Communicating Archaeology

The articles included in this theme were written by two editors – Mitch Allen (formerly of Left Coast Press) and Peter Young (Archaeology). As they both point out, archaeology is a field of study that draws immense popular interest. Yet, archaeology is under attack on several fronts, from undue targeting and scrutiny of our research expenses by politicians, to complaints from developers and government agencies that our work takes too long or gets in the way of “progress”. A common response to these issues is to argue that archaeologists need to do a better job of communicating what it is that they do. The burgeoning practice of Public Archaeology is one of the responses to this critique. Both Allen and Young would argue that archaeologists are still not sharing this information in an accessible way.

Read the articles and then reflect on the following questions: In what ways is the “Hidden Audience” described by Allen (2002) similar or different from the audience for our cemetery project? Do you see Allen’s 10 Rules applied in the pieces that you’ve read for this class or others? Drawing on Young’s (2002) piece, what are the stories that we should be telling about the cemetery? In what format should we be telling them?

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