Bridging the Three Cultures: Commercial Archaeology, Academia and Government in the Study of the Past
Author(s): Joseph Flatman
In 2006 the prehistorian Richard Bradley wrote what became a seminal paper in the Antiquaries Journal entitled ‘Bridging the Two Cultures’ on the relationship between academic and commercial archaeology. Some eight years later, this paper builds on Bradley’s conclusions to consider not just the two-way relationship between academia and commercial archaeology, but the three-way relationship between academia, commercial archaeology and government. Bradley optimistically concluded that better data-sharing was the deciding factor in improved dialogue between these communities. This paper paints a rather less optimistic view, in which the straitjacket of research funding requirements frequently stifles improved dialogue by academia with the commercial and government sectors. The latter increasingly have an excellent ‘research driven’ commercial ethos but work in growing isolation from academia, because these different communities funding structures and timescales simply do not easily run in tandem. The divide seems as wide as ever and the bridges even harder to build.
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Bridging the Three Cultures: Commercial Archaeology, Academia and Government in the Study of the Past. Joseph Flatman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436739)
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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology