Public Archaeology

Connecting the public with archaeology and creating positive engagement with development


What is Public Archaeology?

Public archaeology, or ‘archaeological outreach/engagement’, comes in many forms. They are all about positively connecting the public with the archaeology found on your site. Outreach might be aimed at a particular audience e.g. schools, local community, or more general public interest.

Public archaeology can be delivered either:

  • In person – On/off site with site tours, public ‘open days’, school activity visits, ‘pop up museums’, volunteer digs, talks
  • Media – in print/online with news articles, social media, specialist websites to promote the archaeology of the site
How can Public Archaeology help?

Public archaeology is not appropriate for all sites. It is usually undertaken for excavations, but not evaluation/watching brief. However, when there is particularly significant archaeology found on a site, a strategic programme of public archaeology can be beneficial to a project.

Engagement is proven to promote a positive association within the local community with sites being developed and the building that follows. Excavation is positive for archaeology, public knowledge of archaeology, and it establishes a reputation for responsible development.

L – P has experience in public archaeology at both ends of cost-spectrum, from full community excavations through building websites for our clients to lower-cost engagement like public talks and presentations. We can also advise on Public Relations, balancing the needs/sensitivity of your site, and the public opinion about it.

When do you need Public Archaeology?

A strategic programme of public archaeology can sometimes be required as part of a planning condition. For example, to comply with NPPF guidelines new developments should create a strong sense of place and address connections between places and the local community. Often our clients actively pursue public engagement – because of the major benefits that it can bring to the public, and to their brand.