Public Archaeology in the UK

1 May 2013

MA Public Archaeology student group atop the Dunadd, an Iron Age hillfort in the Kilmartin landscape, Scotland. Photo by Eduardo Escalante.

MA Public Archaeology students recently enjoyed a five-day educational trip to Scotland and northern England to gain a wider perspective of Public Archaeology in the UK. 

Between the 22nd and 26th March 2013, fourteen students embarked on an incredible journey led by Tim Schadla-Hall and Gabe Moshenska, from Kilmartin Glen in Scotland to the Jorvic Viking centre in Yorkshire. From this trip, some major themes of learning emerged: landscape and site interpretation, museums and display, reconstructing the past, the economic context of archaeology, and outreach and education.

In the current economic climate, archaeology needs to increase its visibility and attract visitors and capitals in order to survive. The trip highlighted for the students the variety of ways in which archaeological sites cope with the economic crisis, at their own scale.

Tim Schadla-Hall, in Kilmartin Glen, leading the MA Public Archaeology fieldtrip

The trip was a great success and served as a rich educational university event that was deeply enjoyed by all members of the group. As the students indicated:

  • "By enabling us to compare and contrast how information is conveyed to the public, how archaeological sites deal with the administrative structure and economic situation, and how their educative aims are put into practice, this fieldtrip encapsulates and blends together some of the most crucial themes studied throughout the year. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and would like to thank Tim Schadla-Hall and Gabe Moshenska for taking us around such a variety of archaeological sites, landscapes and museums".

The Institute's Public Archaeology course introduces students to the wide range of areas in which archaeology has had an impact outside the academic areas of archaeological study and incorporates regular field trips as part of the teaching experience which highlight particular aspects of the course aims.