Communicating Archaeology: Public Perceptions and Experience in a Changing Media Environment
This research advances theory and practice regarding the evaluation of the ways in which archaeology is experienced through different forms of communication, depending on the personal, social and physical contexts of the experience, on the way in which the discourse has been designed and on the archaeological world to which the discourse is intended to lead.
The focus is on the consumption of museum and television experiences of archaeology by UK audiences, in the wider media and communication context. Experiences are investigated taking quantitative approaches to audience research, integrated with qualitative ones, where appropriate.
Three case studies are considered and analysed through samples of 500 respondents each: 1) that of visitors to the Medieval Gallery of the Museum of London (London, UK), 2) the one of viewers of the television programme Time Team and (3) the case of visitors to the exhibition From Petra to Shawbak. Archaeology of a Frontier (2009; Florence, Italy). The latter one helps to set the UK case studies into a broader perspective.
A choice has been made to examine the communication of archaeology through ‘old’ media (museums and television), but exploring how this communication is being modified by the take up of ‘new media’ penetration and convergence.
The relevance of the doctorate is twofold. First, it constructs a coherent theoretical framework for studying media experiences of archaeology. Second, based on that framework and through audience research, it defines operational strategies for engaging a plural and diverse public with archaeology, taking into account ongoing transformations in the world of media and communication. Those strategies could ultimately contribute to the design of policy for the heritage sector.
- BA, History and Conservation of Archaeological Heritage, University of Florence, 2005
- MA, Medieval Archaeology (University of Florence), 2007
Archaeology and Communication RN (leader), Archaeology and Development RN, Evaluating Archaeology RN.
- Bonacchi C. ed., forthcoming. Archaeologists and the Digital. Towards Strategies of Engagement. London: Archetype Publications
- Bonacchi C., in press. Dal progetto museologico allo studio sui visitatori. La mostra Da Petra a Shawbak: un caso di Archeologia Pubblica (From museological planning to visitor studies. The exhibition From Petra to Shawbak: a case of Public Archaeology). In G. Vannini & M. Nucciotti eds., 2011. Atti del Convegno di Firenze (Palazzo Vecchio-Palazzo Strozzi, 5-8 novembre 2008) La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le frontiere del Mediterraneo medievale, ‘Limina/Limes. Archeologie, storie, isole, frontiere nel Mediterraneo (365/1556)’. Oxford: B.A.R., International series;
- Bonacchi C., in press. Building Archaeology. In G. Vannini & M. Nucciotti eds. ‘Medieval’ Petra-Shawbak Project. Archaelogical season 2010. Field Report 2010;
- Bonacchi C., 2009. Building Archaeology. In G. Vannini & M. Nucciotti eds., 2009. ‘Medieval’ Petra-Shawbak Project. Archaeological season 2009. Field Report 2009, pp. 6-12. [online]. Available at: http://sudek.esil.univmed.fr/shawbak/;
- Bonacchi C., 2009. Archeologia pubblica in Italia. Origini e prospettive di un ‘nuovo’ settore disciplinare (Public Archaeology in Italy. Origins and prospects of a ‘new’ scientific field). Ricerche Storiche 2-3 (2009), pp. 329-350;
- Nucciotti M. & C. Bonacchi, 2008. Shawbak. Cronache dall’Oltregiordano (Shawbak. Chronicles of Transjordan). [Video]. Firenze: Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Studi Storici e Geografici e CSIAF;
Bonacchi C., 2007. Il castello di Piteccio nell’alta valle dell’Ombrone e il fenomeno dell’incastellamento toscano (secoli XI-XIV): una lettura archeologica (The castle of Piteccio in the High Valley of the River Ombrone and the phenomenon of castle settlement in Tuscany: an archaeological analysis). Bullettino Storico Pistoiese. CIX (2007), pp. 59-86
- ICOMOS AG2011, “Heritage a Driver of Development”
- “Archaeologists and the Digital. Towards Strategies of Engagement”, May 2011
- TAG 2010 - CASPAR session, December 2010
- Florens 2010, “Cultural Heritage: Science, Institutions and New Industry” – Cultural Heritage and Socio-Economic Development session, November 2010
- “Public Archaeology in Tuscany. A Project and a Proposal” (Workshop), July 2010
“Trans-Jordan in 12th-13th cc. and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean”, November 2008