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Annual  meetings
When Valletta meets Faro 

The reality of European archaeology in the 21st century.

Over the past decades, European archaeology focused on different ways of researching and protecting sites in the areas intended for construction and other forms of land development. This type of archaeology, which has become the predominant model of this scientific discipline, gained different names all over Europe: preventive, rescue, commercial, contract, development lead etc.

Whichever term we use to describe it – it is worth discussing. Therefore, the aim of next year’s EAC symposium is to review the different ways of delivering preventive or rescue archaeology across Europe, and to look at the challenges and benefits of state and private or commercial archaeology. The anticipated outcome will be a greater shared understanding of the benefits and challenges faced and approaches taken by European States, to underpin more informed advice to governments on application or modification of policy.

The discussion is backed by the concept of integrating the approach of the Valetta Convention, which shaped preventive archaeology policies as we know them, with the concept of heritage communities contained in the Faro convention, which will determine 21st century integrated approach to heritage management.

The Symposium will last one and a half days (19-20 March) and will consist of three plenary panel sessions followed by discussions – including questions and comments from the floor:

Session 1 – Setting the scene

The aim of this session is to introduce the theme of the symposium by presenting the legal and organizational framework for different preventive archaeology models applied across Europe. The range of available solutions is very wide – from strictly centralized schemes to full free market models. Different countries developed their policies in different legal, social, and economic circumstances. The panelists’ task will be to summarize their country’s model and explain why it was chosen.

Session 2. Balancing stakeholders

This session is designed to focus on the effects. Its aim is to critically analyze the practical outcomes of different preventive archaeology solutions that have been applied and to show ways of balancing everyone’s expectations. One of the most important aspects is arbitrating the goals of the different stakeholders in the planning process. Panelists are expected to openly present the good and bad practices in their countries in order to initiate a vivid discussion on the actual benefits of preventive archaeology in the reality of the 21st century.

Session 3. Assuring quality

The final session is meant as a practical reminder of the actual reason for undertaking preventive archaeology measures. It is important to acknowledge that current measures used for protecting archeological heritage in the planning process are not taken for granted and that good relations with the public are essential. Panelists will be asked to address several issues from their countries’ experience such as finding the right expertise, monitoring quality, sharing results with different target groups, and last but not least – ensuring lasting public benefit.

​16th annual meeting 

March 18-21, 2015

Lisboa, Portugal

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