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July 6, 2012

Here is a link to the blog of the Public Archaeology Interest Group of the Society for American Archaeology. This week they posted a paper by Natalye Tate and myself from the PAIG session at the SAA meetings this past April. The paper focuses on how we view the “public” component of archaeology as part of our mission at the C.H. Nash Museum.


[The following paper was delivered at the SAA 2012 Annual Meeting in the PAIG’s sponsored symposium, “Public Archaeology in the 21st Century.”]

This paper draws on Nina Simon’s Participatory Museum  model of contributory, collaborative, and co-creative projects to consider relationships between archaeological institutions, museums, and professional organizations, and their “engagement with all segments of society.” According to Simon, the “Participatory Museum” is a practical guide to working with community members and visitors to make cultural institutions more dynamic, relevant, and essential places. This approach addresses the charge in the SAA mission statement that mandates “advancing knowledge and enhancing awareness of the past.” In this paper we explore the application of this mandate using case studies that argue the essential need for public participation in our work.  Such inclusion serves as a vehicle for developing stakeholders invested in their community’s cultural heritage.

Before highlighting specific case studies we will briefly discuss a recent…

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