Mini journal logo  Home Issue Contents All Issues

Public Archaeology: sharing best practice. Case studies from Wales

Seren Griffiths, Ben Edwards and Ffion Reynolds

Cite this as: Griffiths, S., Edwards, B. and Reynolds, Ff. 2020 Public Archaeology: sharing best practice. Case studies from Wales, Internet Archaeology 55.


In 2013, Cadw published the 'Cadw Community Archaeology Framework'. This defined community archaeology practice in Wales, and outlined: a range of aims; a definition and context for community archaeology; a background to community archaeology; a vision for community archaeology; and a commitment to working with partners and communities. In 2018, five years after the publication of this document, the authors undertook a survey of the state of public archaeology practice in Wales in response to this document in order to identify best practice case studies, and from these to draw together, and share, consistent themes. Data collection took the form of a series of structured interviews with the Welsh Archaeological Trusts, as well as drawing on the authors' own experiences of public archaeology practice. We also include observations from our own practice at the Bryn Celli Ddu public archaeology landscape project. We aim to produce an inclusive, outward-facing series of research recommendations, designed to build on the Cadw/Welsh Government Framework in order to identify and support best practice, and to facilitate its dissemination.

  • Google Scholar
  • Keywords: Public archaeology, best practice, collaborative, value, responsive, creative, relationships
  • Accepted: December 2019. Published: 11 May 2020
  • Funding: The publication of this article was funded by Manchester Metropolitan University

Corresponding author: Seren Griffiths
Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage, Department of History, Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Co-authors: Ben Edwards,
Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage, Department of History, Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Ffion Reynolds,
Heritage and Arts Manager, Cadw, Welsh Government, Plas Carew, Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed, Parc Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QQ

Full text

Figure 1: Key values in public archaeology that we have identified as part of our research. Images copyright Adam Stanford

Figure 2: Key mechanisms for disseminating best practice that we have identified as part of our research. Images copyright Adam Stanford

Bonacchi, C., Bevan, A., Pett, D., Keinan-Schoonbaert, A., Sparks, R., Wexler, J. and Wilkin, N. 2014 'Crowd-sourced archaeological research: the MicroPasts project', Archaeology International 17, 61-8.

Byrne, D. 2008 'Heritage as social action', in G. Fairclough, R. Harrison, J. Jameson and J. Schofield (eds) The Heritage Reader, Abingdon: Routledge. 149–73.

Cadw 2013 'Cadw Community Archaeology Framework', Welsh Government Unpublished Report 19034.

Griffiths, S., Edwards, B., Karl, R., Labrosse, F., Miles, H., Moeller, K., Roberts, J., Tiddeman, B. and Wilson, A. 2015a 'Crowd-sourcing archaeological research: HeritageTogether digital public archaeology in practice', Internet Archaeology 40.

Griffiths, S., Edwards, B., Wilson, A., Karl, R., Labrosse, F., LaTrobe-Bateman, E., Miles, H., Moeller, K., Roberts, J. and Tiddeman, B. 2015b 'Small works, big stories. Methodological approaches to photogrammetry through crowd-sourcing experiences', Internet Archaeology 40.

Harrison, R. 2010 'Heritage as social action' in S. West (ed) Understanding Heritage in Practice, Manchester: Manchester University Press. 240–76.

Hijazi, S., Mainprize, C., Wareham, M., Bramble, S., Edwards, B. and Griffiths, S. 2019 'Submitted. public archaeology at Bryn Celli Ddu: sharing prehistory' in H. Williams, C. Pudney and A. Ezzeldin (eds) Public Archaeology. Arts of Engagement, Oxford: Archaeopress. 81–90.

Jones, S. 2017 'Wrestling with the social value of heritage: problems, dilemmas and opportunities', Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage 4(1), 21–37.

Jones, S. and Leech, S. 2015 'Cultural Value. Valuing the Historic Environment', Arts and Humanities Research Council Unpublished Report.

Jones, S., Jeffrey. S., Maxwell, M., Hale, A. and Jones, C. 2018 '3D heritage visualisation and the negotiation of authenticity: the ACCORD project', International Journal of Heritage Studies 24(4), 333-53.

Marcus, G. 1995 'Ethnography in/of the World System: the emergence of multi-sited ethnography', Annual Review of Anthropology 24, 95–117.

Moshenska, G. 2017 'Introduction: public archaeology as practice and scholarship where archaeology meets the world' in G. Moshenska (ed) Key Concepts in Public Archaeology, London: UCL Press. 1–13.

Reynolds, Ff. 2019 'Bryn Celli Ddu Report 2019. Public Engagement Results', Unpublished Report.

Additional Resources

Alzheimers Society n.d. Dementia-friendly heritage sites guide

Ander, E.E., Thomson, L.J., Noble, G., Menon, U., Lanceley, A. and Chatterjee, H.J. 2012 Heritage in Health: A guide to using museum collections in hospitals and other healthcare settings, London: UCL.

Birmingham Science Museum 2008 We Chose It! Connecting collections and communities

Cadw 2014 Culture and Poverty. Harnessing the power of the arts, culture and heritage to promote social justice in Wales

DCMS 2018 The economic value of culture: a benefit transfer study

Kids in Museums n.d. Resources

Lemos and Crane n.d. Re-imagine. Improving access to the arts, galleries and museums for people with learning disabilities

Museums Association n.d. Museums Change Lives: case studies

Southeast Museums n.d. Resource Category: diversity

Southport Group 2011 'Realising the Benefits of Planning-Led Investigation in the Historic Environment: A Framework For Delivery', Unpublished Report.

Welsh Government n.d. Detailed Official Data on Wales

What Works Wellbeing n.d. Wellbeing Benchmarks - how is your organisation doing?

Wills, J. 2018 'The World After PPG16: 21st-Century Challenges for Archaeology', Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and Historic England, Unpublished Report.

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.