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Towards a New Project Design Methodology for Archaeological Projects in England



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Watson, Sadie 


The policy framework within which development-led archaeology is conducted in the UK is well understood and the contracting sector is an accepted stage in the planning process due to various policies, originating from both national and local Government. Projects are undertaken following standards established by Historic England almost two decades ago, with management systems and stages commonly followed. Yet our project design methodology hasn’t evolved to reflect the changing times, or encouraged capacity for considering the publics, with intended beneficiaries of our work poorly identified and often misunderstood. This paper proposes a new process of project management for development-led archaeology, to ensure that we conduct work that has meaningful and sustainable outcomes for the wider publics. I outline the challenges within the current structure and provide a revised project life cycle with publics at its heart.



Public Archaeology, Development-led Archaeology, English Archaeology, Public Heritage, Archaeological Projects

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Archaeology and the Publics

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I would like to thank the editors for accepting this paper and for their assistance throughout the editing process. Particular thanks are due to the two peer reviewers who sent in detailed and helpful feedback. The research leading up to this was funded by UKRI (Future Leader Fellowship) and supported by MOLA. Thanks to MOLA illustrators Juan Jose Fuldain Gonzalez and Jemina Dunnett for producing the figures. My thoughts on this topic have been shaped by conversations with many colleagues over the last four years, in particular I want to acknowledge Kate Faccia, Guillermo Diaz de Liaño del Valle, Harald Fredheim, Sara Perry, Emma Dwyer and Barney Sloane. The opinions behind my research focus have been shaped by decades in the sector, alongside respected and treasured colleagues too numerous to name