21st-century Challenges for Archaeology

Historic England project lead: Steve Trow, former Director of Research, Historic England

CIfA project lead: Jan Wills, former Hon Chair, CIfA

During 2017 the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, in partnership with and funded by Historic England, convened a series of six discussions and workshops on important issues within the archaeology sector in England.

The main challenges

Six topics were discussed at workshops, each preceded by an online discussion:

o New models for archive creation, deposition, storage, access and research
o Professional standards and guidance - who sets them and what are they for?
o Designation and management of the archaeological resource in the context of a changing planning system
o New models for local curatorial services: potential future roles for local authority archaeology services and Historic England
o Synthesis of information from developer-funded investigation to create new historical narratives
o Challenges for archaeological publication in a digital age: who are we writing this stuff for anyway?

More than 150 individuals attended the workshops and over 70 people contributed to the online discussions.

The background papers, and the notes from the online discussions and the workshops can be found here. All papers from the six discussions are now accessible.

Next steps

CIfA and Historic England will discuss how best to implement or follow up the main recommendations of the workshops, in consultation with other sector partners.

Some of the recommendations from Workshop 1 have already been acted upon, such as ensuring that The Mendoza Review: an independent review of Museums in England in 2017 recognised the challenges facing archaeological archives; other recommendations from this workshop are being taken forward by an archives advisory group.

To extend the discussion and to help plan for implementation, there will be a follow-up session in Brighton on 25th April at the CIfA conference 2018 Pulling together: collaboration, synthesis, innovation.

How to get involved

Comments on any of the recommendations from the workshops are welcome up until the end of April. Please email any thoughts to: janwills [at] keme.co.uk

Come to the CIfA conference session and join in the discussion; in preparation for the conference a summary report on the project is now available here .

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