hosted by Otis Crandell
In this episode, I discuss public archaeology with guests Mariuca Vornicu, Robyn Humphreys, and Angelica Ruggeri. In our discussion we consider some of the following questions.
• What does the term ‘public archaeology’ refer to?
• Why should the public be informed about what we do as archaeologists?
• Should there be limits on what is accessible to the public? (Should some information be kept from the public?)
• How we can keep the public informed and involved?
• What are some current problems to overcome?
• How is public archaeology changing?
We also look a bit at how public involvement and access to archaeological research varies in different countries, and how it has changed over time.
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Mariuca Vornicu is a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology of the Romanian Academy in Iasi, Romania. She is an archaeologist specialising in the lithic industries of post-Palaeolithic societies of south-eastern Europe. Her current research focuses on assessing the transformations of knapped stone technology throughout the Chalcolithic, in relation with the social and economic context of the time. Her interest in public archaeology comes from believing that the history of mankind is not a matter restricted to the knowledge of the specialists, and considers that a public well informed about the past of the human communities will be more aware of the problems regarding heritage conservation and may actively contribute to its safeguarding.
Robyn is a PhD candidate in the Archaeology Department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her PhD is titled ‘An engaged critical archaeology in contemporary South Africa, archaeological practice and research with human remains’. Her research focuses on how archaeologists and biological anthropologists can better engage with important stakeholders regarding the management of and research on human remains from archaeological sites. She holds a BSc (Med) Hons in Human Genetics and an MSc in Archaeology, also from the University of Cape Town.
Angelica is researching palaeopathology and non-metric characteristics of bones at the University of Bologna in Italy. She is interested in the use of new media to share archaeological research results with the general public.
Otis is a researcher at the Centre for Archaeological Study and Research at the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil. He is currently investigating prehistoric settlement patterns. His previous work has looked at prehistoric trade and raw material procurement in south-eastern Eruope. He works to promote free open access publishing in academia, and organises public talks and training events related to archaeology and prehistory.