Alia Wallace

Integrating Presentation into Holistic Site Management: A case study of the Vesuvian Region

This research is investigating the benefits of giving presentation a more central role in archaeological site management. The numerous threats facing archaeological sites have made active site management a necessity in-order to ensure preservation of the site. The physical preservation of sites for future generations is at the core of the management process but management decisions are entangled in complex political, economic and social relationships that can impact their success. Included in this is the presentation of archaeological sites which is only recently being recognized as a tool for long term site preservation. As the primary means of communicating the complex histories of sites to their audiences, presentation is often linked to tourism and the visitor experience. While the relationship between presentation and tourism is important and needs to be fully understood for a fruitful visitor experience, the presentation of a site within modern society is equally important. The presentation of a site should reflect the values and interests of all stakeholders and effectively communicate the significance of the site, but in practice presentation is linked primarily to visitor numbers and the economic benefits, which are often short term. This gap between viewing presentation as ‘entertainment’ and understanding the deeper, societal relationships is a problem that needs to be addressed to ensure integrated and sustainable site management. The stakeholders’ identification with the site, the values they hold in the site and their personal and professional interests can all effect the success or failure of a management plan or the long term preservation of a site. This research looks to address this gap by bringing together the various roles of site presentation and showing how it can be used for more communicative and integrated management planning.


 Educational background

  • BA Anthropology/Minor in Italian Studies University of Colorado 2005
  • MA Field Archaeology University of York 2008
  • Scaffolding and supports for conservation work on a building in Pompeii. Presentation is not only signs and guide books, but is also the visual connection with the site. Many things can affect this and result in the loss of values or significance.
  • Visitors queuing to enter the brothel at Pompeii. Pompeii is one of the most highly visited tourist sites in the world, with over 2.5 million visitors a year.
  • File -pompeii1- Visitor standing on wall in Pompeii. Two of the key benefits of presentation is visitor management and visitor engagement. Poor visitor management and engagement can result in visitor actions having a negative impact on an archaeological site.

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