Mini journal logo  Home Issue Contents All Issues

A Four Stage Approach to Community Archaeology, illustrated with case studies from Dorset, England

Hayley Roberts, John Gale and Kate Welham

Cite this as: Roberts, H., Gale, J. and Welham, K. 2020 A Four Stage Approach to Community Archaeology, illustrated with case studies from Dorset, England, Internet Archaeology 55. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.55.6

Summary

Standing in a field, participants learn how to conduct a resistivity survey during case study 2. Image credit: Hayley Roberts
Participants learning how to conduct a resistivity survey during case study 2. Image credit: Hayley Roberts

This article presents an approach to guide the planning, development and evaluation of community archaeology. This will assist practitioners of all forms of community archaeology by providing a pathway to ethical practice that will benefit all. The approach focuses attention on four elements that are integral to community archaeology and which should always be considered: Who (the people involved); Why (their motivation); the Archaeology (in the broadest sense, including research questions and research methods); and How (the specific format the community engagement will take). This framework is applied to three case study community archaeology projects in Dorset, England, in order to demonstrate challenging examples of planned and reflexive community archaeology.

  • Google Scholar
  • Keywords: Community archaeology, public archaeology, methodology, evaluation, Dorset, UK
  • Accepted: 9 July 2020. Published: 22 Sept 2020
  • Funding: The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund Players, Dorset County Council, Dorset Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty, the South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership and Bournemouth University funded and enabled this research
  • PDF download (main article text only)

Corresponding author: Hayley RobertsORCID logo
HRoberts@bournemouth.ac.uk
Bournemouth University

Co-authors: John Gale
Bournemouth University

Co-authors: Kate Welham
Bournemouth University

Full text

Figure 1a / Figure 1b : Maps showing the location of case studies 1 and 3. Case study 2 was also conducted close to the village of Portesham, Dorset. Its exact location is not shown owing to the sensitive nature of the site and the wishes of the landowner

Figure 2: : Case study 2: Conducting earth resistivity survey. Image credit: Hayley Roberts

Figure 3 : Results from the earth resistivity survey conducted to the north of the site of the Portesham Mirror discovery. Image credit: Hayley Roberts

Figure 4: The participants in case study 3 during the site visit. Image credit: Hayley Roberts

Figure 5: Valley of Stones field system. Image credit: Hayley Roberts

Table 1: Results of vote within case study 1

Aitchison, K. and Rocks-Macqueen, D. 2013 Archaeology Labour Market Intelligence: Profiling the Profession 2012-13, Sheffield: Landward Research. https://www.landward.eu/2013/10/archaeology-labour-market-intelligence-profiling-the-profession-2012-13.html [Last accessed: 21 May 2020].

Arnstein, S.R. 1969 'A ladder of citizen participation', Journal of American Institute of Planners 35(4), 216-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944366908977225

Atalay, S. 2012 Community-Based Archaeology: Research with, by, and for Indigenous and Local Communities, Berkeley: University of California Press. https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520953468

Belford, P. 2011 'Archaeology, community, and identity in an English New Town', Historic Environment-Policy and Practice 2(1), 49-67. https://doi.org/10.1179/175675011X12943261434602

Belford, P. 2014 'Sustainability in community archaeology,' Online Journal in Public Archaeology, Special volume, 21-44. https://doi.org/10.23914/ap.v4i2.58

Big Heritage 2015 Dig Blacon: health evaluation, Chester: http://bigheritage.co.uk/files/2015/07/Dig-Blacon-Health-Evaluation-2016-1.pdf [Last accessed: 22 June 2018].

Breaking Ground Heritage 2020 [website] http://www.breakinggroundheritage.org.uk [Last accessed: 17 June 2020].

Brown, J., Miles, D. and Partridge, A. 2018 Voluntary and Community Special Interest Group Community Archaeologist Survey Report, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. https://www.archaeologists.net/news/voluntary-and-community-special-interest-group-community-archaeologist-survey-report-1541761016 [Last accessed: 22 August 2019].

Carpenter, J. and Myers, C.K. 2010 'Why volunteer? Evidence on the role of altruism, image, and incentives', Journal of Public Economics 94, 911-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2010.07.007

Carman, J. 2011 'Stories we tell: myths at the heart of "Community Archaeology"', Archaeologies 7(3), 490-501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11759-011-9180-x

Cole, T. 2012 'The Stanwell Mothers Project: reaching archaeologists and communities' in G. Moshenska and S. Dhanjal (eds) Community Archaeology. Themes, Methods and Practices, Oxford: Oxbow Books. 71-79. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvh1dn3q.13

Colley March, H. 1908 'The ritual of barrows and circles', Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 29, 225-50.

D'Souza, J., Low, N., Lee, L., Morrell, G. and Hall, J. 2011 Understanding the drivers of volunteering in culture and sport: analysis of the Taking Part Survey, National Centre for Social Research, Commissioned by The Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE).

Drake, J.C. and Fahy, A.M. 1987 Guide to Archaeology on Community Programme, Birmingham, Institute for Archaeologists, Occasional Paper 2.

Dunkin, E.H.W. 1870-71 'Some account of the megalithic remains in South Dorset', The Reliquary Quarterly Journal and Review 11, 145-57.

Everill, P., Bennett, R. and Burnell, K. 2020 'Dig in: an evaluation of the role of archaeological fieldwork for the improved wellbeing of military veterans', Antiquity 94(373), 212-27. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2019.85

Finnegan, A. 2016 'The biopsychosocial benefits and shortfalls for armed forces veterans engaged in archaeological activities', Nurse Education Today 47, 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2016.03.009

Fitzpatrick, A.P. 1996 'A 1st-century AD “Durotrigian” inhumation burial with a decorated Iron Age mirror from Portesham, Dorset', Proceedings of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 118, 51-70.

Gale, J. 2013 Perceptions of Prehistory: A project brief and outline specification for the implementation and delivery of a community based archaeological project and PhD studentship that examines the sustainability and best practice of community based archaeological projects, with a case study using the landscape and communities of the South Dorset Ridgeway as a geographical focus , Circulated typescript: Bournemouth University.

Gould, P.G. 2016 'On the case: method in public and community archaeology', Public Archaeology 15, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2016.1199942

Grant, K. 2014 'Canals, cake, and 6H pencils: starting out in community archaeology', Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage 1(2), 137-54. https://doi.org/10.1179/2051819614Z.00000000010

Green, A. 2013 An investigation into the context of the Portesham mirror burial through geophysical survey of the surrounding area, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, Bournemouth University.

Grima, R. 2016 'But isn't all archaeology "public" archaeology?', Public Archaeology 15(1), 50-58. https://doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2016.1200350

Hedge, R. and Nash, A. 2016 Assessing the Value of Community Generated Historic Environment Research, Historic England and Worcestershire County Council. https://historicengland.org.uk/research/support-and-collaboration/research-frameworks-typologies/assessing-community-generated-research [Last accessed: 13 December 2018].

Hobbs, S.J. and White, P.C.L. 2012 'Motivations and barriers in relation to community participation in biodiversity recording', Journal for Nature Conservation 20, 364-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2012.08.002

Holmes, K. 2003 'Volunteers in the heritage sector: a neglected audience?', International Journal of Heritage Studies 9(4), 341-55. https://doi.org/10.1080/1352725022000155072

Isherwood, R. 2009 Community Archaeology. A study of the conceptual, political and practical issues surrounding community archaeology in the United Kingdom today, Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Manchester.

Isherwood, R. 2012 'Community archaeology: conceptual and political issues' in G. Moshenska and S. Dhanjal (eds) Community Archaeology. Themes Methods and Practices, Oxford: Oxbow Books. 6-17. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvh1dn3q.6

Johnston, H. 2018 'Guide 51: Working with volunteers on archaeology projects', BAJR Guides, http://www.bajr.org/BAJRGuides/51_Volunteering/Guide_51_Managing_Volunteers.pdf [Last accessed: 21 May 2020].

Jones, S. 2015 'Archaeology and the construction of community identities' in M.D. Nevell and N. Redhead (eds) Archaeology for All. Community Archaeology in the Early 21st Century: Participation, Practice and Impact, Salford: University of Salford. 3-14.

Kiddey, R. and Schofield, J. 2011 'Embrace the margins: adventures in archaeology and homelessness', Public Archaeology 10(1), 4-22. https://doi.org/10.1179/175355311X12991501673140

King, K.N. and Lynch, C.V. 1998 'The motivation of volunteers in the nature conservancy - Ohio Chapter, a non-profit environmental organization', Journal of Volunteer Administration 16(5), 5-11.

Liddle, P. 1985 Community Archaeology- A Fieldworker's handbook of organisation and techniques, Leicester: Leicester Museums Art Galleries and Records Service.

Marshall, Y. 2002 'What is community archaeology?', World Archaeology 34(2), 211-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/0043824022000007062

Marshall, Y. 2009 'Community archaeology' in B.W. Cunliffe, C. Gosden and R.A. Joyce The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1078-1101. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199271016.013.0035

Milek, K. 2018 'Transdisciplinary archaeology and the future of archaeological practice: citizen science, portable science, ethical science', Norwegian Archaeological Review 51(1-2), 36-47. https://doi.org/10.1080/00293652.2018.1552312

Moser, S., Glazier, D., Phillips, J.E., Nasser el Nemr, L., Mousa, M.S., Aiesh, R.N., Richardson, S., Conner, A. and Seymour, M. 2002 'Transforming archaeology through practice: strategies for collaborative archaeology and the community archaeology project at Quseir, Egypt', World Archaeology 34(2), 220-48. https://doi.org/10.1179/pua.2000.1.1.21

Moshenska, G. 2008 'Community archaeology from below: a response to Tully', Public Archaeology 7(1), 51. https://doi.org/10.1179/175355308X306004

Mundle, C., Naylor, C., Weaks, L., and Buck, D. 2012 Volunteering in health and care in England, The Kings Fund. https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/field/field_publication_file/volunteering-in-health-and-social-care-kingsfund-mar13.pdf [Last accessed: 13 December 2018].

Nevell, M.D. 2013 'Archaeology for all: managing expectation and learning from the past for the future - The Dig Manchester Community Archaeology Experience' in C. Dalglish (ed) Archaeology, the Public and the Recent Past, Boydell Press. 65-76.

Oldham, M. 2018 'Bridging the gap: classification, theory and practice in public archaeology', Public Archaeology 16. https://doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2017.1499398

Pyburn, K.A. 2011 'Engaged archaeology: whose community? Which public?' in K. Okamura and A. Matsuda (eds) New Perspectives in Global Public Archaeology, New York: Springer, 29-41. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-0341-8_3

Raddick, M.J., Bracey, G., Gay, P.L., Lintott, C.J., Cardamone, C., Murray, P., Schawinski, K., Szalay, A.S. and Vandenberg, J. 2013 'Galaxy Zoo: motivations of citizen scientists', Astronomy Education Review 12(1). https://doi.org/10.3847/AER2011021

Redhead, N. 2015 'Community Archaeology: a Methodology for future projects?' in Michael D. Nevell and Norman Redhead (eds) Archaeology for All. Community Archaeology in the Early 21st Century: Participation, Practice and Impact, Salford: University of Salford. 121-130.

Richardson, L-J. and Almansa-Sánchez, J. 2015 'Do you even know what public archaeology is? Trends, theory, practice, ethics', World Archaeology 47, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2015.1017599

Roberts, H. 2017 The Practice of Community Archaeology in the UK: A model for best practice based upon case studies from Dorset and Cambridgeshire, Unpublished PhD thesis, Bournemouth University.

Sayer, F. 2014 'Politics and the development of community archaeology in the UK', Historic Environment: Policy and Practice 5(1), 55. https://doi.org/10.1179/1756750513Z.00000000041

Sharpe, J. 2013 South Dorset Ridgeway Landscape Partnership Landscape Conservation Action Plan. https://www.dorsetaonb.org.uk/

Simpson, F.A. 2009 The values of community archaeology : a comparative assessment, Electronic Thesis. University of Exeter.

Simpson, F.A. 2010 The Values of Community Archaeology : a comparative assessment between the UK and US, Oxford: Archaeopress. https://doi.org/10.30861/9781407306469

Simpson, F. and Williams, H. 2008 'Evaluating community archaeology in the UK', Public Archaeology 7(2), 69-90. https://doi.org/10.1179/175355308X329955

Smith, L. 2006 Uses of Heritage, Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203602263

Smith, L. 2015 'Archaeology and communities: negotiating memory and heritage' in M. Nevell and N. Redhead (eds) Archaeology for All. Community Archaeology in the Early 21st Century: Participation, Practice and Impact, Salford: University of Salford. 3-14.

Smith, L. and Waterton, E. 2009 Heritage, Communities and Archaeology, London: Gerald Duckworth and Co.

Stukas, A.A., Hoye, R., Nicholson, M., Brown, K.M. and Aisbett, L. 2016 'Motivations to volunteer and their associations with volunteers' well-being', Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 45(1), 112-32. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0899764014561122

Thomas, S. 2010 Community Archaeology in the UK: Recent findings, York: Council for British Archaeology. https://new.archaeologyuk.org/supporting-community-archaeology-in-the-uk [Last accessed: 18 June 2020].

Thomas, S. 2014 'Making Archaeological Heritage Accessible in Great Britain: Enter Community Archaeology' in S.Thomas and J. Lea (eds) Public Participation in Archaeology, Woodbridge: Boydell Press. 23-34.

Tully, G. 2007 'Community archaeology: general methods and standards of practice', Public Archaeology 6(3), 155-87. https://doi.org/10.1179/175355307X243645

Woodward, P.J. 1983 'The South Dorset Ridgeway: the preservation and management of the Pre-Iron Age archaeological landscape', Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 105, 141.

Woodward, P.J. 1991 The South Dorset Ridgeway: survey and excavations, 1977-84, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph series, Dorchester: Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.

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 IA

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.