Online Resistance to Precarious Archaeological Labour

Sam HardyORCID logo

Adjunct Faculty, Graduate School, American University of Rome, Italy / Honorary Research Associate, UCL Institute of Archaeology / Research Associate, UCL Centre for Applied Archaeology, UK.

Cite this as: Hardy, S. 2015 Online Resistance to Precarious Archaeological Labour, Internet Archaeology 39.


The international cultural heritage economy has long been underpinned by a reserve army of unemployed/underemployed labour. The entry-level workforce is being further undermined and unpaid/underpaid labour is additionally being consolidated through the crisis and austerity measures. Independently and under different pressures, archaeologists across Europe have begun to use blogging, micro-blogging and other social media in concerted national efforts to document, analyse and resist exploitative and exclusive employment practices. This article focuses on the development of movements against unpaid labour (free archaeology) in the UK, against unpaid and underpaid internship (volontariato and stage) in Italy, and for employment (istihdam) in Turkey. Using insights gained through observing and participating in these movements, and through running a research blog on precarious labour in the cultural heritage industry, this article examines the benefits and limits of blogging/micro-blogging as a tool for debate within the profession, communication with the public, and activism.

Go to Table of Contents.



Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.

Terms and Conditions | Legal Statements | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy | Citing Internet Archaeology

Internet Archaeology content is preserved for the long term with the Archaeology Data Service. Help sustain and support open access publication by donating to our Open Access Archaeology Fund.

File last updated: Tue May 12 2015