News

NEARCHing Factory update

News of the project 21/12/2017

Raquel Sánchez Martín, David Barreiro, Rocío Varela-Pousa, Elena Cabrejas, Felipe Criado Boado (Incipit-CSIC)

NEARCHing Factory: Creating New Scenarios for Archaeology, was an event and a process within the framework of the NEARCH project, organized by the Institute of Heritage Science –Spanish partner of the project– belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and based in Santiago de Compostela, to re-think the practice of archaeology (i.e. archaeological as a way of life and of making a living) in order to build a process for the creation of new scenarios to sustain the archaeological activity. It took place in Santiago de Compostela from the 30th January to the 1st February 2017. Over 80 people from over twenty countries of Europe and America attended the meeting. Several plenary sessions (conferences, talks, interviews) and different working groups focused on various topics of interest were carried out during two days and a half. Participatory methodologies and tools were used to facilitate the active and creative intervention of people, in a direct way or through social media.

After the event all the information gathered was processed and uploaded to an open repository. We can get a rough idea about the impact of NEARCHing Factory looking at stats of this repository as well as the ones of social media and the website. NEARCHing Factory Repositorium got 931 visits on the site, 3496 visits of all documents and 3802 downloads. NEARCHing Factory facebook page got 395 likes and 394 followers, 49% women, 49% men and aged mostly from 25 to 34. The twitter profile has 365 followers, 55% women, 45% men and aged mostly from 25 to 34. The Youtube channel got 675 views and 12 subscribers, and the website 8,813 views (to date stats).

Results of the Priorities for European Archaeology Survey


As part of the NEARCHing Factory follow-up, a survey called ´Priorities for European Archaeology´ was designed based on the cross-cutting ideas coming from the thematic working groups of NEARCHing Factory.
The ideas were grouped into 7 different topics: discipline, profession, sustainability, participation, framework policies, aesthetics and education.
The same survey was conducted twice, for two different publics (NEARCHing Factory attendants and the general public through social media). 23 people answered the first round and other 23 people answered the second round, a total of 46 responses.
Attending to the total collected responses, these are the results for each topic:

Discipline

Discipline {JPEG} As part of the NEARCHing Factory follow-up, a survey called ´Priorities for European Archaeology´ was designed based on the cross-cutting ideas coming from the thematic working groups of NEARCHing Factory.
The ideas were grouped into 7 different topics: discipline, profession, sustainability, participation, framework policies, aesthetics and education.
The same survey was conducted twice, for two different publics (NEARCHing Factory attendants and the general public through social media). 23 people answered the first round and other 23 people answered the second round, a total of 46 responses.
Attending to the total collected responses, these are the results for each topic:
Discipline
When the people surveyed were asked about the one or two ideas from ´discipline´ that considered the most important, the two ideas most clearly supported were “to foster a political vision of heritage reaching beyond the academic disciplines”, 47.83% of all answers, and “to encourage reflexivity in archaeological projects and the understanding of social contexts of intervention. Think globally, act locally” (41.30%).

Profession

Profession {JPEG} In the case of the archaeological profession “to define legal frameworks which guarantee the safety and dignity of workers in archaeology”, 51.11% of replies, and “to draw up consensual and certified standards of technical quality in archaeological work” are the most prioritized ideas.

Sustainability

Sustainability {JPEG} “To encourage the reflection on the future needs of archaeology and heritage in order to orient current policies of sustainability”, 52.27% of replies, and “to encourage the vision of heritage as commons, promoting cooperative, rather than merely public, management” are the ideas considered the most important regarding sustainability.

Participation

Participation {JPEG} “To design new systems for the evaluation of social impact and return of the participative process in archaeology and heritage” is the idea that most people supported, 45.45% of replies, followed by “to facilitate full access to data, including final outputs (reports, raw data and field data) for everyone (not only archaeologists)” and “to develop processes of participative work, co-construction of knowledge and the implementation of participative projects in archaeology and heritage”.

Framework Policies

Framework Policies {JPEG} Regarding the topic of framework policies, most of people agreed considering “to design new heritage and archaeological policies which take into account the complexity of values related to heritage” as a priority idea. The second one was “to encourage criticism, analysis and evaluation of policies regarding science, innovation, culture, environment, territory, heritage and archaeology in Europe”.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics {JPEG} “To strengthen the artistic and creative dimension of archaeological and scientific practice, including its relationship with cultural industries” is the most prioritized idea in relation to aesthetics, 52.27% of replies for this topic.

Education

Education {JPEG} 72.73% of replies were “To promote and diversify heritage education in all of its dimensions (formal, non-formal and lifelong learning)”, it is clearly the idea most frequently marked by the people surveyed.

Topics

Topics {JPEG} As for as the topics that people considered the most important, participation is in the first place (47.73%), followed by profession. It is interesting to see that nobody marked aesthetics as the most important topic.

Area of Work

Area of Work {JPEG} Finally, attending to the area of work that surveyed people came from, most of people are from Academia, 34.09% of respondents, the academic profile is quite obvious although the difference is not that large as the one when only NEARCHing Factory attendants were asked. Private company and “others” were the other areas of work most frequently marked.

All in all, after analyzing the results we have a list of ideas prioritized by the people surveyed. Of course this is not an exclusive list, the intention was to identify predominant views on the matter, and it doesn´t intend to close the process but to open it, promoting a debate about the priorities that an European archaeological policy should have.

Priorities for European Archaeology