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Connecting Archaeological Associations in Europe – a survey

Discussion during and after the Professional Associations in Archaeology Community session at the 2018 EAA meeting in Barcelona led to the development the idea to connect archaeological organisations in Europe, by collecting information about them as a first step. A more detailed discussion of the rationale and thinking behind that is presented by Belford & Wait in 'Archäologische Informationen' (Belford & Wait 2019) – this is very briefly summarised here.

Archaeologists are generally sociable and form themselves into communities of shared interests. However, there is considerable duplication of effort, and not all archaeological organisations are communicating effectively with each other. This is perhaps most apparent in the efforts by archaeologists to interact with, and to influence, a wider socio-political agenda. Archaeology does not exist in a vacuum, it is a public endeavour which exists in the public realm. It is governed and influenced by political decision-making but has not always been able to vocalise its concerns. Thus, it is not possible to send unified, consistent messages to wider society unless the sector knows who all of its constituent voices are. Therefore, the first step is to know who represents individual archaeologists and then open a discussion and dialogue between them.

The idea in Barcelona was to be realised in three steps: (1) to collect data by a questionnaire, (2) to import the data into a database and analyse these data and report about the results at the next EAA conference in Bern, (3) to invite further organizations to engage and enter themselves into the database which could be kept up to date by the organizations themselves, by something like a wiki (may be wikimedia).

The following questionnaire comprises step 1, and in a form modified by experience over the next year is intended to serve as the basis for step 3. In our tests, we needed about 12 to 15 minutes to answer all questions. At the time of launch the organising group is aware that we are not aware of perhaps the majority of archaeological organisations in Europe and we encourage contributors to please freely distribute this questionnaire to colleagues who they think may be able to provide information about other organisations.

Paul Belford, Gerry Wait, Diane Scherzler, Frank Siegmund

Frank Siegmund (DGUF), with P. Belford, G. Wait & D. Scherzler – 2019