Archaeology and the Public

Bibliographic Information

Course Title

Archaeology and the Public


Andy Creekmore

Institution Where Taught

Semester at Sea

Semester or Date Taught

Fall 2017

Web Address (URL)

Additional Information

Course Number

ANTH 456

Course Level

Course Description

Archaeology and the Public presents case studies of the practice of archaeology in a global context. Public archaeology serves as a necessary complement to traditional academic archaeology, providing a link between the consumers and producers of information about the prehistoric and historic past. Archaeological research has changed significantly since the 1980s, today dominated by legislative based archaeology and goals of disseminating archaeological data beyond the academy. Therefore, this course explores current methods in the collection, curation, and interpretation of archaeological materials from the perspective of museums, private consulting firms, government agencies, the amateur public, and Indigenous communities. The course investigates the complex social landscape that practicing archaeologists must navigate in the modern day as well as coming decades. The course reviews the legislation that shapes archaeological practice, media representations of archaeology, career paths and preparation in public archaeology, archaeological ethics, outreach and education in archaeology, community partnerships, looting and destruction of cultural heritage, amateur archaeologists, and heritage tourism. In all cases the importance of civic engagement is emphasized. Engagement is necessary for disseminating archaeological knowledge, considering alternative views and differing impacts of archaeological research, and maintaining the relevance of archaeology in the 21st century.

Syllabus Available



Syllabus is available for PDF download on the Semester at Sea webpage for the Fall 2017 course. A course description and learning objectives are also provided. Please contact instructor for further information.

Additional tags: archaeology and the media; public arhaeology; community archaeology; amatuer archaeologists; civic engagement; heritage tourism; careers in archaeology; cultural resource management;


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