Under-representation in Contemporary Archaeology

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Under-representation in Contemporary Archaeology

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Papers from the Institute of Archaeology


Hamilton, Sue

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Papers from the Institute of Archaeology (open access)




[Excerpt from introduction] Under-representation in archaeology takes many forms: it can relate to gender and ethnic diversity, but it can also refer to different types of archaeology, such as academic versus contract, general versus specialist, or to types of research theme, such as ‘big issues’ versus more detailed studies.
Issues of under-representation, in various guises, have taxed me through my career in archaeology. That career began as a female, prehistoric ceramics specialist working in UK Contract Archaeology, followed by various university teaching and/or research posts. With a knowledge of both commercial and academic archaeological employment contexts and traditions of enquiry, it seems to me that UK frameworks of archaeological employment, study and research remain retrograde in failing to evenly support the working lives of all archaeologists in equal ways. The spectrums of expertise and research frameworks that archaeology can potentially encompass are not all equally facilitated. Quite simply some approaches, styles of archaeology and skills tend to be more highly valued than others.


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