Archaeology has undergone significant changes over the last 25 years, during which the field has reinforced its ties with the land planning, construction industry and heritage management and has created strong synergies with domains like the ICT and social sciences. Employing several thousand people, the sector has been, until recently, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing within the EU. But since 2008 the global economic crisis and its aftermath draw archaeology into a probably long lasting recession. In order to thrive again, the domain needs to explore and find new efficient and sustainable models.
On the other hand there is the acknowledged importance (cf.the Valletta and Faro Conventions) of targeting the heritage strategies towards the general public while engaging the local communities.
The project wishes to address these issues by proposing a large scale activity plan in view of obtaining tangible and usable solutions.
An EU-wide partnership has been established under the form of a network of excellence, consisting of 13 leading institutions from 10 countries which combine expertise with complementary profiles. It brings together universities, public oriented research organisations, contemporary art centres and heritage institutes.
The project’s content is structured around 6 themes, as it follows:
A. Archaeology for the community: informing and involving people;
B. Archaeology and the imaginary: crossroads between science and art;
C. Archaeology and knowledge: teaching and sharing information;
D. Archaeology in a changing economy: towards sustainability;
E. European archaeology and the world: dependencies and mutual development;
F. Coordination, mobility and project’s communication;
A comprehensive and relevant activity plan derives from these themes. The plan includes a wide spectrum of interrelated activities, varying from scientific surveys and research to ICT applications, art performances, public outreach and community engagement initiatives.