recording in the territory of Scotland are somewhat different – all finds are potentially property of the state and must be reported as “treasure trove”. Metal detecting contributes much to the accumulation of artefact finds in many countries. The contribution of detectorists is lower in the countries where the use of detectors requires a licence than in those with more liberal detecting regulation. For example, the estimated share of detector users of all archaeological discoveries in Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden is only up to 10%, whereas the heritage protection authorities in Denmark estimate that detectorists contribute up to over 75% 56

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tory, wishing to take part in the discovery of their past. Archaeology is said to be the only science in Denmark in which amateurs make a serious contribution. The level of cooperation is considered good in Estonia and the UK too. The heritage protection authorities of Saxony and Finland describe the level of cooperation in their region as moderate. In Finland this is in line with the detectorists’ view. It is worth noting that in Finland there is actually only very little systematic cooperation between detector users and heritage protection authorities; yet, the majority of the detectorist community in Finland is considered to be honest and interested in history. Contrary to other countries, the heritage protection authorities in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden suggest that there is no cooperation at all in their countries. I believe that this very much reflects the legal situation and the flexibility of rules, as well as the length of cooperation. Where there is a flexible set of regulations combined with “soft” instruments and longer joint experience of the inclusion of detector users in archaeology, cooperation is considered good or very good. On the other hand, countries which have a poor level of inclusion or no inclusion at all, and an extreme legal situation (i.e. a regulatory framework that is either too strict or too weak), the level of cooperation is poor. The views of detector users in different countries in respect to the current level of cooperation in the discovery and protection of archaeological heritage vary greatly. The German detectorists’ view is that there is no cooperation between detector users and the heritage protection authorities. This seems to be directly linked to the poor

vulnerable to damage than those in stratified archaeological contexts. Their study in 2010 focused on Anglo-Saxon pins and strapends from Yorkshire found in the course of metal detecting, compared with five excavated assemblages of similar material. Haldenby and Richards concluded that if left in the plough soil, metal artefacts would completely degrade; hence, discovery by metal detectors is preferable to nothing (Haldenby & Richards 2010). I certainly favour responsible detecting instead of no finds being made at all. I agree with EvanHart and Stuckey who suggest that with tighter resources and more limited financing for excavations, archaeologists have become more dependent on the information provided by metal detectorists. Thus, the sharing of experience and understanding between archaeologists and metal detectorists, as well as actual cooperation in discovering and retrieving finds seem to form a key to better protection of archaeological heritage (Evan-Hart & Stuckey 2007, 67–8). However, I also agree that the practice of responsible detecting should be improved in cooperation with the archaeologist community. First and foremost, this concerns the sampling and recording methods normally used in archaeology. This would serve as a starting point for shifting from an artefact-focused approach to a more archaeological one, putting more focus on the archaeological context. The heritage protection authorities in different countries have very different views on the current level of cooperation between detectorists and the state authorities. Cooperation is considered very good in Denmark where detector users are often interested in cultural heritage and his57

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inclusion of detector users: when there is almost no inclusion, there is unlikely to be much cooperation, either. Furthermore, detector users generally consider their contact with the protection authorities to have been a very unpleasant experience2. In Sweden there seems to be a chasm between the detectorists and heritage protectors, so it is reasonable to conclude that the chances of metal detectorists contributing to the discovery of archaeological heritage and cooperating in the form of responsible detecting are rather low there. Irrespective of the implied good level of inclusion of organised detector users in Estonia, the overall level of cooperation is estimated by the detector community to be low. I believe this does not derive from a major functional gap between the two communities, but is rather based on the fact that cooperation only functions at the club level. Individual detectorists do not actively seek out or utilise the possibilities of cooperation with archaeologists. Given that the very few detector users belong to any organisation, the overall level of cooperation throughout the country is poor.

have come up with the following suggestions for cooperative frameworks and initiatives to facilitate responsible detecting and cooperation between heritage protectors and the detectorist community. Firstly, training courses and information sessions for detector users in relation to search methods and archaeological fieldwork are one of the key forms of cooperation in most of the examined countries. It is important to note that detecting in itself and its various search techniques should not be at the core of such training courses and sessions; they should primarily aim to explain the importance of archaeological heritage. Hollowell suggests that the fact that archaeological records are of little importance to certain people indicates that archaeologists have failed to explain their ways of constructing meaning. Many detectorists still think of archaeology as it was in the early parts of the last century, when its objective was mainly to fill the shelves of museums (Hollowell 2006, 85). Hence, training courses targeting detectorists should first and foremost aim to teach how to avoid the destruction of archaeological finds and sites, and describe how to record finds properly. There are five categories of trust relationships archaeologists enter into in their work. One of them is public trust: a relationship between professional archaeologists and the general public. Public trust, as a legal and moral framework, is a complex phenomenon and difficult to extrapolate into unambiguous categories. Here, two subgroups can be defined: the actively involved public (e.g. avocational archaeologists, volunteers, detectorists, etc.) and the uninterested public. Colwell and Ferguson

Suggestion for cooperative initiatives The results of my research suggest that heritage protection authorities in all countries except Latvia find it very important to further their cooperation with detector users. On the basis of contributions from the key stakeholders in the examined countries, I 2 more information about the situation in Germany is available online at An english summary can be found in the FAQ section at


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sponsible detecting and thereby the protection of archaeological heritage is general awareness raising. This can take very different forms, including direct campaigns, public information materials and websites, systematic media coverage and so on. In Sweden, the attitude of the media has constantly been very negative towards detectorists. The suggestion from Swedish detectorists is that a shift in the media approach could contribute much to the development of a cooperative spirit and the willingness to participate in the protection of archaeological heritage. It is interesting to note that media and broadcasting are highlighted as important awareness-raising tools particularly in the UK, where they also take place in practice. For example, the Durobrivae (Water Newton) metal detecting rally in August 2007 in the Roman town of Durobrivae was featured on The One Show, a prime-time BBC magazine television series featuring stories from across the UK. The event received extensive publicity and particular attention was paid to the fact that archaeologists and metal detector users were working together in a project developed for archaeological fieldwork alongside the rally (Thomas 2007, 3). Given that the media have contributed to the country developing a well-established system of heritage protection with a positive image and plenty of public knowledge, we can conclude that media coverage could serve as a powerful tool for achieving better general awareness of heritage issues, as well as ultimately better cooperation with the community of detector users. With regard to Estonia, the need for awareness-raising is directly linked to some major cases of looting, which demonstrate

suggest that in respect of the former, archaeologists have clear obligations to be honest and to actively include them in research, preservation issues and the dissemination of research results (Colwell-Chanthaphonh & Ferguson 2006, 123–5). Besides training, joint archaeological search missions and greater involvement of detector users in archaeological fieldwork are considered important elements in enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation. For example, in Denmark a practical aspect prevails where clubs participate in training courses, archaeology festivals and “detector rallies”, often in collaboration with local museums. There is enough flexibility and voluntariness in the Danish system, with archaeologists recognising very well the advantages of cooperating with the metal detecting community (National Council for Metal Detecting 1998). Denmark is said to have an excellent system for governing responsible and constructive amateur detecting. The Danish authorities express their willingness to cooperate through different means of inclusion, such as metal detecting festivals meant both for skilled amateur detectorists and professional archaeologists. In contrast to Denmark, one of the effects of Sweden’s strict and restrictive policy is said to be that Swedish detectorists work to assist Danish archaeologists rather than their own countrymen, because the general image of metal detectorists among Swedish archaeologists is not very good (Rundkvist 2009). Thus, the system in Denmark is considered more reasonable by detectorists and is likely to allow much better contributions to the discovery of archaeological heritage. Another suggestion for improving re59

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the importance of the mass media as an information channel3. Official archaeological excavations always pose a certain threat to antiquities, because looting may be facilitated by public information about excavations activating treasure hunters. A study has found that areas with projects of greater public outreach reported higher incidents of looting (Hollowell and Wilk 1995). Thus, archaeologists need to do a better job of convincing people that archaeology is for everyone’s benefit (Hollowell 2006, 86). Among other methods, the protection of archaeological heritage could be improved by increasing awareness among the public. Looters usually introduce themselves to local people as archaeologists or museum staff. If people accept such an explanation without questioning, it often results in the destruction of sites (Kiudsoo 2008, 14–5). Greater awareness of the problems of “illicit archaeology” and irresponsible detecting would help local people distinguish between official excavations and treasure hunting, and lead them to notify the authorities accordingly. Drafting a code of responsible detecting is generally seen as another tool for the system of cooperation between the state and the detectorist community. Many of the examined countries have certain recommendations or other “soft” regulatory tools to explain why archaeological heritage is

important, how to recognise the objects of archaeological value and how to act upon the discovery of finds and sites. Principles and codes of ethics in archaeology are important because they simultaneously reflect and shape the discipline’s values and ideals (Colwell-Chanthaphonh & Ferguson 2006, 117). The rules of detecting organisations are of particular value because they directly express the moral standards generally agreed by their members. One can assume that general agreement with standards is also reflected in the behaviour of detector users. A well-functioning detectorist organisation would provide important support to the application of recommendations and guidelines, serving as another tool for the development of responsible detecting and the consequent protection of archaeological heritage. One suggestion is that regular joint expert groups tackling the issues and problems of detecting would improve cooperation and the protection of archaeological heritage. On the one hand, such teams would help to develop and maintain contacts between the community of detector users and the state authorities. On the other hand, they would exchange views, point out problems and jointly find solutions acceptable to all parties. I believe that these kinds of round tables belong to a more advanced level of cooperation, rather than to the initial steps, because they assume a certain level of mutual understanding and prior collaboration. We have seen that Denmark and the UK have the most established systems in terms of legal regulation and “soft” instruments. These go hand in hand with a rather high general awareness of heritage issues, better cooperation and

3 The case of the keila treasure, for example, demonstrated the contribution that the media make to the image of treasure hunters: the extent of the damage was not mentioned although it was one of the biggest cases of treasure looting. With the help of the media, it was the size of finding fees which became the issue of debate.


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inclusion of detectorists in the discovery of archaeological heritage. When it comes to whether there should be more voluntary or compulsory guidelines in place for improving cooperation between the communities of detector users and heritage protectors, it is generally the case that the systems with higher flexibility and long-term voluntariness serve as the best examples of cooperation. In this light, the reporting of finds is one of the important aspects to consider. Specifically, the PAS reporting system used in the UK is often seen in this context as the most flexible system in Europe. It is a unique initiative, unparalleled anywhere in Europe, which certainly adds collective knowledge of the past through public involvement. It has established a mechanism to promote interest through the recording of finds made by the public and the publication of results for all to see (Bland 2008, 80). Voluntary PAS reporting in England and Wales is leading to more finds being reported than the all-encompassing mandatory reporting of finds in Scotland. According to Bland, this suggests that a general requirement to report finds is on its own unlikely to lead to an increased reporting rate4. The PAS scheme would take effect only through better education of the general public (Bland 2008, 79–80).

an important role in finding artefacts in many countries. The contribution of detectorists is considered to be less significant in countries where the use of detectors requires a licence than in ones with more liberal detecting regulations. This research indicates that there are many practical ways and possibilities for enhancing the cooperation between detector users and heritage protection authorities, which would eventually lead to more discoveries and better protection of archaeological heritage. Firstly, training courses and information sessions for detector users are a key form of cooperation in most of the examined countries. Secondly, joint archaeological search missions and greater involvement of detector users in archaeological fieldwork are important for enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation. Thirdly, regular joint expert groups tackling the issues and problems of detecting and facilitating changes in the legal environment could present good possibilities for the enhancement of mutual cooperation. The general conclusion from this research is that a good level of involvement of detector users and mutual cooperation combined with a reasonable extent of regulation would be the best solution in terms of discovery and protection of archaeological heritage. Naturally, any involvement and cooperation attempts assume responsible detecting. Since archaeological activities usually require quite significant resources, responsible detecting can also be seen from the perspective of economics: the search costs otherwise incurred fully by the state would be redistributed between the state and the private individuals who voluntarily engage in detecting activities and search

Conclusion It seems evident that metal detecting plays

4 The PAS figures for voluntary reporting are impressive: some 157,188 finds were recorded in 2009 and 2010 (67,089 and 90,099 respectively). 1,638 cases of Treasure (778 and 860 respectively) were reported in the same period. Cf. British museum 2010, 25–26.


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from both sides slowly improving. General awareness of the importance of archaeological heritage and its value to society is limited in Estonia, which means some mandatory regulation is needed. Self-regulation in the form of cooperation should be developed in the context of the existing regulatory framework. In this respect, the research results lead us to conclude that the Danish system of well-functioning inclusion and mutual cooperation, combined with reasonable regulation, would serve as the best example for Estonia. 

missions. It is generally the case that the systems with more flexibility and long-term voluntariness, such as those in the UK and Denmark, are the best examples of good cooperation. An overly strict regulatory framework and a lack of cooperative attempts, in contrast, result in weak mutual understanding and low willingness to cooperate between the archaeologist and detectorist communities. Finally, concerning Estonia in particular, the outlook is quite promising right now, with attitudes and cooperative attempts

References Bland, r, 2008 “The Development and Future of the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme”. in Metal Detecting and Archaeology (edited by S Thomas & P G Stone), Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 63–85 Clark, k, 2008. A Review of the Portable Antiquities Scheme [online], available from: http://finds. [07 February 2012] Colwell-Chanthaphonh, C, & Ferguson, T J 2006. “Trust and archaeological practice: towards a framework of Virtue ethics”. in The Ethics of Archaeology: Philosophical Perspectives on Archaeological Practice, (edited by C Scarre & G Scarre), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 115–30 evan-hart, J, & Stuckey, D, 2007 Beginner’s Guide to Metal Detecting. Greenlight Publishing, essex haldenby, D, & richards, J D, 2010 “Charting the effects of plough damage using metal-detected assemblages”, Antiquity 84 (326), 1151–62 hollowell, J, 2006 “moral arguments on subsistence digging”. in The Ethics of Archaeology: Philosophical Perspectives on Archaeological Practice (edited by C Scarre & G Scarre), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 69–93 kangert, N, 2009 Metallidetektorid ja arheoloogiapärandi kaitse Eestis: arengud ja hetkeseis, Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo ja arheoloogia instituut, Tartu (in estonian) kiudsoo, m, 2008 “hauaröövlid ja aardekütid”. Sirp 9, 14–5 (in estonian). National Council for metal Detecting, 1998. The Law Regarding Metal Detecting outside the United Kingdom (including Jersey) [online], available from: [08 February 2012] 62

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rundkvist, m, 2009 Danish Metal Detector Festival [online]. 24 march, available at [08 February 2012] The British museum, 2010 The Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report 2009&2010 [online], available from: [10 February 2012] Thomas, S, 2007 Archaeologists and Metal Detector Users: Unlikely Bedfellows? The Durobrivae (Water Newton) Metal Detecting Rally [online], available from: documents/ThomasShApaper.pdf [20 February 2012] Ulst, i, 2012 The Role of Community Archaeology in Heritage Protection: Responsible Metal Detecting as a Tool for Enhancing the Protection of Archaeological Heritage, University of Tartu, institute of history and Archaeology, Tartu [also available online from: mA12_Ulst.pdf [20 June 2012]

Annex 1. Overview of Metal Detecting Regulations


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Annex 2. Suggestions on Cooperative Initiatives

Options for the Enhancement of Cooperation Heritage Protection Authorities

Drafting of detecting guidelines and recommendations


Joint excavations, events and search missions

Germany (Saxony)

Joint regular expert group / round-table

The UK

Aw areness raising


Trainings and information sessions

Sweden Finland Latvia Estonia

Options for the Enhancement of Cooperation Detector Users Drafting of detecting guidelines and recommendations Joint excavations, events and search missions


Joint regular expert group / round-table


Aw areness raising


Trainings and information sessions


Other options



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

experiences of the Adopt-amonument Programme in Finland AiNO NiSSiNAhO Archaeologist Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum Tampere, Finland


nity activities. The idea of adopting ancient monuments was borrowed from Scotland, where a similar programme has been coordinated by Archaeology Scotland (2009). The physical maintenance of monuments is not the principal objective of adoption, but rather a procedure or result. The main objective is to give people an opportunity to include local cultural heritage in their lives. In other words, the programme creates a model for civic participation in archaeological heritage. Another aim is to nourish a sense of cultural determination. Sustained local conservation work over a number of years has shown that most important in the conservation of cultural heritage is the will of the public; legislated conservation is never enough by itself. The greatest obstacle to the conservation and maintenance of archaeological monuments is lack of knowledge. Without sufficient information about a site, people cannot understand or feel that the monument is part of their own cultural heritage, and therefore they lack any incentive for maintenance. The Adopt-aMonument programme is eminently suitable as a core activity of the Museum: it com-


he Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum administers an Adopt-a-Monument scheme, giving private groups or associations stewardship of ancient monuments. The Adopt-a-Monument programme is eminently suitable as a core activity of the Museum: it communicates information about and supports the conservation of cultural heritage, gives people personal experiences and builds a bridge between heritage and the culture of contemporary everyday life. Keywords: Ancient monuments, adoption, heritage, maintenance A few years ago, an Adopt-a-Monument scheme was launched in the Pirkanmaa region in southern Finland, giving citizens stewardship of ancient monuments (Soininen and Nissinaho 2008; Nissinaho 2009; Soininen 2011; Pirkanmaan maakuntamuseo 2012). The project is administered and directed by the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, the regionally competent authority in matters pertaining to cultural environments. In addition to conservation, the Museum has also invested in cultural environmental education and various commu65

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There are currently nine adopted monuments, and the adoption of six more is being prepared for 2012. Adoption is a process that involves many stages. After clearing up the legal aspects and creating an administrative organisation, monuments were assessed from the perspective of adoption and suitable sites were selected. The criteria for selection included the monument’s understandability, narrative potential, accessibility and suitability as a site for outings or tourism. At the next stage, landowners were contacted and agreements made with them, and adopters were chosen. Adoption was advertised in the media, and the programme received a lot of publicity even in national news. Under the Antiquities Act, the care of ancient monuments can be given to public bodies, companies or registered associations, the idea being to ensure continuity of care. Private persons cannot be accepted as adopters. When, after interviews, a suitable group or association is found as an adopter, a site management plan is drawn up and a written agreement concluded with the adopting body. Finally, a maintenance permit is applied for from the National Board of Antiquities. The groups that signed up for and were selected for adoption had previous experience of caring for their living environment, as well as an interest in history. Many of them were organisations of local residents, villages or local history associations. New types of groups were also formed. For example, the Finland-Russia Society and the Finnish Officers’ Union wanted to adopt defence fortifications built during the period of Russian rule.

municates information about and supports the conservation of cultural heritage, gives people personal experiences and builds a bridge between heritage and the culture of contemporary everyday life.

Fig 1. Adopters of the church ruins in Pälkäne look after the historical and Iron Age cemetery. Photo: Kaisa Ansami, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum.

The launch of the programme was preceded by a thorough preparatory phase, because there was no previous experience of such activity. One of the things that needed clarification was the legal aspect of adoption. The Antiquities Act endows the right to maintain ancient monuments to the National Board of Antiquities and parties approved by it. In other words, maintenance requires a permit and calls for written agreements setting out the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the parties, which are the adopting organisation, the landowner, the Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum as the responsible administrator, and the National Board of Antiquities as the granter of the maintenance permit (and ultimately as the supervising authority). 66

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Fig 2. The defence system, constructed during World War I, was adopted by the Finland-Russia Society. Photo: Vadim Adel, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum.

and to undertake physical maintenance of the site.

Two schools have adopted ancient monuments located near them. A group of friends wanted to adopt a site of Iron Age graves, because the site had for a long time been their meeting place, especially when difficult personal matters needed to be discussed. One person wanted to adopt a hill fort on his land, intending to found an association for the adoption together with relatives. Many private individuals turned up as adopters. When they were advised to form a group and set up an association for the adoption, as the Antiquities Act demands, many regrettably abandoned the idea. The task of the adopting party is to make the monument part of everyday life, to relay information about the site to promote understanding in their own community,

Fig 3. The old boundary wall between the city of Tampere and Pispala village became a visible element of the local urban environment after clearance. Photo: Aino Nissinaho, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

crete sense of participation in the cycle of life. As one commenter put it:

Maintenance involves keeping the site clear (removing weeds, mowing, etc.), monitoring the condition of the site and reporting damage and improving accessibility (making paths, putting up information signs and boards). The task of the Museum is to support the adopting parties in every way. Support includes the provision of practical site management training and opportunities to participate in training events on prehistory, archaeology and the cultural environment. The Museum also organises events such as field trips exclusively for adopters. The Museum functions as a link in the adoption network and as the administrator in charge of the necessary legal matters and contracts. It also supervises the care and use of the monuments. What are the benefits for the adopters? No fees are paid for maintenance, and adoption is based entirely on voluntary work. The adopting party receives permission to use the area for picnics or other small-scale events. They also receive special benefits from the Museum, such as free admission to exhibitions, lectures and excursions. Interviews have shown that the perceived benefits for the adopting groups involve an enhanced sense of community, collective participation as well as maintenance of the residential environment. Many of them have an existing interest in nature and history, and maintenance of a monument is a natural continuation of their hobby. Some adopters are recent movers, who want to make their new locality their own and commit to the neighbourhood. Many adopters feel that prehistoric monuments belong to their own history. On a more philosophical level, maintenance of prehistoric graves can give a con-

‘Even the idea of death seems more normal there. I have a distant sense of community with the people who were buried here 1,300 years ago. Could it be that the people buried here are my direct ancestors? What happened? Why did they move away? I wouldn’t mind being buried in a place like this myself. ‘ Adoption is a practical way of ensuring that historical places remain intact for future generations. Adoption is a form of psychological ownership and dedication.

Fig 4. Adopter Terttu Nordström sitting on an Iron Age cairn after clearance. Photo: Ari Järvelä, City of Tampere.

My fellow speaker at the EAA conference, Terttu Nordström, adopter of Lapp cairns, beautifully expressed the idea of adoption: ‘I have often had to justify my interest in archaeology to people. Perhaps I could say my imagination is stirred by holding a piece of ancient 68

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ordinated by a central governmental organisation, the Swedish National Heritage Board, under the slogan Adoptera ett framtidsminne (“Adopt a Future Monument”) (Bergwall 2002). Besides ancient monuments, adopted sites have included buildings and other large entities.

pottery in my hand. Maybe it is an interest in human activity and cultural development. I view historic development as a kind of journey from one place to another. Man today wants to know about his past and predict his future. A history teacher in my youth sparked my interest by taking us on a field trip to prehistoric sites in southern Finland. It was a wonderful experience, which I will carry with me through life. Later experiences have not diluted, but rather strengthened, my amateurish interest in archaeology. For me, adoption of the cairns is an emotional and a happy thing. It is a practical way to ensure, that historic sites will be preserved for coming generations. I believe that the care and information we provide will increase the value and interest of the site and its surroundings in the eyes of ordinary citizens. At the same time, it is a way to show respect for people who have lived before us. When I look out from the graves onto the lake, I can imagine how our forefathers did the same; what they thought and how they felt; how they lived in primitive conditions, professing their faith in order to make it to the next day and then the next. Without those forefathers and foremothers, none of us would be here today. There are also two schools among the adopting parties, and we would like to see more schools involved. As one teacher put it, adoption is a great way of making prehistory come alive, which otherwise remains distant in history teaching. At the very least, the school arranges annual excursions to the sites, but there are opportunities for broader and sustained teaching projects that involve different subject areas and grades. The Museum also organises events for schools, such as workshops on prehistoric lifestyle, and so on.’

Fig 5. Small buildings in public spaces are well suited to adoption. Photo: Miia Hinnerichsen, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum.

The schools have cooperated with museums and even businesses. Similar activities have been undertaken by voluntary organisations of adults as far back as the mid1990s, when the adoption programme was launched. For instance, private individuals and groups have been entrusted with the care of rune stones (Bergwall 2002; Andersson 2003; Riksantikvarieämbetet 2009; 2010). Norway has seen a project for the adoption of a World Heritage site: the settlement of wooden houses in the mining community of Røros was adopted by a school

Monuments or sites of cultural history have traditionally been adopted by schools in other countries, such as Sweden, where the adoption of monuments has been co69

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on its staff one person who manages the programme on a part-time basis. We have also been able to hire temporary employees for fixed periods of time. However, this input is insufficient even for 10–15 adoption sites and groups. The launch of an adoption project in particular requires a great deal of work, and on top of that there is the need for consultation, organisation of events, training for adopters, and timely monitoring of the condition of the sites. It would be ideal if the Museum had one person who could work only on adoption projects. The evaluation of the Røros adoption project in Norway revealed that a more continuous input from the museum would have been necessary there too (Lidén 2005). The volume of the adoption programme must be increased to ensure sufficient impact and outputs. This applies equally to the maintenance of monuments and to community archaeology and inclusion. In a region the size of Pirkanmaa, just 30 adopted – and thereby managed – sites and a corresponding number of adoption groups would make a considerable positive impact in both the maintenance of the cultural environment and the visibility of cultural heritage. It would involve participation by about three hundred persons directly, and many times more indirectly. An important aspect is continuity; the maintenance of ancient monuments is not something that is suitable as a fixed-term project The adoption of monuments has attracted attention also elsewhere in Finland. Regional museums would be suitable bodies for the coordination of adoption, but they lack the necessary financial means for such work. The acquisition of the necessary resources would therefore be the first task.

in 2000. Each pupil adopted one house (Lidén 2005). Another predominantly school-run project was Schools Adopt Monuments, launched and supported by the EU in 1994–97. The project involved schools from several European countries, and the adoption sites and methods differed. In France, it is common for societies to care for cultural heritage (Fédération Patrimoine-Environnement 2012). At the beginning of the 2000s, the French Ministry of Education launched a programme of adoption of cultural sites for schools, under the title Adopter son patrimoine (“Adopt Your Heritage”) (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale 2002). The adoption of ancient monuments in Scotland, which was used as the model for the Pirkanmaa programme, is coordinated by Archaeology Scotland; the programme has been running for 20 years (Archaeology Scotland 2009). One way of adopting a monument is to give money for the care of monuments. Such projects are common in the USA and also as a new form of activity in Botswana, for example (The Municipal Art Society of New York 2012; National Museum, Monuments and Art Gallery 2012). Undoubtedly different forms of adoption and other voluntary work for the maintenance of cultural heritage will become even more common in the future (cf. e.g. ICCROM 2006; Da Milano et al 2009). The crucial challenge is to ensure that the programme will continue in the future. The past few years have shown that, although the inherent idea in adoption is that citizens will care for and maintain their cultural heritage themselves, a continuous contribution from society is also necessary. The Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum has 70

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gramme is seen as a partial solution to the problem. Metsähallitus launched its own adoption programme last spring, largely using the concept introduced by us (Metsähallitus 2012).

One new challenge is the adoption of sites of built heritage The regulations and conservation practices relating to them differ from those for ancient monuments. The interests of building owners differ from those of the owners of land containing archaeological monuments. The care and maintenance of built sites can also be more demanding, as maintenance may call for repairs with traditional methods that are today no longer within a layman’s expertise. Even small maintenance measures also involve much greater costs for materials than that of ancient monuments. Government subsidies for the repair of traditional or conserved buildings provide a partial solution to this problem, but they only cover some of the cost. The Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum will start the adoption program of built heritage in 2013. In addition to a programme similar to that of the ancient monuments, we will try another method which could attract a larger group of participants: a network or community in which individuals could also participate. They could take part in events organised by adopter groups or the Museum, and the network would act as a communication channel for cooperation and interaction. 

Fig 6. Old transformer buildings often lose their function along with new technology. Adoption could be a suitable means of protection. Photo: Miinu Mäkelä, Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum.

Metsähallitus, the Finnish forest administration body, has been particularly interested in this, because it is the largest landowner in Finland and therefore has many ancient monuments as well as built sites on its lands. Resources for maintenance of them all are scarce, and the adoption pro71

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References Andersson, k, 2003 Kulturarvsadoption – pilotprojektets arbete våren 2003 samt resultat: Slutrapport September 2003, Jämtlands länsmuseum, Östersund (also available online from: http:// Archaeology Scotland, 2009 Adopt-a-Monument [online], available from: [20 June 2012] Bergwall, m, 2002 Adoptera ett framtidsminne. 6000-åriga hällristningar i Näsåker. Barn vårdar, värnar värden. Länsmuseet Västernorrland/riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm Da milano, C, Gibbs, k, and Sani, m, (eds.) 2009 Volunteers in Museums and Cultural Heritage – A European Handbook, Volunteers for Cultural heritage [online], available from: http://www. [20 June 2012] Fédération Patrimoine–environnement, 2012 Fédération Patrimoine–Environnement [online], available from: [20 June 2012] Fondazione Napoli Novantanove, 2012 Schools adopt monuments [online], available from: version&pagina=english&id=1 [24 September 2012] international Centre for the Study of Preservation and restoration of Cultural Property (iCCrOm), 2006. Awareness projects. Framework Adopt a monument [online], available from: http:// [20 June 2012] Lidén, h, 2005 Husadopsjon Røros. Evaluering av et samarbeidsprosjekt mellom Røros Museum og Røros grunnskole [online], available from: [20 June 2012] (also available in print: rapport 2005:2, institutt for samfunnsforskning, Oslo) metsähallitus, 2012 Kummiksi niitylle tai adoptoitavaksi pala esihistoriaa? [online], available from: Sivut/Default.aspx [24 September 2012] ministère de l’Éducation nationale, 2002 “mise en œuvre du plan pour l’éducation artistisque et l’action culturelle à l’école – Charte pour une éducation au patrimoine ‘Adopter son patrimoine’”, Bulletin official du Ministère de l’éducation nationale, No 2002-087 [online], available from: [24 September 2012] The municipal Art Society of New York, 2012 Adopt-A-Monument/Adopt-A-Mural [online], available from: [20 June 2012] National museum, monuments and Art Gallery, 2012. Adopt a monument strategy, an opportunity to give life to heritage sites and instill a sense of pride to communities [online], available from: [20 June 2012] Nissinaho, A, 2009. “ensimmäiset muinaisjäännösten adoptointisopimukset on allekirjoitettu”, Museokello, Pirkanmaan museouutiset 2009 [online], available from: [20 June 2012]


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Nissinaho, A, and Soininen, T L, in press. “Adopt A monument – Social meaning From Community Archaeology”, in Public Participation in Archaeology (edited by J Lea and S Thomas), The Boydell Press, Woodbridge Norsk kulturarv, 2012 Rydd et kulturminne [online], available from: index.aspx?cat=3006010&article=3291495 [24 September 2012] Pirkanmaan maakuntamuseo, 2012. Adopt a Monument [online], available at http://vapriikki. net/adoptmonument/ [20 June 2012] riksantikvarieämbetet, 2009 Fornminnesvård [online], available from: extern/kulturarv/arkeologi_och_fornlamningar/fornminnesvard.html [24 September 2012] riksantikvarieämbetet, 2010. Fadderverksamhet [online], available at [24 September 2012] Soininen, T L, 2011. “Voiko arkeologialla pelastaa maailmaa?” Museokello, Pirkanmaan museouutiset 2011 [online], available from: [20 June 2012] Soininen, T L, and Nissinaho, A, 2008. “Adoptoisinko monumentin?” Museokello, Pirkanmaan museouutiset 2008 [online], available from: [20 June 2012]


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

how do Archaeology and its Products Appear in Popular Culture and everyday Life? LeeNA LehTiNeN Director Kierikki Stone Age Centre, Finland



his article discusses access to archaeology by the public, i.e. outsiders to archaeological institutions. The first approach is “archeology as a social hobby”. This mostly takes place through volunteer work, on travels and on social occasions mostly organized by archaeological societies. Another approach is ”extreme archaeology”, which the author of the paper proposes as the future of public archaeology. It is not always suitable for young children, however. This approach is similar to that of the popular Finnish action group The Dudesons. Extreme archaeology refers to people having fun and testing their limits in ”primitive” conditions. An example was a primitive survival camp held during winter 2010–2011 in the Kierikki Stone Age Village in northern central Finland. The approach has led to the creation of the Kuttelo Stone Age Action Group, which runs entertaining archeology events such as Stone Age men’s and women’s wrestling and sauna. Keywords: public archaeology, extreme archaeology, volunteer archaeology

Archaeology has been an object of interest to the general public as long as archaeological research has been practised – in other words, since the 18th century when the first scientific excavations were made in Italy, Egypt, the United Kingdom and the United States. The first scientific excavation is presumed to have been done by the antiquarian Marcello Venuti in the Roman city of Herculaneum, in 1738. This was the first properly supervised excavation of an archaeological site and it can probably be seen as the birth of modern archaeology (Johnston 2012, Taavitsainen 1998). Everyone is aware of amateur archaeologists, as well, as these keen practitioners have existed as long as archaeology itself. But amateur participation in fieldwork is not the only way for the general public to approach archaeology. Nick Merriman summarises the meaning of public archaeology from two perspectives: “The first is the association of the word ‘public’ with the state and its institutions



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(e.g. the British Museum). The second is the concept of ‘the public’ as a group of the individuals who debate issues and consume cultural products, and whose reactions inform ‘public opinion.” (Merriman 2004, 1). As Merriman notes, there has been a change in the relationship with the public. “From a very different direction, change has been prompted by the fact that many of the outlets for public representations of archaeology (museums, exhibitions, heritage sites) have been forced to compete for visitors in a commercial leisure market, and have been subject to new forms of management which have involved the demonstration of accountability for public funds and value for money. This return to the public can also be placed within a wider context which has seen the development of the notion of the active citizen, in which choice and participation (particularly expressed through consumerism) is seen to be a major political advance.” (Merriman 2004, 4). In this article, the main starting point for studying “the public” is the last definition: as a product for active citizens and consumers who make their choices based on individual or group-oriented backgrounds and needs.

 The entertainment industry, which constructs the image of archaeologists through films, social media, computer games, comic books and literature (e.g. the iconic image of Indiana Jones).  TV programs, newspaper articles and magazines related to the popularisation of science (e.g. on the mysteries of Stonehenge).  Services for the general public organised by a museum or association. These include public excavations, archaeological tours and other ways to increase knowledge of archaeology. This is one of the most important types of archaeological public relations management. It is provided mainly by museums’ educational services for schools. This work has grown massively in the last twenty years, as has the number of museum teachers. This occupation is now present in most provincial museums in Finland.  Private companies that offer archaeology-related entertainment and education services to the general public in a customer-oriented and commercial way. This group includes privately owned archaeology parks and re-enactment villages. One of the biggest is Archeon in the Netherlands.1 All of the categories outlined above will be important in coming years. The museum sector plays a significant role as a provider, and it can be an influential factor in the field of archaeology for the general public. But at least in Finland more players are needed in the field of public archaeology, such as private companies.

How can the public approach archaeology? Excluding the official research and management carried out by archaeological institutions, as well as history lessons in schools, knowledge of archaeology reaches the public mainly through the following contact and information channels:  Diverse amateur associations which are in different ways linked to local or supralocal history.

1 See the Archeon website, available from http://www.


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At least at the Kierikki Stone Age Centre in northern central Finland, it has been noted that children who have visited will also encourage their parents to visit. At the same time, we have to cater to the different generations’ varying requirements, interests and networks. For example, twenty years ago we could not have guessed that social media would become ubiquitous and revolutionise the flow of information in just a few years. Fortunately there are new types of interaction between the audience and archaeology which are adaptable to today’s fast-changing currents and continuous stimuli.

Fig 1. Members of the Finnish research and re-enactment group Kuttelo, dressed in Stone Age garments, during the Kierikki Winter Days in March 2013. Photo Patrik Franzén, Kierikki Stone Age Centre.

Archaeology as a social hobby Amateur archaeology has a long history, especially in Britain and the United States. There, archaeological excavations are often done by volunteers. The website of the Council of British Archaeology had links to as many as 339 British amateur organisations at the end of 20122. The tradition of volunteering is much stronger in the Anglo-Saxon world and Central Europe than in the Nordic countries, where it is generally considered that any work must be remunerated according to a standard wage level. Amateur archaeology has become more common in Finland over the last 20 years, and in 2013 there are half a dozen associations. All of these are located in southern parts of the country, the northernmost being in Jyväskylä, in southern central Finland. It is estimated that their combined membership is around 500, having remained relatively unchanged for the last

Looking at archaeology from the perspective of the general public, we have to consider what makes archaeology interesting, i.e. what sells. The excitement offered by archaeology is and will continue to be the essence of its public attraction. It is not necessary for every amateur to be a researcher who patiently cleans out finds, draws maps or catalogues photos. A TV programme can reach a million viewers, capturing their interest and hopefully maintaining it, which could further activity in archaeology. TV and the entertainment industry have given archaeology a strong image, where the most important things are an exciting adventure in a jungle or detective work looking for small clues. The best thing here is the positive attitude towards archaeology, which the field should make use of. Attitude is also the most important result of school education on archaeology.

2 [29 December 2012]


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decade (Lehtinen 2008). Finnish amateur archaeological associations and volunteer projects are comparable to many other European ones in that they are relatively small and have a short history. Volunteering is not restricted to fieldwork, but also includes education and entertainment. For example, several Dutch and British open-air museums work with as many as 100 volunteers, mainly pensioners. The Hunebedcentrum Archaeological Museum and Learning Centre in the northern Netherlands ( offers plenty of practical training for the unemployed, who often perform their statutory work duties in museums (Hunebedcentrum n.d.).3 In Finland, volunteering has recently increased in some professional institutions, mostly the Heureka Science Centre in Vantaa, near Helsinki (Vantaan Sanomat 2011). Volunteers work there as guides and help with many practical tasks behind the scenes. Volunteering is channelled through local history museums, associations and other support organisations because in Finland the direct use of unpaid personnel is complicated due to labour legislation. Most

of the devotees and volunteers are pensioners, a phenomenon which Finland shares with many other countries (Lehtinen 2008). The human being is a social animal, and for many of us the main thing about a hobby is the possibility to share it with others. Many retired volunteers say that meeting other people is the main reason for working as a volunteer, because it keeps their minds active and makes them feel needed. For many, archaeology is above all a social hobby, where working together is the main attraction. Archaeology is also an excellent reason to travel to exotic locations looking for famous ancient monuments. Travelling is an integral part of the activities of all Finnish amateur organisations in the field. Trips are often linked to other important elements, such as good food and drink, like-minded people and beautiful scenery. The travel should not be too strenuous, as so far archaeology has mostly been a hobby for the elderly. This is a good thing as such, but it can discourage younger people from participating. For some physically fit people, archaeological travel and fieldwork are a form of extreme adventure, aimed at hard-to-reach places and involving survival in difficult circumstances. In these cases physical intensity, camping, carrying of heavy backpacks and canned food are things for which people are willing to pay. Here, too, the social aspect is very important. Thus archaeology as a hobby comprises various interests and demands. In his Ph.D. thesis, Roeland Paardekooper writes (quoting a paper by Brad King): “travel has become an extension of daily life where people seek personal and professional development and not just oldfashioned relaxation… Opportunities for

3 “The hunebedcentrum is looking for people who are enthusiastic, helpful and welcoming, and presentable, to work as volunteers. There are a number of different activities suitable for volunteers in the hunebedcentrum and we can offer you an inspiring cultural environment and a pleasant working atmosphere” (hunebedcentrum n.d.). See also: National Museum of Wales n.d., “Volunteering: Volunteers get involved in all sorts of projects across the museums of Amgueddfa Cymru. Some roles might require skilled assistance, but for many projects you only need enthusiasm and willingness to learn!” Both of these museums are partners in an OpenArch project with the kierikki Stone Age Centre. more about OpenArch: http://


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personal growth and development become increasingly important.” (Paardekooper 2012, 53.) There are three trends in tourism: 1) higher quality: greater choice and greater competition, which means museums will need blockbusters; 2) personal choice and participation: not only do tourists want to choose some bits and leave out other bits of what is offered, but they also expect to be able to participate; 3) something for everybody: not everyone can be treated in the same way, and the market is becoming much more segmented into special interest groups.

cal sites all over Britain, or searching for Mayan treasure5. A variety of websites and discussion forums related to extreme archaeological tourism can be found. These extreme activities include testing one’s limits in challenges such as eating grubs and making excavations in a remote wilderness or desert. At the heart of extreme archaeology are the emotional and physical reactions – curiosity, fear, excitement, disgust, overcoming one’s limitations and the joy of success. This kind of exciting and adventure-seeking archaeology, which is interesting to young people, can become a major future trend. In Finland a group called Kuttelo has carried out diverse experimental archaeological activities, close to extreme, for over a decade. The group members’ educational background is in prehistoric craftsmanship, so there is also a scientific aspect to their experiments. These consist for example of camping and combat demonstrations, a variety of prehistoric handicrafts, wrestling, animal skinning, tree felling and handling with a stone axe, eating Stone Age foods, etc. The keenness of the audience to take part in this kind of presentation has been evident at the Kierikki Stone Age market, held each July for ten years now. Audience participation was extensive also at the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair held in Helsinki in January 2013. Most of these activities must be completed outdoors and are closely related to wilderness survival. Thus tourism businesses can also be involved in developing extreme archaeology. Experiences from the Kierikki Stone Age Centre have shown that it is especially the northern clime and snow that draw foreign archaeology enthusiasts to Finland. In the

“Dudeson archaeology”: a future challenge The social groups who are interested in archaeology can be roughly divided into two: the more mature enthusiast versus the budding phenomenon of adventure-seeking “Dudeson archaeologists” who are looking for an extreme experience4. A brief internet search (keywords “extreme archaeology”) gave plenty of results for TV series related to excavating difficult archaeologi-

4 The Dudesons are a Finnish four-man entertainment group, known for their dangerous, painful and comical stunts. The Dudesons TV shows and live performances have been seen in various countries, mostly in Finland, the USA and Australia.

See for example extreme-archaeology/ and releases/2010/07/100722102041.htm. A quote from the latter: “Steering clear of crocodiles and navigating around massive submerged trees, a team of divers began mapping some of the 25 freshwater pools of Cara Blanca, Belize, which were important to the ancient maya. in three weeks this may, the divers found fossilized animal remains, bits of pottery and -- in the largest pool explored -- an enormous underwater cave.” [27 January 2013].



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

The camps were very popular and also helped to prove that reconstructions of Stone Age dwellings allow for winter living. The supervisor of this project was the young Frenchman Joseph Favre-Felix, who spent the entire winter in the Stone Age village and has continued this lifestyle in Lapland and Siberia after the Kierikki camps.

Fig 3. Almost every child or school pupil visiting Kierikki gets to sand a stone jewel or tool, in this case during the Stone Age Market in July 2009. Photo Mika Saloranta, Kierikki Stone Age Centre.

Fig 2. Skinning of a reindeer using Neolithic tools. This kind of extreme presentation is very interesting and informative but can also be frightening or offputting for some audiences. Members of the Kuttelo group at work during the Kierikki Winter Days in March 2013. Photo Leena Lehtinen, Kierikki Stone Age Centre.

Living and sleeping in a Stone Age village has also attracted attention from foreign tour operators. Primitive living and testing one’s limits has novelty value, and it is something special that Central European customers are willing to pay for. This type of Dudeson archaeology is attractive to younger visitors who are familiar with all kinds of excitement and less interested in expert lectures or the patience-demanding side of archaeological research. According to experiences from the Kierikki Stone Age Centre, there is demand for this type of archaeology, which can be met also by the private sector.

winter of 2010–2011 survival experiences were offered in Kierikki in the form of six three-week survival camps from October 2010 to June 2011. Young adults from all over the world (with the exception of the Nordic region!) came to try out Stone Age living. They practised crafts, fished and skied in the Stone Age style, and slept in a reconstructed Stone Age dwelling at temperatures of −30°C. Food was cooked in paleolithic fashion, using natural raw materials and no modern processed products. 79

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Is extreme archaeology essential for commercial success? Similar trends have been observed elsewhere in Europe. In 2012 there were 300 archaeological open-air museums in Europe; 84 of them were members of EXARC, the international organisation of Archaeological Open-Air Museums and Experimental Archaeology.6 Most of these 300 museums include an archaeological learning centre, one third of which are situated on an original archaeological site. The rarest type are institutions connected to an indoor museum, although they are increasing rapidly because many consider a good indoor exhibition to be a prerequisite for the success of any museum. Most of the archaeological open-air museums are located in Germany, Sweden, France and Denmark. The museums receive an average of 17,500 visitors a year, although many attract more than 200,000. The majority of the museums in question are owned by local governments; only 10% are privately owned (Paardekooper 2012, 110–1). The most successful privately owned archaeological open-air museum is Archeon, near Leiden in the province of South Holland. Thanks to experimental archaeology and shows of extreme archaeology covering 10,000 years of human development in the Netherlands (from Stone Age huntergatherers to everyday life in 1340 AD), it

Fig 4. Basket-weaving at the Kierikki Stone Age Market in July 2009. Photo Elina Helkala, Kierikki Stone Age Centre.

was able to resurrect itself in one decade from the brink of bankruptcy. Archeon’s “archaeo-interpreters” show what life was like in “their” time with the help of 43 reconstructed buildings distributed over an area of six hectares. There are 10 prehistoric areas, 14 Roman areas and 22 medieval ones. Archeon attracts more than 200,000 visitors per year and “is more successful than any other traditional Dutch museum in informing about and promoting Dutch archaeology” (EXARC n.d.).7 One of the main attractions at Archeon is and arena of Roman gladiators. It has artificial blood splatters and the audience (often consisting of school groups) get to

eXArC is an iCOm (international Council of museums) Affiliated Organisation. See their website, available from: [13 January 2013].


See also the Archeon website, [8 march 2013]



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Fig 5. Stone Age presentations can be fun: here, members of the Kuttelo group demonstrate wrestling at the Kierikki Stone Age Market in July 2009. Photo Mika Saloranta, Kierikki Stone Age Centre.

op in the direction of public interest, it will have to involve hands-on activities – preferably extreme ones – and things that can be shared in the social media. ď ľ

decide at the end whether a competitor should be decapitated. Archeon also provides other tourism services, including restaurants and hosting of themed parties for groups of between 20 and 800 participants. The museum has more than 100 staff. Such a large size is not always necessary; smaller enterprises and museums could provide similar services on a smaller scale. In these circumstances we may ask whether extreme experiences are really so important for the future of public archaeology. What if we sat back to see how the situation will develop and let the customers decide? Sometimes it is wise to wait and see. But if public archaeology is going to devel81

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References: eXArC n.d., Archeon (NL) [online], available from: archeon-nl [1 January 2013] hunebedcentrum, n.d. Vacancies [online], available from: about-hc/jobs/ [1 January 2013] Johnston, G, 2012 The History of Archaeology [online], 7 October, available from: http://www. [8 march 2013] Lehtinen, L, 2008 “Vapaa-ajan arkeologit”, in Johdatus arkeologiaan (edited by Petri halinen, Visa immonen, mika Lavento, Terhi mikkola, Ari Siiriäinen & Pirjo Uino), Gaudeamus, helsinki. merriman, N, 2004 “introduction: diversity and dissonance in public archaeology”. in Public Archaeology (edited by Nick merriman), routledge. Bodmin National museum of Wales n.d., Volunteering [online], available from: http://www.museumwales. [1 January 2013] Paardekooper, r, 2012 The Value of an Archaeological Open-Air Museum in its Use. Sidestone Press. Leiden Taavitsainen, J-P, 2008. “muinaisuuden tutkimus ennen tieteellisen arkeologian syntyä”, in Johdatus arkeologiaan (edited by Petri halinen, Visa immonen, mika Lavento, Terhi mikkola, Ari Siiriäinen & Pirjo Uino), Gaudeamus, helsinki Vantaan Sanomat, 2011 “kymmenet vapaaehtoiset auttavat kävijöitä heurekassa” [online], Vantaan Sanomat, 4 January 2011, available from: artikkeli/12725-kymmenet-vapaaehtoiset-auttavat-kavijoita-heurekassa [6 January 2013]


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There’s no Place like home: The medieval Village as a protected Archaeological Site and modern Farm ULLA LähDeSmäki Archaeologist Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum Tampere, Finland


to evaluate protection objectives and policy continuously. Keywords: heritage management, protection, medieval village, land use, landowner, value, Finland


n modern society the most common social context of archaeology is heritage management. Archaeology can be seen as a positive phenomenon but it may also become part of a land use conflict. Within the last few years new protection guidelines have been introduced about the protection of medieval village sites in Finland. A large amount of village sites have been surveyed within a short period and the recent archaeological discussion has been focused on their valuation. The article discusses the archaeological protection of medieval villages in the Tampere Region, Finland, from the landowners’ perspective. Landowners’ attitude towards archaeology is socially interesting since most of the sites and monuments are situated in private properties and medieval village site is often part of a modern functioning farm. There is often a diverse combination of archaeological and built heritage in these farms. The farmers have had a close connection to previous generations work and a tight bond to the traditional earthbound living. Preserving archaeological heritage is a challenge in modern Finnish countryside and attitudes towards heritage protection vary. Protection authorities need

Introduction The protection of archaeological heritage comes under environmental policy. Its foundations lie in the society’s prevalent values and choices. Public, regulated protection efforts are maintained and funded by society. From the society’s point of view, protection is an essential aspect of archaeology. The archaeologists involved in the Finnish protection administration are in continuous contact and interaction with land users. There are natural variations in people’s attitudes toward archaeological heritage: a part of the population accepts the need for protection, for others it makes no difference and a few oppose it. Protection efforts influence the state of archaeological heritage. The actions of the authorities affect how archaeology is viewed as a societal 83

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factor that has a bearing on people’s everyday lives. Therefore it is essential for archaeologists to monitor extra-archaeology views on protection efforts and use these to evaluate the actions taking place in the field. The social status of archaeological protection varies in Europe, and there are differences in the ways in which land users and archaeologists interact. In such a large geographical area, there is a huge variety of histories and archaeological remains, and for example some of the archaeological sites and monuments considered valuable in Finland would not be subject to protection in countries where the number of sites is exponentially higher. In this article I will discuss some protection practices that impact citizens’ daily lives, and describe the experiences of landowners from the Tampere Region in Southern Finland.

sites have been abandoned over the centuries, but many of them are still populated. Even populated village sites may contain abandoned parts where the medieval settlement remains may have been preserved. (Niukkanen 2009, 30-31.) Research and protection of these parts have been some of the major topics of discussion in Finnish archaeology in the twenty-first century. Archaeologists started to pay more attention to the protection of village sites, as efforts were made to increase the consistency of the protection of historical monuments in general. The reforms in the protection practices have been significant during the last few years3, but in addition to progress the reforms have also caused great pressure in relation to channelling protection resources and adapting new protection practices. The number of archaeologically surveyed village sites in the Tampere Region has grown quickly in recent years (Figure 1.), and the same trend is evident in other Finnish regions. So far, there has been little extensive scientific research on village sites in the Tampere Region, and more systematic and continuous excavations have been carried out in southern Finland. Because the protection of village sites is a relatively recent phenomenon and the classification of such sites is still under development, the field offers an interesting perspective into archaeology as an actor in society and influencer of land use.

Medieval village as an archaeological site in the Tampere Region One of the most common archaeological sites and monuments in the Tampere Region are Medieval villages1. Our current populated areas derive from the medieval villages. In 1560’s there were c. 900 villages in the region2. The close-knit village structure of the Middle Ages was in many areas not dissolved until a large-scale general reparcelling of land took place in the late eighteenth century. Some of the old village

medieval period in Central Finland is dated c. 12001540 AD 2 The amount is based on the list of villages in Finland in 1560s (Suomen asutus 1560-luvulla: kyläluettelot,1973)

The major improvement in the protection took place in 2009 when the National Board of Antiquities published first extensive guidelines of the protection of historical sites and monuments in Finland.




Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

. 2005 stone age dwelling places cairns medieval village sites

.2010 450 210 45

.2012 490 245 260

510 260 380

600 500 400

stone age dwelling places


cairns medieval village sites

200 100 0

. 2005



Fig 1. The most common types of archaeological sites in 2012 in the Tampere Region, Finland.

that were abandoned already in the Middle Ages and which are not marked on historical maps. Out of the more than 400 surveyed village sites, most are still wholly or partly populated (Figure 2.). Those which are partially populated involve several problems related to protection practices, the application of the Antiquities Act (295/1963) and the resources available for archaeological heritage management. The surveyed village sites have been found in forested areas, cultivated fields and, especially, underneath built environments such as urban and suburban areas and farm building clusters (Figure 3.). Often one historic village site contains many different forms of land use. Although many sites have been surveyed, very little extensive and systematic excavation work has so far been carried out in the Tampere Region.

Fig 2. The medieval village of Kalkunmäki in Hämeenkyrö. The village area is still partly built but the oldest part (in the foreground) is abandoned and well preserved as a pasture. Photo Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, U. Lähdesmäki.

Most of the surveyed village sites have been found thanks to historic maps such as land registers and reparcelling maps. So far, very few villages have been surveyed 85

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abandoned medieval village sites homesteads other built environments

71 30 122


abandoned medieval village sites homesteads


other built environments 30

Fig 3. Prevailing land use is an important factor in the preservation of the village sites. The majority of the surveyed sites are in built environment and populated. Totally abandoned sites are mostly situated in present fields and forests while populated sites are e.g. in farm yards and modern residential districts.

ence of the European Union, farm sizes have grown and the environment is intensively modified. The number of farm buildings is increasing and their size is growing, and the machinery is large and heavy. Farm ownership is radically changing due to generational changes and because farm management is increasingly a secondary occupation. The valuation of a homestead as a historic and traditional place of residence is no longer self-evident. Previously, it was a source of pride for many farms to have roots reaching back all the way to the sixteenth century. With modern farming often being a sideline occupation and a business operation, appreciation for the long history of the old family homestead will not necessarily appear. Instructions for land use on village sites have been provided in Finland in the twen-

Challenges in protection Finland is historically an agrarian nation, where agriculture and forestry have played a major role in forming the society and its identity. Modern operational farms form a functionally and historically interesting context for village sites classified as archaeological monuments. They display the phenomenon of historic settlement and a continuity of traditional land use practices. People live literally on top of historic monuments and are therefore in constant contact with them. Meanwhile, the protected but abandoned parts of otherwise populated village sites can easily be threatened by everyday farm operations. A farm building cluster, or homestead centre, is a challenging location for an archaeological monument. With the influ86

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ty-first century, especially after the completion of new protection guidelines. Initially, all medieval village sites were classified as archaeological monuments (Niukkanen 2009, 31). Surveying began to be done more systematically. This brought great challenges in terms of the sufficiency of protection resources, the availability of archaeological competence, and the management of protection practices. In reality, such a stringent level of protection would have been impossible to monitor. Protection principles and guidelines are now being modified into a less strict form. These efforts are currently under way. More experience is needed of the application of the guidelines in order to ensure that land users are treated equally all around the country and that protection efforts are more controlled. Developing the protection guidelines concerns especially those village sites that are still partly built or populated. The protection of abandoned sites is not particularly problematic (Figure 4.).

Archaeological protection is the management of a shared cultural heritage, and its principles, aims and procedures must be believable, consistent and fair. The practices must not lead to protection turning against itself, which was a danger in the early protection of village sites. Protection may be seen as a “top-down” obligation imposed by the authorities. Medieval village is a relatively new type among protected archaeological monuments and protection guidelines have been modified within a short period. However, it has been possible to follow the views of some landowners concerning archaeology as an element of society. Archaeology does not just have the duty to look after sites and monuments and ensure that they are maintained, but it must also listen to the people living in the modern environment; not only those who are interested in archaeology but also landowners and land users, who ultimately play a crucial role in the maintenance of sites. Protection is interactive, and success entails discussion and listening to others’ views. There will always be conflicts; they can never be completely eliminated. Nor will it ever be possible to achieve acceptance from all land users. The main problems related to the protection of partly populated village sites can be briefly summarised based on interviews with some landowners by the author. The questions were related to the availability and quality of information, the importance of the archaeological monument in question, prior knowledge of the history of the village and views on the everyday significance of the monument. Very often landowners do not know that a village site is an archaeological monu-

Fig 4. The abandoned historical village of Vihattula in Sastamala. Remains of foundations and hearths can still be seen in the meadow. The site possesses e.g. high scientific and esthetical value. Photo Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, U. Lähdesmäki.


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tific research on the quickly growing set of new archaeological sites and monuments, and to swiftly make available understandable information on them and on the aims of protection, directly to the landowners. The concept of prevailing land use must be explained better to landowners. Overall, it is important to continue the maintenance of archaeological monuments, and to increase the visibility and renown of archaeology. Increasing visibility does not mean just carrying out excavations but also taking part in public debate on environmental policy. The making of public statements and the provision of land use guidance are currently the major forms of participation and visibility for the authorities in the Tampere Region. The Adopt-a-Monument scheme is a good example of other forms of support. There are also other, more common, methods of increasing visibility, such as increasing the number of sites that are open to the public and provided with popular information. There is also room for improvement in interaction with village site landowners. Some databases are already available, but more attention must be paid to the content and presentation of data. The Adopta-Monument scheme could be expanded to some village sites, and more publicity is needed for positive protection examples. Farm owners should receive information about preservation practices also from their own, familiar organisations. A new government allowance for maintenance of archaeological monuments may prove to be significant. At least the allowance has symbolical relevance. Within the field of applied archaeology, there is great demand for basic archaeological research on medieval village settlements. Individual theses are written

ment, and have therefore been unable to take that into account. Those who have had the knowledge may have found the protection of heritage difficult to understand and protection measures to have been imposed as an obligation. They may have even considered the consequences of violating protection regulations. Archaeological monuments are not considered to be a disadvantage as long as they do not affect the operation of the farm. Since the advent of the European Union, farming has been difficult and pressurised enough as it is. Some farm owners consider archaeological value to be an interesting and positive thing. This happens particularly on homesteads containing built heritage and practicing agritourism. In all cases, the interviewees wished for more easily understandable and swifter information provision about protection.

Future perspectives How can we support the everyday use of populated village sites and also reduce conflict? The careful appraisal of the existing protection problems is a good way to promote protection. The responsibility of landowners is to adopt a more active approach towards finding and taking in information, adapting to new norms and taking into account protection as an equally important principle as all others when planning the use of farmland. They need to receive carefully targeted support related to information and education, and this should especially come from agricultural organisations, not just from archaeological protection authorities. It is the social responsibility of the archaeological field to carry out more basic scien88

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modern buildings and other farm operations, but diversity can also be a strength.

at universities, but more extensive and systematic research is needed in order to produce more data on which to base valuation and protection guidelines. Debate on the classification of sites and monuments based on their characterisation and significance must be conducted more systematically within the archaeologist community. It was the right move from the National Board of Antiquities to revise the initial protection guidelines of the medieval village sites and to moderate the strict protection principles. Development must continue based on the experiences and with assistance from all those involved in archaeology. We need shared discussion between archaeologists, focusing especially on evaluating the aims of protection efforts. The existing problems in protection do not all rise from conditions and factors outside archaeology; the archaeologist community has a lot of disjointedness and inconsistency, which is a drawback in its relations with other parts of the society. In the case of large sites such as medieval village sites, which are greatly affected by modern land use, landowners must be informed of reforms in protection and any changes that significantly affect either land use or landowners’ rights. This is a part of the social responsibility and credibility of antiquarian operations. The protection of village sites can be made more understandable using built-up sites with long histories of settlement as examples (Fig. 5). Continuous settlement may have led to the creation of a diverse site comprising values and characteristics related to archaeology, built heritage, landscape and biotopes. The archaeological remains are often threatened by the maintenance of

Fig 5. Medieval villages like Kalliala in Sastamala may provide valuable scientific information even though they are still populated and the oldest remains may be destructed. Their value is based on the multilayered cultural heritage and continuation of settlement. Archaeological and built heritage is the living environment of the land owners. Photo Pirkanmaa Provincial Museum, V. Adel.

Those involved in the protection of archaeological heritage know that conflicts of interest can never be completely eliminated. Damages will occur and conflicts will arise, now and in the future. As public resources dwindle, we must also accept a lower level of protection where necessary. Often cultural environmental interests are considered secondary to other interests and therefore more marginal. The areas of focus vary and depend on the society’s environmental policy inclinations. Currently in Finland, despite firm legislation in the archaeological field, cultural heritage value plays a fairly marginal role in land use planning and supervision. 89

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vironment is intense and valuable. Ensuring farm owners positive attitude towards the history of their farms is a challenge in today’s changing agricultural scenario. Archaeological monuments located within a farming homestead can seldom be protected purely from an archaeological point of view. Village sites must be evaluated not only from the perspective of their scientific value, but also as part of a diverse cultural environment, and as the property and living environment of the landowner. 

How can we make the voice of archaeology be heard, and individual archaeological monuments be maintained? How do citizens relate to archaeological protection obligations in their everyday lives? The level of endangerment of monuments depends on the status of heritage protection in society. Status and credibility, on the other hand, are related to what kind of visibility the protection efforts receive and how they are implemented. Despite the risks it poses for archaeological monuments, a diverse built-up farm en-

References and suggested further reading Beronius Jörpeland, L, 2010. medeltida landsbygdsbebyggelse i Stockholms län. riksantikvarieämbetet UV mitt rapport 2010:8 The heritage reader. edited by Fairclough, G, harrison, r, Schofield, J, Jameson Jnr, J h. routledge 2007 mäkelä,A, Nordström-Salminen e and Orrman, e, 1973. Suomen asutus 1560-luvulla: kyläluettelot. helsingin yliopiston historian laitoksen julkaisuja 4 Niukkanen, m, 2009. historiallisen ajan muinaisjäännökset. Tunnistaminen ja suojelu. museoviraston rakennushistorian osaston oppaita ja ohjeita 3


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Can the egyptians’ Close relationship with Archaeology be Used to enhance Preservation of Sites and monuments? SArA kAYSer Project Coordinator Building the Capacity of the GIS Center of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egypt Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)



any Egyptians wake up every morning to the sight of an ancient monument and some may even live on land concealing archaeological remains. Archaeology is consequently an integrated part of the lives of Egyptians and in this paper, this unique relationship will be presented in the context of the special social and political circumstances of the Egyptian society. It will attempt to show that, although many Egyptians value the monuments as a source for income, a long standing tendency on the part of the authorities to restrict their access to archaeological sites has led to a lack of personal engagement with the ancient past. It concludes with a discussion of opportunities that could enhance the possibilities for the antiquities administration to improve the relationship with ordinary Egyptians and, consequently, enhance site preservation. Keywords: archaeology, Egypt, tourism, heritage management

I have often heard colleagues in the Egyptian antiquities administration say that (ordinary) Egyptians do not care about archaeology and that is why many of the ancient monuments are so threatened by looting and encroachments. Although, there is certainly some truth in this assumption, I imagined that there is more to it than pure indifference. The present article will hopefully show that the relationship between archaeology and ordinary Egyptians1 is much more complex than it may at first seem and that it therefore takes a range of measures to turn it from a troubled into a fruitful one.


By ‘ordinary egyptians’ i mean all egyptians who are not archaeologists (or other employees) working for the ministry of Antiquities



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

The Nature of the Relationship The physical relationship between archaeology and ordinary Egyptians can be established by considering the location of today’s settlements in relation to those of the Ancient Egyptians. Following the emergence of Ancient Egypt around 3200–3000 BCE, this civilization built and rebuilt monuments in the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta, where land was fertile and water readily available, for 4000 years. Consequently, the majority of Egypt’s archaeological sites are concentrated in these areas. Many of them still lie unexcavated, while others have been the focus of decades of investigation by national and international archaeological teams. The more than 83.4 million modern Egyptians (CAPMAS 2012) occupy only a very small percentage of the total land area of Egypt – often quoted as ‘96% living on 4% of the land’ (cf World Bank 2012, 2) – which equal the same areas in the Nile Valley and the Delta where the Ancient Egyptians lived and where most of their monuments are now located (Figs 1–2). The result of this geographical make-up of Egypt means that the Egyptians are never very far away from an archaeological site or monument and many live on land scattered with archaeological remains. As a result, archaeology has an integral physical presence in the life of the ordinary Egyptian, one which they perhaps rarely reflect on.

Fig 1. Egypt from space. Photo by courtesy of NASA

On the personal level, the relationship between archaeology and the ordinary Egyptian is somewhat harder to define. The Pharaonic, and to a lesser extent the Graeco-Roman, past has been emphasized when there has been a need to unite Egypt’s diverse population but has primarily been

Fig 2. Map showing the population density of Egypt and the location of main archaeological sites. Adapted from the SEDAC Population of the World map of Egypt, 2000 (Licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License; Copyright 2005 The Trustees of the University of Columbia, New York). 92

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relevant to the country’s elite and its intellectuals, as in the awakening movement of the 1920s (van der Spek 2003, 10; Colla 2007, 157). During President Gamal Abdul Nasser’s pan-Arabism in the 1950s and 1960s the Arab identity of Egypt was emphasised at the cost of the Pharaonic past while his main opposition in the countryside, the Muslim Brotherhood, encouraged the Islamic identity over all others (Hassan 1998, 208; see also van der Spek 2003, 11 for a slightly different view). Nasser’s successor, President Anwar Sadat, restored the Egyptian identity as something unique and different from the rest of the (Arab) world, and also opened up the country to mass tourism by emphasising the Pharaonic culture to attract foreign visitors. On the other hand, during these years, in the 1970s and 1980s, many Egyptians went to work in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states and began to bring back the culture of the Gulf with its strict interpretation of Islam and focus on modernism (Hassan 1998, 212). Although there is definitely a sense of pride in the ancient Egyptian heritage among the ordinary Egyptians and its symbolism is present in secular buildings and on coins and stamps (see Colla 2007, 276), the relevance of this past to the ordinary Egyptians’ modern life is probably less obvious. Some ancient Egyptian symbolism was evoked in the 25 January uprising (2011), including using the word Pharaoh to refer to President Mubarak during his last days in power, but such usages emphasise a negative view of the ancient Egyptian despots which will do little to evoke feelings of pride in the past. Furthermore, data for visitor numbers to the main archaeological sites, although scarce, suggest that Egyp-

tians do not show a particular interest in visiting the archaeological sites and ancient monuments. Statistics from 20052, show that out of a total of 2,498,229 visitors to the pyramids of Giza, only 780,000 (31%) were Egyptian (or of other Arab nationality), which is still a rather high number compared to those at the Egyptian Museum (16%), Aswan (7%), Luxor (6.3%) and Sakkara (2.8%). In total, Egyptian and other Arab visitors accounted for only 17% of the number of visits to heritage sites and monuments in that year (Cotecno et al 2008). The low visitor numbers can, of course, also in part be explained by the fact that 22% of Egyptians (World Bank 2008) live under the National Poverty Level (40% of the International Level) and will have difficulty paying even the much reduced entrance fee that is available to nationals. Moreover, many working-class Egyptians do not actually have much, if any, leisure time. The few days they may have off are usually religious holidays and are therefore more likely spent in the mosque or visiting religious sites. Although it is not unusual to see Cairo families on an outing to the pyramids, the ancient monuments are not usually the main purpose for the visit, but rather provide a backdrop for it (Hassan 1998, 203; Cairo Live 2001). A survey of people’s attitudes to archaeology and the Pharaonic past remains yet to be done and this needs further study, but from general observation there appears to be a closer engagement with the more recent past (both Coptic and Unfortunately it has not been possible to obtain more recent numbers, but there is little to suggest that the data has changed much since 2005



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these tourists come for the diving and the beaches on the Red Sea, but are likely to visit at least one monument or museum during their stay as the package tours often include a day trip to Cairo or Luxor. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that the Egyptian government spends large sums on tourism infrastructure and development, especially in the areas with the most visited archaeological sites and monuments. For example, at least 800 million US$ (Kyodo 2012; Oakley 2012), most of which will be provided by a loan from Japan to be paid back over ten years, is being spent on the building the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. At the same time, few resources are spent on updating the local infrastructure so that the residents in Cairo can travel to the museum (Elshahed 2011). When viewed in the light of similar toursim infrastructure developments taking place in Luxor, where there are plans to make the whole area an openair museum (Fig 3), while the local population has been removed from several areas around the archaeological sites, a pattern becomes discernable.

Islamic), to which there is of course also a more spiritual connection. However, as the discussion below will show, the apparent lack of interest in the ancient past does not mean that its monuments are not important to Egyptians. In fact, for many they are vital to their survival.

Egyptian National Treasures as Economic Resource Recent figures suggest about one in eight workers in Egypt are employed in the tourism industry (Bakr 2012). In addition to those officially employed, such as hotel staff and tour operators and guides, there are thousands of families in primarily Giza, Luxor and Aswan who make their entire living from selling souvenirs, drinks and food to tourists, by offering them rides on horses and camels or in caleshes (horse carriages), or taking them across the Nile in feluccas or motorboats. Furthermore, a large number of people are employed to guard the archaeological sites, tombs and temples, while others make a living as unofficial tour guides showing large hordes of foreign tourists around sites and monuments. Archaeology is therefore vital to all these ‘ordinary Egyptians’ who would be very hard pushed to find employment or make a living if the sites and monuments did not attract so many foreign tourists3. Until recently, around 10 million tourists visited Egypt every year and tourism made up more than one tenth of the Egyptian GDP in 2010 (Bakr 2012), about 9.7 billion â‚Ź (Farouk and Ahmed 2012). Many of

in fact, this is exactly what is happening now when egypt is facing a decline in international tourism


Fig 3. The sphinx avenue in central Luxor during excavation 2007.


Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Large sums have been spent on attracting and catering for foreign tourists, while the local population has been discouraged from visiting or engaging with the monuments, a policy which has included forbidding Egyptians to hold picnics by the pyramids (Cairo Live 2001; El-Aref 2008) and treating Egyptians who come on their own or with foreign friends to visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo with suspicion (Elshahed 2011). It is clearly problematic when the national heritage is valued primarily for its economic potential and promoted almost solely to foreign visitors4. The ordinary Egyptians may value the ancient monuments and archaeology, but the Egyptian government’s policy of developing sites and building museums for the benefit of foreign tourists, while ignoring the needs of local communities, is more likely to cause distrust and resentment towards archaeology and those who practice it (van der Spek 2003, 13).

The Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs5 (MSA), under whose responsibility the protection and preservation of monuments falls, is entirely reliant on tourism revenues for its existence6. Consequently, it has little choice but to focus much of its efforts on making archaeological sites attractive to foreign tourists while very little of its resources can be spent on the management and preservation of other archaeological sites. The combination of rapid population expansion and urbanisation of the countryside and the lack of resources to properly protect and manage archaeological sites has naturally led to a range of challenges. Returning to the physical relationship described in the introduction, these challenges are the negative consequences of the proximity of the population to the archaeology (Fig 4). Unfortunately, the resulting intrusions on sites, such as encroachment of villages and agricultural fields, misuse of archaeological sites as the village rubbish dumps, playground, football fields, storage for agricultural produce etc are often blamed entirely on the ignorance of the people living around the archaeological sites (cf Hawass 2003, 247 cited in Colla 2007, 281), while in reality, the problems are caused and made worse by much larger issues related to shortcomings of government policies, or lack thereof, which affect the whole society. The most crucial of these has been the lack of implementation of laws and regulations. There are several laws and decrees regulating the ownership and use of archaeological land, the extension of buffer zones, what constitutes encroachments etc (e.g. Antiquities Law No. 117, 1983, Law No. 106, 1976 and amending law 101, 1996

Challenges Facing the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs In addition to having the effect of closing off the ancient monuments from the Egyptians themselves, the exploitation of certain areas of the archaeological heritage for economic benefits also leads to gross neglect of other less economically viable areas.

For a more extensive discussion about the economic imperative for archaeological management, see van der Spek 2003, 30–1, 33



Former Supreme Council of Antiquities

As a consequence of this system, the mSA has had to rely on loans from the government to cover the cost of salaries for its staff as the number of tourists visiting egypt has greatly diminished since the uprising in 2011



Archaeology in Society and Daily Life

Fig 4. The temple of Tod surrounded by a modern village.

the MSA powerless to prevent and remove encroachments on time. The consequence of such conflicts is that whole villages have grown up around sites and monuments before disputes could be settled and then it has been too late to stop further development. The resulting unregulated villages are frequently without proper water and sewage infrastructure and other facilities, causing seepage of polluted water into the ground which greatly harms archaeological remains. Rather than acknowledging these problems and finding solutions that are mutually beneficial to the people and the sites, the authorities have often taken

which regulate demolition of buildings), but these laws have rarely been implemented, or have been implemented on an arbitrary or irregular basis. Furthermore, very few people are probably even aware of the existence, let alone the contents, of these laws. Tied to the lack of implementation has been an absence of cooperation between state authorities in charge of housing and development, agriculture, infrastructure and tourism on the one hand, and the Ministry of Antiquities on the other (Cotecno et al 2008, 26). Conflicts over violations have sometimes gone on for years and left 96

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rently so problematic that the only possible answer is ‘no’. However, while there is a dire need for training in community archaeology among the MSA archaeologists on the one hand, and an urgent need for awareness-raising among the local communities on the other, there remain many further opportunities to restore a positive relationship between archaeology and ordinary Egyptians. For example, many of the young people at the frontlines of last year’s (2011) uprising continue to work for social and political change and are particularly active in their local areas. Among these are several local heritage preservation groups who encourage people to preserve their historical neighbourhoods, most notably in Cairo’s Heliopolis district (Keshk 2012). This phenomenon extends also beyond the capital. Recently, a protest was organized to save a building in Port Said from demolition,8 and several petitions to save natural

the opposite route and removed the local communities from the archaeological areas and relocated them to a new development, not infrequently a long distance from where they were making their living. The most controversial of these cases has been the relocation of the villagers on the hillside of Qurna on the west bank of Luxor to a new village about 1km away from their ancestral homes and the archaeological sites that provided them with a means to earn an income7 (Fig 5). This preference for removing people from archaeological sites that has been the policy of the government in the past, has served only to create a lack of trust between the ordinary Egyptians and the archaeologists that in their eyes represent the authorities.

This is still a disputed decision. See van der Spek 2003 for a lengthy discussion about the Qurnawi and the removal of the village and the reports and articles found on the links page of the Qurna history Project web pages:


See a photo and information of the event here: https:// 4&set=a.132167776838733.34271.1300480003840 44&type=1


Fig 5. The Qurna hillside after the demolition of the houses.

See the appeal to save the lake in Dashur: http://


ministry of Antiquities on Facebook (in Arabic only): %A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8 %A9-%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%A6%D9%88%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A2%D8%AB%D8%A7%D8%B1/1 72009302844728?fref=ts


Opportunities for the MSA to Improve Site Protection Returning finally to the question in the title of this paper, it may seem after the discussion above that the relationship is cur97

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easily reach across social barriers and engage communities beyond the urban elite. If working together, such groups could be an invaluable asset to the Ministry of Antiquities, whose role will remain instrumental in developing and implementing policies for the protection and management of the archaeological sites. Another area, in which independent grass root movements have been in the front line of innovative protection measures, is the environmental sector. There has been some success in creating ecotourismprojects that have managed to bring much needed tourism revenues to remote areas, such as the oases of the Western Desert and in Sinai (cf Alameddine et al 2010). The experience from these projects could be used to develop sustainable archaeological tourism in those villages that desperately need the additional income, employing only the local community as labour in hotels, restaurants and as guides. The large group of local men (and sometimes women) who work for Egyptian and foreign teams on archaeological excavations year after year could be at the forefront of such activities, extending their responsibilities as excavators to include providing guided tours and raising awareness in the community about the local heritage, as well as monitoring the condition of the monuments during the part of the year that the archaeological teams are not on the site. These are only some of the opportunities that may be available to the antiquities administration and other authorities and some may, on closer scrutiny, prove too challenging to implement. However, if only some of them are recognised and supported by the authorities in charge, the

and cultural sites all over Egypt have been started by young people outside of the governmental institutions in charge of these matters9. A large part of these local initiatives use social media, in particular Facebook, to gain support and inform people about their work. While the MSA is now also very active across this medium10, the young activists may have some advantage in engaging ordinary Egyptians as they are less likely to be met with suspicion as they are independent of any authorities or government agencies. Such initiatives are needed for the protection of archaeological sites in rural areas where local populations live on or near the sites. In addition to raising awareness about the sites, granting the local community access to them may contribute to re-establishing a connection to the monuments, which was more common in the past when people were still living freely among the ruins and used them in their daily life and their religious rituals (van der Spek 2003, 9–10; Colla 2007). It was, for example, common for women in Upper Egypt to bathe in sacred lakes of the ancient temples in the belief that the water had powers to cure ailments or improve fertility. Even if such beliefs are less common today, allowing the local community to engage with their local heritage may greatly enhance the chances of preserving it. Furthermore, the best way to ensure a lasting connection to the past is to teach children about it and exploring ways of including local archaeological sites in the school curriculum at an early age may be the best way to ensure protection in the future. Such local community initiatives may also be best carried out by independent heritage associations, which can more 98

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gy back into the lives of ordinary Egyptians, beyond tourism revenues, could do much to enhance the chances of its preservation in the future. 

relationship between ordinary Egyptians and archaeology may have a real chance to evolve and grow even closer. Whatever the form, any effort to bring Egypt’s archaeolo-

References Alameddine, N, Allo, N, Johnson, C, and rasmussen, W, 2012 Can a Desert Oasis Lead the Way to Sustainable eco-Tourism in egypt? Arabic Knowledge@Wharton [online], available from: [15 November 2012] Bakr, A, 2012 egypt expects tourism to rebound this year to pre-revolution levels, Reuters [online], 29 April, available from: [14 November 2012] Cairo Live, 2001 zahi hawass tries to justify new Pyramid visitation rules, Cairo Live [online], 9 April, available from: [15 November 2012] CAPmAS 2012 Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics [online], available from: [15 November 2012] Colla, e, 2007 Conflicted Antiquities: Egyptology, Egyptomania, Egyptian Modernity, kindle edn, Duke University Press, Durham Cotecno, eCG, keios and makary Consulting, 2008 National Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan For the Arab Republic of Egypt, Unpublished Plan, Cairo. el-Aref, N, 2008 Propping up the plateau, Al-Ahram Weekly [online], 21–7 August, available from: [15 November 2012] elshahed, m, 2011 The Case Against the Grand egyptian museum, Al-Jadaliyyah [online], 16 July, available from: [15 November 2012] Farouk, D, and Ahmed, F, 2012 egypt tourist sector doubts govt figures on visitor numbers, AhramOnline [online], January 16, available from: [11 November 2012] hassan, F A, 1998 memorabilia: Archaeological materiality and National identity in egypt, in Archaeology under Fire : Nationalism, Politics and Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (ed L. meskell), routledge, London, 200–16 hawass, z, 2003 Secrets from the Sand: My Search for Egypt’s Past, harry N. Abrams, New York keshk, F, 2012 independent heritage initiatives: A first step to linking communities to their own histories, Egypt Independent [online], 9 may, available from: http://www.egyptindependent. com/print/828681 [15 November 2012] 99

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kyodo, 2012 Construction begins of Japan-backed egyptian museum, The Japan Times Online [online], 15 march, available from: [15 November 2012] Oakley, L, 2012 Grand egyptian museum to provide 15,000 new jobs, Hotelier Middle East. com [online], 6 February, available from: [15 November 2012] Spek, k, van der, 2003 Negotiating Life in the City of the Dead: The Political economy of Tourism, heritage management, Academia, and the National interest in the Theban Necropolis, Luxor, egypt, in Managing Conflict and Conservation in Historic Cities: Integrating Conservation with Tourism, Development and Politics, Annapolis, maryland, 1–73 [online], available from: [12 November 2012] World Bank, 2008 World Bank Data for Egypt 2008 [online], available from: [16 November 2012] World Bank, 2012 Reshaping Egypt’s Economic Geography: Domestic Integration as a Development Platform, Vol i [online], available from: en/2012/06/16514619/egypt-arab-republic-reshaping-egypts-economic-geography-domestic-integration-development-platform-vol-1-2-main-report [15 November 2012]




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