Satisfying and Reflecting on the Urge to Evaluate in Public Archaeology


The only way to know if archaeological outreach and community engagement is working is to ask. We need to ask the right questions, to the right people, and incorporate that feedback into our work. Yet evaluation is a fraught pursuit. When directing our projects directly at, and working with, the public, our projects are ever more embedded in the politics of cultural heritage and reverberate throughout the communities where we work. Archaeologists and heritage workers have been struggling with this balance for the past several decades; this session is aimed at bringing a diverse group of these professionals together to discuss what is and should be done. In this paper, I will present concepts of ethically engaged evaluation from archaeological, heritage, museum, and science communication literature. The objective of this paper is to contextualize the topic of the session within the ethics and theory of archaeology broadly, setting the tone for the case studies and methodological suggestions of the rest of the authors.

Cite this Record

Satisfying and Reflecting on the Urge to Evaluate in Public Archaeology. Katharine Ellenberger, Lorna-Jane Richardson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403582)