Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice in Archaeology

Audio-visual media and archaeology

The Institute of Archaeology is host to the Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice in Archaeology (CASPAR). Archaeology has a long record of being a subject for television and radio, and is now making excellent use of the newer digital technologies. Sometimes the relationship between archaeology and audio-visual media has been controversial, yet there is no doubt that archaeology has benefited from widespread public exposure over the last 50 years, and that new technologies are allowing are allowing us to rethink how people engage with archaeology.

The Centre's area of study is the relationship between archaeology and audio-visual media of communication and representation. Audio-visual media include radio, television, film, Internet, hand-held digital communications and static interpretation media. The Centre covers the use of such media by archaeology in its communication with the world outside the discipline, and within the discipline for communication, research and pedagogical purposes.  It will also cover the use made of archaeology by the audio-visual media professions. The Centre sees audio-visual media as a key aspect of what can be called public archaeology.  The communication of archaeology to wider audiences, and using a-v-media to actively engage and involve people in archaeology will be areas of study for the Centre.

The aim of the Centre is to:

  • advocate the greater use of audio-visual media within archaeology;
  • be an active voice of archaeology within broadcasting and ICT for greater use and understanding of archaeological practises and themes;
  • enable inventive and creative use of audio-visual media by archaeologists;
  • promote research into the relationship between audio-visual media and archaeology.

The Centre will pursue its aims through

  • organising conferences to raise awareness and highlight good practice or debate key issues;
  • organising workshops to develop skills in using audio-visual media;
  • publishing books and articles based on conferences and research;
  • organising film festivals and showings;
  • compiling and maintaining a database of archaeology films, TV and radio programmes and websites;
  • helping to provide input into relevant university courses;
  • helping to run research seminars with the Institute of Archaeology;
  • bidding for grants to carry out research into its area of study.

Although based within the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the Centre seeks to work collaboratively with other institutions, including other universities.

Recent CASPAR Events

Read more about past events organised or sponsored by CASPAR»

Centre Director:

  • Don Henson (Honorary Lecturer, UCL Institute of Archaeology, fomer Head of Education, Council for British Archaeology)

Centre Deputy Director:

Centre Advisory Committee:

  • Greg Bailey (Bristol University)
  • Andrew Bevan
  • Andrew Gardner
  • Graham McElarney (Sheffield University)
  • Dan Pett (British Museum, Portable Antiquities Scheme)
  • Angela Piccini (Bristol University)
  • Julian Richards (Broadcaster/archaeologist)
  • Tim Schadla-Hall
  • Ray Sutcliffe (Independent TV producer)

Centre Partners:


Further information:

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