PA2015: It begins

Happy new year and welcome to Public Archaeology 2015, a year-long project dedicated to exploring different ways in which archaeologists and non-archaeologists can engage ‘the public’ with archaeological themes.

Each month of this year, a different person will take charge of the project with their own take on what archaeology is, how engagement might happen and who the public are. All the central terms of the project are open to debate.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the project to highlight in this welcome post is that the project has no projected outcomes. Some participants will be using their months to create public engagement out of existing projects, others using the opportunity as a start point for ongoing engagement, and others creating entirely new work for Public Archaeology 2015. What we won’t be doing is assessing in any way the public engagement itself or trying to value the year’s work based on its impact. There will be impacts (we hope), but these will be left to ‘speak for themselves’.

However, these things ARE important to us and we hope to discuss them with you all as the year progresses and different takes on what public archaeology and engagement can be, might be and are start to build up and support or oppose each other. You can get involved via Twitter (@PA2015info) or the comment spaces beneath posts. If you feel moved to submit a response post, you are most welcome!

Lastly, this blog is the central space of Public Archaeology 2015, but the posts here are not the engagement we are creating. Each project involves some level of work with members of the (non-blogging) public out in what for the sake of argument I will call ‘the real world’! Keep an eye out for preview posts and ways to get involved.

Taking charge this month is Rob Irving, who will be looking into the art of mythoarchaeology. I will leave him to introduce himself and his work in a separate post. Hope you like it and see you later.

James Dixon on behalf of all PA2015 participants.

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