Critical Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage

Module code: AR7525

This module examines the ways in which archaeological sites and landscapes are presented to the public and the ethical and political issues surrounding preservation, conservation or restoration. You will understand the importance of a critical approach to the practice of archaeological interpretation for public purposes, as well as obtain an understanding of concepts and theories underpinning archaeological heritage discourse, different regional/national traditions in interpretation and presentation and international frameworks and national legislation affecting archaeology.

Case studies will be taken from around the world and you will be asked to take a critical look at archaeological, museum or heritage sites of your choice. You will identify both general and specific challenges encountered in the interpretation of archaeological sites and show a familiarity with effective ways to meet these challenges.

We will explore the roles of archaeological heritage in the construction of individuals and communal identities, and in global and local tourism, as well as the ethical issues and concerns in the public representation of the archaeological heritage and its deployment in relation to tourism and other public purposes.

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