Our 2017 conference will provide an opportunity for heritage professionals to discuss, consider and learn about archaeological practice on a world stage. For CIfA2017 we have identified three broad themes (professionalism, protection, discovery) and will have half-day sessions within a traditional paper format, discussion / panel seminars or CPD workshops. The themes are simple, broad and flexible, and accommodate an exciting programme.
Archaeology should be without borders, and professional archaeology must be without borders. We hope the conference will provide an opportunity to report on some of the progress made and to explore both the opportunities and difficulties of professionalising across borders.
Whether state-regulated, self-regulated or not regulated at all, does the way archaeology is structured affect the way it is practiced? In the UK, we know that 30 years of rapid development in response to the polluter pays principle and a very specific spatial planning context has had significant impacts on the way we practice archaeology, some hugely positive and some negative. How do different regulatory and funding regimes impact on archaeological standards and professional ethics elsewhere in the world? Can we identify ‘global’ standards? Should we? And what role do we want our professional associations to play in moving towards a global profession?
Managing the process of change in the historic environment is achieved by governments with different social objectives and therefore different legislation and policies. We are keen to discuss the wide range of legislative aims, and of the legislation and policy mechanisms in practice. Arguably the greatest impacts to the historic environment arise from ‘normal’ economic development but the economics of austerity continue to impact on heritage management worldwide - are there any silver linings for archaeology? The effects of climate change and recent conflicts upon cultural heritage are important issues - how well will heritage sites survive? In the UK the session will provide an opportunity to consider the outcomes of the referendum on membership of the EU, and further devolution to the Northern Ireland Assembly, Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament.
The CIfA conference provides a key venue for the exchange of ideas, experiences and practice, and we are keen to encourage discussion of archaeological discoveries on a global scale. Archaeology often makes its way into the headlines – the great discoveries we all love to hear about. Have you been involved in a project which you think should be in the top 10 archaeological discoveries ever made? Why is it so important and what can the archaeological world learn from it?