Community Heritage Management and Rescue Archaeology in the 21st Century

Author(s): Tom Dawson

Year: 2014


Global warming and coastal processes are threatening our heritage. There are huge numbers of sites at risk and diminishing resources to deal with the problem. This paper questions whether a new model of heritage management, with much greater community involvement, should be adopted for the 21st century. It is public money that is often used to work at eroding sites, and so the public needs to be better informed about the scale of the problem. Using examples from across Scotland, this paper will demonstrate how successful models, such as the award-winning Shorewatch and the Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project (SCHARP), can bring communities, professionals, academics and national heritage managers closer together. Using smartphone apps and other technology, community groups can monitor and record vulnerable sites and help shape priorities. They can then initiate projects to rescue information from sites that will otherwise be destroyed. With training and help, they can be given the confidence and skills needed to undertake survey and excavation projects; and their involvement ensures that the value of heritage increases locally and nationally.

Cite this Record

Community Heritage Management and Rescue Archaeology in the 21st Century. Tom Dawson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437293)

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-72,12