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Archaeology and the Crowd

An Exploration of Socially Responsible Archaeology

Andrea Travaglia
July 2015
Author: Andrea Travaglia
Student Number: VU 2544151 | UvA 10899138
Master’s Thesis for Archaeology, Landscape & Heritage
Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies & Archaeology
Vrije University & University of Amsterdam
Supervisor: Dr. Heleen Van Londen
Second Reader: Dr. Vladimir Stissi
Cover Photo: Andrea Travaglia

This document is written by Andrea Travaglia, who
declares to take full responsibility for the contents
of this document.

I declare that the text and the work presented in

this document is original and that no sources other
than those mentioned in the text and its references
have been used in creating it.

The Faculty of Archaeology is responsible solely

for the supervision of completion of the work, not
for its content.



I want to thank my supervisor Heleen van Londen for being my mentor. Her teaching
and discussions have inspired me. I would also like to thank my husband Jonathan
Travaglia for his support, constructive criticisms, and countless cups of tea.

Table of Contents
Declaration .......................................................................................................................2
Acknowledgements ..........................................................................................................3
List of Figures ...................................................................................................................5
List of Tables ....................................................................................................................5
1. Introduction.................................................................................................................6
1.1 Research Question .................................................................................................8
1.2 Thesis Framework...................................................................................................9
2. Definitions .................................................................................................................10
2.1 Crowdsourcing ......................................................................................................10
2.2 Online Communities..............................................................................................13
2.3 Crowdfunding ........................................................................................................17
2.4 Public Archaeology ...............................................................................................22
3. Education & Translational Archaeology ................................................................26
4. Conceptions and Criteria.........................................................................................29
5. Case Study 1. The Netherlands Drentsche Aa Programme..................................30
5.1 Participatory Action Research...............................................................................32
5.2 Drentsche Aa Projects ..........................................................................................35
5.3 Landscape Biography ...........................................................................................36
5.4 Field Names Project..............................................................................................38
5.5 Landscape Vision..................................................................................................39
5.6 Policy.....................................................................................................................40
Conclusion ..................................................................................................................45
6. Case Study 2. Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project .................................47
6.1 SCHARP ...............................................................................................................49
6.2 Participatory Action Research...............................................................................55
6.3 SCAPE Funding ....................................................................................................57
6.4 The Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model....................................................59
6.5 Policy.....................................................................................................................60
Conclusion ..................................................................................................................62
7. Analysis: Parameters of Practices..........................................................................64
8. Interpretation: Vision & New Developments..........................................................74
Appendix 1: Bibliography................................................................................................77
Appendix 2: Online References......................................................................................86
List of Figures
Figure 1. The site plan for the Sydney Opera House and the ground floor plan........................ 11
Figure 2. An example of crowdsourced information shared on a webpage from the Archaeowiki
website. ............................................................................................................................... 14
Figure 3. Mircopasts - crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects. ............................................ 20
Figure 4. A map indicating the participants who crowdfunded and crowdsourced the Flag Fen
project. ................................................................................................................................. 21
Figure 5. National Landscapes of the Netherlands designated by the Dutch government in
2004..................................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 6. The Drentsche Aa National Landscape contains one of the best preserved brook
valley systems in the Netherlands. ...................................................................................... 32
Figure 7. The core structure (via Heleen van Londen) of the interaction between knowledge,
policy, imagination and practive, with the knowledge-action nexus running from policy-
makers (planning) to scientists (experts & academics). ...................................................... 33
Figure 8. An open-air theatre performance from the Field Names Festival in 2009 that drew
around 1200 visitors, inspired by the field names and local stories associated with the
location. ............................................................................................................................... 38
Figure 9. The phased plan for the implementation of Landscape Development Plans.............. 44
Figure 10. Map displaying locations of all CZAS 1996-2011. .................................................... 50
Figure 11. Map markers for sites include: red (high-priority), orange (medium-priority), yellow
(low-priority), and green (newly-recorded)........................................................................... 51
Figure 12. One example of twelve community involved archaeological projects around
Scotland's coast................................................................................................................... 53
Figure 13. Interpretation of the Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model by author. ............. 59

List of Tables
Table 1. The different types of action and their relationships to research, policy and the
public. .................................................................................................................................. 34
Table 2. The criteria used by SCHARP for selecting ShoreDIG projects................................... 54
Table 3. Action Plan to minimise the negative consequences of climate change to the historic
environment. ........................................................................................................................ 61

1. Introduction
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the current state of crowdfunding and
crowdsourcing in the public and academic spheres related to archaeological practice. For the
purpose of exploring innovative techniques that can provide new insights into the current
practice of archaeology, this thesis will evaluate policies and conventions relevant to the
archaeology and heritage sectors. By defining the framework of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding,
public archaeology and online communities, the dissemination of knowledge can be facilitated
for the archaeology sector and allow for analysis of the parameters of practice for future
For Smith, any constraint on archaeological practice is a constraint on theoretical
debate and development, and if theory is practice and practice theory, then how we frame our
practice will inevitably frame the way we think about and theorize what it is we do as
archaeologists;1 hence the pursuit of evaluating the current state of archaeological practice. In
the area of archaeological practice, defining heritage becomes somewhat problematic. Smith
argues that the current investment archaeologists, not only in Australia, but worldwide, have in
the idea of an ‘archaeological heritage’ constrains archaeological practice and the relationships
archaeologists have with a range of publics, including Indigenous communities and peoples.2
Archaeological information has been (and still is) both created and presented in
authoritative ways by archaeologists who want to promote archaeological agendas (such as
research or stewardship) and those who attempt to enact multivocal archaeology projects work
against a long history of archaeological discourse.3 For McDavid, creating new and different
ways of implementing new archaeological projects, new ways of interpreting archaeological
sites, and new ways of expressing ‘truth’ is needed, along with consideration of the issues
involved in multivocality, either as a theoretical idea or as a framework for practice as being a
necessary part of conducting ethical archaeology.4
For Wendrich, the concept of multivocality is not just the product of a theoretical
argument, but is a result of socio-political and intellectual hybridity that has been introduced in
archaeology to express that there are different groups, with different interests and voices, that
have a stake in the same subject area.5 In his experience, Hodder states that opening up

Smith 2012, § 22.
Ibid. § 1.
McDavid 2014, 5094.
Wendrich 2011, 230.
archaeological practice to multiple voices and marginalized groups has been a source of relief,
excitement, and engagement in the potential to explore their own heritage and identity, along
with anger and suspicion resulting from past practices and concerns that the reflexive process is
no more than a ploy to achieve incorporation and agreement.6 His work on projects that involves
‘the public’ do not place ‘the public’ per se as an entity, but as diversifying groups that can
interact and collaborate in archaeology and the complicated nature of different approaches that
Richardson observes that professional archaeological organisations are increasingly
encouraged, if not required, to disseminate their reports, publications, educational resources,
data-sets, images and other archaeological informatics through digital means, frequently as
mandatory outputs for impact assessment and public accountability.7 Addressing commercial
archaeology, she highlights practices in the UK, which the rest of the commercial archaeology
world is slowly catching up to with regards to changing mentalities, technological advances and
socio-economic policies.
In the Netherlands, public archaeology is ‘non-existent’ according to Van den Dries, but
that does not mean that archaeologists do not engage with the public; she states that the
archaeology community is well aware of the importance of public support and realize that
archaeology can only exist if the public are interested in it, which generates legislation to protect
the heritage and funding to study and preserve it.8 By evaluating and analysing two case
studies, from the Netherlands and the UK respectively, these concepts will be discussed and
further explored.
While the common principle in most countries regarding archaeological practice is
generally salvage (or rescue) archaeology whereby ‘the polluter pays’ and in most cases the
criterion ‘preservation in situ’ is applicable; what if neither apply? If there is no responsibility for
any polluter to financially contribute towards archaeological work, how does one protect cultural
heritage? And what of cultural heritage sites that are threatened with destruction by natural
processes? These questions will be explored in the second case study with the work conducted
around the Scottish coastline. From more of a local heritage perspective, public perception and
academia is addressed in the first case study that explores landscape biography research as
part of protecting and building a regional identity in the northeast region of the Netherlands.

Hodder 2008, 197.
Richardson 2013, 1.
Dries, M.H. van den 2014, 69-70.
While the Netherlands case study explores avenues for crowdfunding, the UK case
study uses crowdsourcing as a tool, and both case studies explore the integration of the public
(and other interested stakeholders) into their projects to better educate and/or create public
interest for archaeology and cultural heritage. The specifically chosen case studies are a good
contrast of the different demands of archaeological practice. For example, the Netherlands
Drentsche Aa case study, a protected national landscape, was specifically chosen due to the
formal attempts to engage the public and other interested stakeholders in policy with regards to
the protection and management of natural areas. Scotland’s coastal case study is a very recent
and ongoing example to show the attempts at which policy to involve and engage the public
(and other interested stakeholders) is already a prerequisite in regards to the protection and
management of archaeological regions at risk of erosion and destruction through natural
processes. The similarities and differences between the two case studies highlight the variations
of the status quo, the existing state of affairs, in a pan-European context. By researching in this
way, the conceptual framework begins with ‘what’ is presently happening in archaeological
practice towards ‘how’ to move forward.

1.1 Research Question

What this thesis endeavours to evaluate is the current state of the archaeology sector
with what we know about the new developments and current state of crowdfunding and
crowdsourcing in archaeological practice. How does it enhance research, heritage and public
understanding of archaeology? While a variety of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing examples
are highlighted within this thesis, the practical aspects of this research are tied in with two
European case studies that are evaluated due to their specific qualities of innovation. The
method of an evaluative and interpretative approach requires empirical knowledge, and these
case studies are suitable to produce this as they provide real-life situations. The acquisition,
discovery and dissemination of knowledge and expertise lie at the centre of the case studies as
a research and teaching method in the hopes of learning how to innovate rather than proving
that innovation is necessary. The aim is to understand the different viewpoints and practices of
the two different case studies. The multi-perspective analyses, and the interactions between
them, can be used to explore possibilities and solutions.

1.2 Thesis Framework
Terminology such as public, citizen, community, and crowd are used within this thesis, in
keeping with the upsurge of current research in various sectors. In the second chapter the
thesis concepts are divided into four sections: crowdsourcing, online communities,
crowdfunding, and public archaeology. Each section will provide a description that will define the
concept’s meaning along with the use of examples, to further establish understanding and better
place it within the context of archaeological practice.
The third chapter evaluates the terminology ‘educating the public’ that is used in relevant
conventions involving archaeology and cultural heritage. Some andragogic principles are set out
here to further connect translational processes to help understand contemporary social
problems using archaeological methods.
Chapter four highlights conceptions and criteria using recent examples of how
archaeology is politicised in a global context and what that means for the archaeology and
cultural heritage sectors; a springboard to introduce the two case studies.
Chapter five focuses on a case study from the Netherlands, the Drentsche Aa
landscape. Along with the analysis and outcomes of the projects undertaken, concepts such as
participatory action research, landscape biography and policy will be examined, and the case
study will be further evaluated on a European scale.
In chapter six the second case study explores the UK, Scotland’s ‘Coastal Heritage at
Risk Project’. In the evaluation of the project the use of participatory action research, funding
and policies will be explored. Furthermore, interpretation, an analogy for a theoretical cultural
heritage model and processes, will lead to addressing some comparative insights with the first
case study.
Chapter seven conjoins the two case studies to analyse the different and similar
parameters of practices, including the successes and failures. This section draws from previous
chapters to enhance the evaluative nature of the thesis question.
In the final chapter, the interpretation of new knowledge gained by working through the
evaluation of the research question, the different approaches of the two case studies, and vision
for new developments are proposed. The challenges for the field of archaeology are openly laid
out and connections are made, leaving room to define potential future developments in both
theory and practice.

2. Definitions

2.1 Crowdsourcing
The term ‘crowdsourcing’ was originally coined in 2006 by Jeff Howe, who wrote an
article entitled ‘The Rise of Crowdsourcing’9 in Wired, which reports on the effect new
technologies have on the economy, politics and culture. Crowdsourcing is a relatively new term
that is adopted by all credible online dictionaries and is defined as a variation of public
contribution and participation. It can be summarised as being the practice of information
gathering, for a small task or a big project, by enlisting the services of people (the crowd) who
are compensated in payment or experience. As Howe put it:

‘Simply defined, crowdsourcing represents the act of a company or institution taking a

function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large)
network of people in the form of an open call. This can take the form of peer-production (when
the job is performed collaboratively), but is also often undertaken by sole individuals. The crucial
prerequisite is the use of the open call format and the large network of potential labourers.’ 10

Whether the crowd are contributing knowledge via the Internet, or via their physical
presence in a project, it can be stated that participation and knowledge are being accessed
unconventionally on a large scale. So one might ask, what kind of tasks and projects can the
crowd contribute to or participate in? To begin with, crowdsourcing might be a new term that is
accepted and used, but it is not a relatively new concept. For example, in 1955 Joseph Cahill,
the Premier of the State of New South Wales Australia, ran an international competition offering
£5,000 in compensation for an architectural design of a National Opera House building to be
positioned at the harbour of Bennelong Point in Sydney.11 Out of 233 entries from 32
countries,12 Danish architect Jørn Oberg Utzon won the competition with his designs. In 1957 he
was commissioned by the Government of New South Wales to do the final drawings for the
Opera House, as well as supervise its construction.13 It is known today as the Sydney Opera
House, and since 2007 it has been listed under UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.14 This social
and economical accomplishment over time has turned into an Australian identity icon (fig. 1).

Howe 2006(a)
Howe 2006(b), § 5.
Sydney Opera House
Archives In Brief 28:
Utzon Drawings:
UNESCO Sydney Opera House:
Figure 1. The site plan for the Sydney Opera House and the ground floor plan.

This example of crowdsourcing manifested through the involvement of various

communication media in the form of television, radio, newspapers, and magazine articles; a
combined effort that extended to a wider audience who had certain expertise and could follow
the building requirements in a timely manner. In this sense, it is clear that there is an overlap
with the notion of ‘public participation’ and the concept of ‘crowdsourcing’.
Crowdsourcing can now be viewed beyond the format of competitions and awards to a
problem-solving model, opportune for the crowd to participate. According to Brabham,
crowdsourcing is a strategic model that attracts an interested, motivated crowd of individuals

The Gold Book:

capable of providing different and perhaps better solutions to traditional forms of business,
whereby the crowd can help solve problems that stump corporate scientific researchers.16
In the humanities, there appears to be a typology for the terminology of ‘crowdsourcing’
that Dunn and Hedges identify and divide into three broad categories:

1. Contributory projects in which members of the public (via an open invitation) contribute
along lines that are tightly defined and directed by scientists;
2. Collaborative projects which have a central design, but to which members of the public
contribute data, and may also help to refine project design, analyse data, or disseminate
findings; and
3. Co-created projects, which are designed by scientists and members of the public
working together and for which at least some of the public participants are actively
involved in most or all steps of the scientific process.17

The Sydney Opera House could be categorised as falling in line with the first and second
‘contributory’ and ‘collaborative’ projects approach, while the third ‘co-created’ projects
approach shares characteristics with modern concepts of crowdsourcing.
In a framework that is predominantly focused on the relationship between institutions
and the public, museum director Nina Simon points out three main reasons that cultural
institutions engage in ‘co-creative’ projects; to give voice and be responsive to the needs and
interests of local community members; to provide a place for community engagement and
dialogue; and to help participants develop skills that will support their own individual and
community goals.18 Simon states that the directors of co-creative projects see their institutions
as community-based organizations in service to the needs of visitors, rather than as providers of
services the institution perceives as valuable, so co-creative projects are ‘demand-driven’ and
often require institutional goals to take a backseat to community goals.19 This in turn allows for
more of a democratic flow of information building and gathering.
With regards to museums and heritage, Simon discusses the Magnes Museum, a small
Jewish art and history museum in Berkeley California, that created a ‘Memory Lab’,20 inviting
visitors to contribute their own artefacts and stories to a digital archive of Jewish heritage, and
with an emphasis on ‘making memories,’ the contributory project was a success because it

Brabham 2008, 79.
Dunn & Hedges 2012, 5.
Simon 2010(b), § 2.
Ibid. § 3.
The Magnes Collection Of Jewish Art and Life:
invited visitors to explore their own family heritage.21 Benford points out that it is the rethinking
of the relationship between official and unofficial knowledge that is the main challenge that
cultural institutions have to face when undertaking a crowdsourcing process.22 This is especially
important to think about when institutions also lack funding and/or public interest.

2.2 Online Communities

The beginning of the 21st century has brought about more crowdsourcing opportunities
via the Internet, a network of networks,23 hosting online communities on a global scale.
Rheingold has been researching the world-wide web and its online participation developments
from its early stages, noting in the early 1990s its potential influence on people's beliefs and
perceptions, he states that the ‘Net’ is connected to the future of community, democracy,
education, science, and intellectual life whether or not people know or care about the future of
computer technology.24 But who are these communities? And how have they brought about
crowdsourcing opportunities?
To begin with, let us examine SOCIENTIZE (Society as e-infrastructure through
technology, innovation and creativity) a recent example (2012) of an online citizen science
project, funded by the European Council, to involve the general public in scientific processes.25
This form of participatory action research, a term that can be traced back to social psychologist
Kurt Lewin in the 1940s regarding his work on group dynamics, experiential learning and action
research,26 is an approach to research as a social, participatory, practical and collaborative
practice. For the SOCIENTIZE project, it is the participants who raise new questions and co-
create a new scientific culture that can broaden a networked and trans-disciplinary culture.27 It is
the online community in this example that creates the opportunity for interactions between
themselves and the sciences for a more democratic research approach. If one wants to raise
awareness of scientific methods, then allowing the public to experience and participate in citizen
science is one way to go about it.
An example of an online discourse outside the realm of traditional academia is the online
encyclopaedia Wikipedia. This online collaborative platform is a good example of online
crowdsourced knowledge. Quite recently, ArchaeoWiki (fig. 2) was created, an online

Simon 2010(a), § 25.
Benford et al. 2013, § 60.
Internet Engineering Task Force 1989, 6.
Rheingold 1993, § 29.
Lewin 1947, 5-40.
Digital Agenda for Europe 2013, 6.
community-based collaborative resource and discussion platform for archaeological subject
matter that aims to provide inclusive context wherein amateur, professional and academic
archaeologists can come together to share and discuss knowledge.28 Contributions are made by
members of the public, who register as collaborators to the website. Anyone can visit
ArchaeoWiki's pages, but only collaborators and administrators can modify and add pages,
however, content that is added, erased, or modified inappropriately can always be removed,
retrieved, or reverted.29 In this sense, the content presented by the crowd is an ongoing
collaborative process that takes place online with amateurs, archaeologists, and academics
from all over the world to innovate digital records of archaeological knowledge.

Figure 2. An example of crowdsourced information shared on a webpage from the Archaeowiki website.

For the archaeology sector, engaging in information-sharing and online dialogue has to
begin with an understanding of how information about the past is sought, processed, received,
interpreted, associated, subverted and recycled through the Internet.31 Richardson states that
there is a high potential for online platforms to guide and support individuals and communities in
finding their own archaeological voice, to gather contributions of crowdsourced archaeological
content, to discuss archaeological news and discoveries, and foster online community identity
situated around the topic of archaeology and wider heritage issues.32 Online communities are
still a relatively new concept for the field of archaeology, albeit increasingly important when
considering the global perspectives of archaeology regarding the various voices, content,

Richardson 2013, 8.
Richardson 2013, 6-8.
identities, discoveries and heritage issues that are explored online, all synonymous with
communities offline (in the ‘real’ world).
With regards to established cultural institutions exploring crowdsourcing initiatives both
online and offline, Benford et al. analysed collaborations between the crowd (or ‘audiences’ in
this instance) and galleries, education, libraries, archives, and museums. They asserted that
there was an increasing use of crowdsourcing projects being adopted between these
organisations and their audiences.
Examples of the elements that the crowdsourcing projects involved ranged from:

● Curating - selecting, classifying, describing, and organising objects

● Revising - analysing, reconsidering, correcting, and improving objects
● Tagging - classification and creation
● Locating - placing objects in physical space, telling stories, and providing
● Documenting - crowd contributions related to historical events
● Augmenting - crowd contributions related to locating places 33

Benford et al. acknowledge that their use of the definition ‘crowdsourcing’ describes a
type of participative online activity, and that interactions with participants occur exclusively
online.34 However, what is later determined from their analysis of 36 different crowdsourcing
projects is the adoption of a blended approach, combining crowdsourcing ‘face-to-face’ events
with ‘standard’ computer-mediated actions, which in the digital humanities is not limited to
interactions with a digital audience, as it can take shape in a ‘hybrid approach’ where both
physical and online interactions intertwine.35 One factor is clear, the latest crowdsourcing
activities are largely related to online activities, however, this does not mean that it is limited to
the online activity itself. When one is ‘crowdsourced’ one can also be actively engaged with
activities both online and offline, virtually and physically.
If we direct our attention to the commercial archaeology sector, we can find a number of
examples where a combination of crowdsourcing online and offline archaeology is taking place.
Organisations such as MicroPasts and DigVentures are adopting an online crowdsourcing and
crowdfunding platform. MicroPasts is a web-enabled crowdsourcing and crowdfunding project
whose overall goal is to promote the collection and use of high quality research data via

Benford et al. 2013.
institutional and community collaborations, both online and offline.36 The multi-application
crowdsourcing project is said to enable community-led and massive online contributions to high
quality research in archaeology, history and heritage.37 For Bevan et al. the quality control is
improved by having tutorials for new users explaining the necessary tasks on the website, such
as the online transcription, georeferencing and photo-masking applications, while the more
recent features further enable a form of quality control by using an online user voting approach
that allow online contributors to build online reputations.38
Another organisation using online communities that extends beyond the virtual is
DigVentures. This company has an innovative model that works to connect heritage sector
managers and archaeologists with a worldwide crowd of interested and actively engaged
participants, creating a platform for the public to financially support projects as well as to join in,
learn new skills, and contribute to internationally important research.39 As an ‘Institute for
Archaeologists Registered Organisation’ with accredited field schools, their work and
opportunities are stated as being quality-assured and at the top of the industry standard.40
Within two years, DigVentures has raised over £65 thousand in seed funding from a globally
networked online crowd of supporters,41 which has enabled excavations, field schools, research,
and community involvement in the UK. The DigVentures website hosts videos, photography,
research designs and articles associated with their projects, all made freely available to anyone
with an Internet connection.
For Boast and Biehl, the rate at which archaeological information is being made
available online is increasing, with site reports, virtual museums, digital reconstructions, and
ideas being available instantaneously that allows for a wide distribution of knowledge.42 It is
certainly useful when archaeological sites can be regularly updated, published and accessed
online in real-time. Furthermore, Boast and Biehl point out the benefits of the open-source
quality of the archaeological knowledge online, which include allowing users to interactively
modify, improve, and redistribute the knowledge.43 Herein lie the possibilities for the online

Bonacchi et al. 2014, 61.
Bevan et al. 2014, 183.
Bevan et al. 2014, 191-192.
Boast & Biehl 2011, 126.
construction of knowledge, dissemination and participation, a step away from institutionalised
and hierarchical structures of interpretation to a more networked and ‘multivocal approach’.44
Hodder uses this notion of ‘multivocality’ to describe the participation of more voices,
more groups, and more individuals, taking into account the fact that achieving the participation
of marginalized groups involves a lot more than providing a stage on which they can speak, but
changing practices and contexts so that disadvantaged groups have the opportunity to be heard
and responded to.45 Taking this into consideration, online communities can be viewed as an
extra layer or a patina to the multivocal approach. The Internet is a stage for participatory
culture. Hodder further identifies multivocality with moving away from the methods and
principles that are attuned to the Western voice and more towards ethics and rights, ‘reflexive
methods’, which involves doing archaeology differently and practicing it differently at all levels,
from the phase of research design to field methods to writing, publishing, and presenting the
past.46 This is not to say that the archaeological discipline (as it stands) needs to be scrapped,
but it can be improved upon.
Online communities have already been slowly changing practices in response to the
recent and successful projects that have been, and are currently being, carried out. What will be
further examined is the current climate of crowdsourcing knowledge, which can have an effect
on archaeological practice and provide new opportunities for meaningful exchanges between
archaeologists and all other interested stakeholders. While crowdsourcing work online is an
appealing approach because people can work within the limitations of their own spare time,
however, offline in real-time it might not be a possibility for some people, due to other life/work
commitments. Crowdsourcing might be seen only as an opportunity for the retired or the
privileged few and likewise for crowdfunding. To bridge this conceptual gap, some suggestions
will be made in the following chapters to address these points.

2.3 Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is closely related to crowdsourcing, but can function on its own as the
practice of the public (the crowd) raising monetary contributions to fund projects, which can
enable projects to be initially carried out and/or further improve the process of the project.
According to Freedman et al. crowdfunding is a method of collecting many small contributions,

Hodder 2008, 196.
by means of an online funding platform, to finance or capitalize a popular enterprise.47
Crowdfunding gained traction in 2003 when Brian Camelio, a Boston musician and computer
programmer, launched ArtistShare, a website where musicians could seek donations from their
fans to produce digital recordings.48
In the past, monetary donations were attributed to ‘charitable’ causes. However, in
recent times online crowdfunding sites have allowed for a different model to solicit donations
from the crowd. According to a crowdfunding industry report of 2013, worldwide crowdfunding
volume reached $2.7 billion in 2012, which were raised from over 1 million campaigns,
compared with $1.5 billion raised in 2011.49 With the introduction of new online crowdfunding
platforms, crowdfunding has gained momentum over several years and further encouraged
‘producers’ and ‘consumers’ to interact. This does not limit the consumer to being a passive
member of the public, but a member of the public who can also purchase an experience to be
involved in a project. People who contribute their money to support the efforts initiated by others
do not necessarily have to be placed outside of the project itself.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter, considered the two most popular donation-based
crowdfunding websites, were founded in 2007 and 2009 respectively and give people and
creative projects the opportunity to raise money via online donations or pre-purchasing of
products, services or experiences.50 If a project fails to meet its funding goal however, none of
the donation commitments made by the public are actually processed and to Kickstarter, this
policy ensures a level of security for project creators and backers.51
For Ordanini et al. the idea that some people may decide to pay for producing and/or
promoting a product, bearing the risks associated with that decision, represents a further step in
the evolution of consumers’ roles that involves a mix of entrepreneurship and social network
participation.52 The power of monetary contributions from the crowd via the Internet has
influenced all types of organisations, from nonprofits to heritage sectors, to get involved in
crowdfunding projects. In more recent years, the archaeology sector specifically has been
involved with crowdfunding projects. As discussed earlier, archaeology companies such as
MicroPasts and Digventures have capitalised on these projects with the use of the crowdfunding
elements in their company design. MicroPasts, for example, is enabling both crowdfunding and

Freedman & Nutting 2015, 1; ArtistShare:
Massolution 2013, 6-7.
Barnett 2013, § 3.
Ibid. § 15.
Ordanini et al. 2009, 3.
crowdsourcing, whereby each of these activities can be undertaken independently from one
another.53 Some other examples of online crowdsourcing projects in archaeology and related
subjects, noted by Bevan et al.54 have involved locating and photographing prehistoric
monuments,55 identifying archaeological features on satellite imagery,56 pooling wartime
tangible heritage,57 deciphering papyri,58 interrogating built architecture,59 engaging with
Indigenous intellectual property,60 transcribing old excavation records,61 mapping and
disambiguating ancient place-names,62 and recording metal artefacts.63 Other projects have
employed crowdfunding to call for individually small (but, potentially, collectively large)
donations to support the study, conservation and communication of archaeological heritage.64
As part of the MicroPasts project, a website was created where communities that are
already established offline (e.g. archaeological and historical societies, groups of metal
detectorists) as well as more ubiquitous online ‘crowds’ can participate in co-producing
archaeological and historical open data via crowdsourcing; designing new research agendas
using co-produced data and a community forum; and crowdfunding some of these new
collaborations that have been dreamt up collectively.65 For Bevan et al. a project like MicroPasts
(fig. 3) will be enormously beneficial to provide opportunities for people traditionally
distinguished as ‘academic archaeologists’, fieldwork ‘professionals’ and ‘amateurs’ not only to
collaboratively produce research data across a wide variety of applications, but also to develop
new research initiatives collectively, and resource them via crowdfunding appeals.66

Bonacchi et al. 2014, 63.
Bevan et al. 2014, 184.
The Megalithic Portal:
Field Expedition Mongolia:
The Great War Archive:
The Ancient Lives Project:
Heritage Together:
The UR Excavations:
The Portable Antiquities Scheme:
Bonacchi et al. 2014, 62.
Bevan et al. 2014, 184.
Figure 3. Mircopasts - crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects.

DigVentures describes itself as a social business at the forefront of culture, technology

and entrepreneurship, committed to raising seed capital and increasing participation for
sustainable archaeology and heritage projects worldwide.68 In 2012, DigVentures crowdsourced
and crowdfunded an archaeological dig at Cambridgeshire's Flag Fen, the site of a Bronze-Age
causeway of millions of preserved timbers that are rotting away as groundwater recedes from
the site.69 They crowdfunded over £30,000 and crowdsourced a worldwide audience (fig. 4) to
excavate the internationally significant Bronze Age site of Flag Fen, boosted visitors to the site,
trained over 130 people who had crowdfunded the project on site in archaeological field skills,
and increased visitors to Flag Fen by over 30% from the previous year.70 An assessment report
has been written by the team of specialists and experts, but not without the help of those that
made it happen through crowdfunding. Due to the high amount of collaborative success and
newly developed partnerships, this particular project will continue to be on the research agenda
in the near future.

Mircorpasts Crowdfunding:
Flag Fen BBC:
DigVentures Flag Fen 2012:
Figure 4. A map indicating the participants who crowdfunded and crowdsourced the Flag Fen project.

From their research, Agrawal et al. interprets that the crowdfunding platform has
eliminated most distance-related economic frictions normally associated with financing early
stage projects, such as acquiring information (e.g. local reputation, stage presence), monitoring
progress, and providing input.72 What they concluded with was the use of crowdfunding as a
way to help reduce current market failures.73 However, while the online crowdfunding platform
enables reputable people and/or companies to access funds on a global scale, it is important to
consider the sufficient offline support that enables them to be somewhat successful in reaching
their monetary goals online.
If we place this in an archaeological context, and consider archaeology as declining in
importance for the public offline, professionals can turn to crowdfunding online (the other public,
the ‘online communities’) to help overcome this perceived constraint. Crowdfunding is already
creating a new economic market, financially facilitated by the online interested public anywhere
in the world, for an aspiring ‘new generation’ of archaeologists with innovative ideas and visions
for future research projects, while also cultivating online public interest in the field of
archaeology that can further lead to offline public interest and opportunities.

Agrawal 2011, 3.
Ibid. 18.
2.4 Public Archaeology
It could be stated that the term ‘public archaeology’ became more prominent in the field
of archaeology worldwide during the 1980s, with the transition of processual to post-processual
archaeological practice. However, in America it began in the 1960s with the federal and state
legislation fundamentally changing the discipline by placing it into the public sphere, and a
publicly mandated archaeology emerged, or what Charles McGimsey first called ‘public
archaeology’ in 1972.74 According to McGimsey, Public Archaeology was written for colleagues
in the archaeological profession, for the growing number of legislators, and for other interested
citizens who were becoming increasingly concerned with preserving their states' archaeological
Public archaeology, archaeology education and community archaeology are terms that
have been used interchangeably, with grey areas between their boundaries of definition,
sometimes defended as separate entities and sometimes seen as mere semantics which need
to be adapted to meet local needs.76 ‘Communication’, ‘education’, ‘learning’, ‘outreach’,
‘participation’, and ‘engagement’ are all terms that have been used when referring to the public-
archaeology interface, but despite the differences, a common thread in all of the definitions and
approaches to participation/engagement in archaeology seems to be the role that the public is
perceived to be playing and the nature and role of the disciplinary knowledge.77
For Richardson et al. public archaeology can be defined as both a disciplinary practice
and a theoretical position, which can be exercised through the democratization of
archaeological communication, activity or administration, through communication with the
public, involvement of the public or the preservation and administration of archaeological
resources for public benefit by voluntary or statutory organizations.78 In recent years,
researchers in the field of public archaeology have urged a thorough review of the theoretical
and methodological approaches that can be applied to examine the multiple forms of the
interaction between archaeology and society, including the potential of digital technologies to
facilitate new collaborative and creative forms of public engagement with the human past.79 In
essence, public archaeology involves ‘the public’ as much as possible, while also making
contributions to archaeological knowledge.

Pykles 2006, 311.
McGimsey 1972, xiii.
Thomas & Lea 2014, 1.
Moussouri 2014, 11.
Richardson & Almansa-Sánchez 2015, 194-195.
Pett et al. 2014, 279-288.
Public archaeology is based on the premise that multivocality can improve archaeology
with the interpretations of the past; however, this is not to dismiss or compromise the scientific
nature of archaeology, but to challenge the inequality of the historical authoritative archetype.80
This leads to the political aspects to which archaeology is always involved in when
(re)presenting the past in the present. Interpreting the past is not a scientific act, but a cultural
and social one that deals with different accounts of the past that ‘belong’ to different social
groups resulting in political entanglements in different countries and regions.81
Holtorf uses three principal models that distinguish the relationship between archaeology
and society:

1. The Education Model, which involves the gaining of reliable knowledge by an academic elite
and its subsequent dissemination, by public outreach for example, to those with knowledge
‘deficits’ contributing to their enlightenment and competence as citizens.

2. The Public Relations Model, which seeks to improve the public image of archaeology in order
to secure its licence to practise and increase social and political support for archaeology and
related legislation.

3. The Democratic Model, which emphasizes scientific responsibility and sustainable

development and is based on participatory processes in which non-scientists predominate.82

While each model provides a different approach for public archaeology, they should not
be mutually exclusive. The shift to a market-driven economy that is happening worldwide has
increased the pressure on archaeology in most countries to stop serving only the intellectual
community of scholars and to explicitly demonstrate its value for contemporary society and
enhance that value further.83 For Matsuda and Okamura, archaeologists should not be allowed
to impose their views on the public, but to be successful, public archaeology needs a two-way
dialogue with members of the public.84
With regards to archaeological heritage and the public in Australia, the Australian
Archaeological Association clearly identify in the Code of Ethics that:

1.3 Archaeological members recognise that there are many interests in cultural heritage, but
they specifically acknowledge the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples;

Tully 2007, 158; Pardoe 1992, 139; Schmidt & Patterson 1995, 6.
Matsuda & Okamura 2011, 10.
Holtorf 2007, 150.
Matsuda & Okamura 2011, 9.
Ibid. 14.
3.3 Archaeological members acknowledge Indigenous approaches to the interpretation of
cultural heritage and to its conservation.85

Under the Burra Charter (principles and procedures that have been adopted to create a
nationally accepted standard for heritage conservation practice in Australia), people involved in
the conservation of heritage places (a monument, building, garden, shell midden, rock art site,
road, mining, archaeological site, or a whole region) should:
● Understand the place and its cultural significance, including its meaning to people,
before making decisions about its future
● Involve the communities associated with the place
● Care for its cultural significance and other significant attributes, taking account of all
aspects of significance
● Care for the place's setting
● Provide an appropriate use
● Provide security for the place
● Use available expertise
● Make records of the place and changes to it, and the reasons for these decisions
● Interpret and present the place in a way appropriate to its significance86

Article 12 in the Burra Charter includes ‘participation,’ encouraging conservation, interpretation

and management of a place which should provide for the participation of people for whom the
place has significant associations and meanings, or who have social, spiritual or other cultural
responsibilities for the place.87 It could be safe to say that Australian archaeology includes
multivocality when addressing public archaeology and can be identified under Holtorf's
‘Democratic Model’, in that participation of Indigenous people is essential in Australian
In Europe, the European Association of Archaeologists have a Code of Practice that
states in the preamble that archaeological heritage (as defined in Article 1 of the 1992 European
Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage) is the heritage of all humankind,
whereby archaeology is the study and interpretation of that heritage for the benefit of society as
a whole and archaeologists are the interpreters and stewards of that heritage on behalf of their

AAA Code of Ethics:
The Burra Charter:
Australia ICOMOS Incorporated 2013, 5.
fellow men and women.88 This places the archaeologist in a position of information/knowledge
provider for the public by investigating the past on behalf, and ‘for the benefit,’ of the public.
Richardson et al. rightly questions who are the ‘publics’ of public archaeology? For instance, are
the audiences for the production and consumption of archaeological information simply for local
communities? Do these audiences include tourist organisations, religious groups, construction
companies, housing developers, media outlets, and consumers of historical television programs,
antiques dealers, and politicians? It becomes more complicated when thinking about the
theory behind public archaeology, because there are no precise definitions when it is situated in
different cultural and political constructs. However, one thing is clear, sharing archaeological
findings with the public is not ‘public archaeology’ by itself and it is not only a matter of working
with communities or providing educational opportunities, it is about management and the
construction of knowledge and the concept of heritage.90 In this way, public archaeology actually
moves beyond the ‘community’ towards the political, social and economic spheres.
In the Netherlands, little inclusion and active participation of the public in the actual
fieldwork and knowledge production occurs; the engagement with the public only allows for
passive engagement, such as informing, educating, and entertaining people, and little to do with
concepts like inclusiveness, empowerment, multivocality, or with the democratization of
knowledge production.91 In terms of the three models Holtorf distinguishes, according to Van
den Dries, the Netherlands applies a combination of the educational model and the public
relations model, but not the democratic model.92 According to the Dutch Archaeological Quality
Standard, presenting monuments with a ’high perception value’ is a way to create public support
for the protection of archaeological monuments.93 By translating the values ascribed to the
historic environment based on a form of embodied knowledge, local identity, and shared history,
is one approach to get the Dutch public involved with their own cultural heritage.
While the Netherlands may only be at the beginning stages of public involvement in
archaeology and active community participation, they are not alone according to Van den Dries,
as members of the European Association of Archaeologists also aim to set up a committee

EAA Code of Practice:
Richardson & Almansa-Sánchez 2015, 7.
Ibid. 9.
Dries, M.H. van den 2014, 69.
Ibid. 71.
Willems & Brandt 2004, 72.
around these issues.94 The Archaeology in Contemporary Europe (ACE) is a development that
aims to look at the professional practices and public outreach aspects of archaeology in Europe.
One good example of public archaeology in Europe that fits in with the ‘democratic
model’ is the work Gerhard Ermischer has participated in for over 15 years, the Spessart project
in Germany.95 The Archaeological Spessart Project is a registered association with recognized
charitable status; also know as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. What is further interesting to note
is that the aforementioned crowdfunded and crowdsourced projects MicroPasts and
DigVentures both support a funding model that also contains a charitable status, and these ‘not-
for profit’ research projects allow new opportunities for members of the public to directly
participate in excavations, as well as collaborate with academic institutions.96 This model is an
important connection to consider when thinking about the practice of archaeology, and it will be
further explored in the following chapters.

3. Education & Translational Archaeology

What is surprising is the use of ‘educating the public’ terminology found in every
European and International convention involving archaeology and cultural heritage. What should
be adopted, therefore, are educational principles to the practice of ‘public’, ‘crowdsourced’,
‘crowdfunded’, ‘community‘ archaeology. By adopting andragogic principles, not teaching
people but helping them learn, as prescribed by American adult educator Malcolm Knowles in
the 1960s,97 can be seen to be a socially responsible approach. That is, more collaborative and
problem-based rather than didactic, with the emphasis on equality between the teacher (expert)
and the learner (the public).
Some principles that Knowles addresses in the conditions for adult learning include:

1. Learners feel a need to learn.

2. The learning environment is characterized by mutual trust, respect, mutual helpfulness
and acceptance of differences.
3. Learners accept and share the responsibility for planning a learning experience and
therefore have a level of commitment towards it.
4. The learning process is related to, and makes use of, the experience of the learners. 98

Dries, M.H. van den 2014, 70.
Spessart project:; Civil Scape:
Micropasts:; DigVentures:
Knowles 1970, 38-39.
Ibid. 52-53.
The main theory behind Knowles' work is that teachers work with learners towards
educational experiences that are cooperative in nature and guide learners to develop their own
potential. Shanks presents an analogy between archaeology and craft in education, whereby a
creative dialogue between teacher and student around a particular topic produces something
new (such as awareness or ability) within student and perhaps teacher (the act of
communication as process of learning).99 By applying the four main principles above for adult
learning, and relating them to potential archaeological and cultural heritage projects for the
crowdsourced public, the outcomes could involve:
1. To better record, survey, or produce surveys for local and/or valued environment.
2. Experts working together with the crowdsourced public, supporting each other online
and/or offline.
3. The crowdsourced public being involved, without an obvious ‘monetary’ reward, create
an internal one such as altruism, gaining new skills, personal growth, social interaction,
or future job prospects.
4. Learning, through practice and theory, to experience and develop new and unexpected

The connection between adult education and developing archaeological and cultural
heritage projects is not obvious at first, but stem from the current social and economical
circumstances that have allowed for more freely available online education for adults in recent
years. Through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), anyone can get involved in learning
about how maritime archaeology investigates our changing relationship with the oceans and
seas,100 or learn about recovering humankind's past and saving universal heritage.101 These
courses are examples that can engage the public in their own learning for future endeavours.
The more in-depth vocational training that is available online include courses such as E-
Archaeology,102 a European Erasmus initiative which involves improving skills for people who
would like to work, or are currently working, in the archaeological, natural and cultural heritage

Shanks 1992, 138.
Future Learn:

The development of such courses by professionals and experts is to open up the lines of
communication to help people help themselves. In this way, an online community develops;
forums connect students with each other, as well as to the professors and teaching assistants.
Over the years, people have been accustomed to the use of online social media and already
know how to share information online such as status updates, messages, news, links, photos
and videos. However, online communities do not come ready-made. They are cultivated over
time for different reasons, along with the ongoing digital literacy skills that are required to
MOOCs continue to be an international model for modern-day learning. It is the
motivated adult learners, disrupting outdated educational practices (albeit using Knowles
educational principles) that drive it. This is not so different from the online technological
developments being more open source for archaeology and cultural heritage education and
training. Why do people take the time to learn? Spending one’s free time online watching pre-
recorded video lectures and participating in written exercises is not so different from the online
archaeology projects that allow inputting of data and sharing knowledge for others to use and
build upon. Could this perhaps be seen as a translational process, one in which people translate
their findings into information, which can be useful to solve problems such as aforementioned
erosion, environmental and cultural heritage protection? Perhaps why so many people
participate in crowdsourcing and crowdfunding projects is simply based on the opportunity to
participate, donate, and having a general interest in the projects made available to them.
An example of a translational archaeology project that really applies archaeological
methods to help understand a contemporary social problem can be seen in research conducted
by Zimmerman et al. in Indiana USA, regarding activism and creating a translational
archaeology of homelessness. For Zimmerman et al. archaeology can no longer generate
knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but, with the public as collaborators, must translate it for
the public good.103 There is something that resonates in this statement. The thought of
archaeologists putting archaeological information to social uses, and doing so with the
collaboration of other disciplines and involving communities with interests in the problems being
studied, makes archaeology more relevant and helps it ‘earn its keep’.104 While it can be argued
that archaeology is being instrumentalised in this way, it is already apparent that archaeology
has always been a political tool and denying, ignoring, or discounting the political nature of

Zimmerman et al. 2010, 453.
archaeology presents real dangers that leaves archaeologists with no say or role in the political
life of the knowledge that they create.105

4. Conceptions and Criteria

Archaeology can be used to define cultural history. The recent events in Iraq, with the
Islamic State group destroying ancient statues and artefacts at a museum in Mosul, conveys
how symbols of the past are politically used to commit war crimes against minority groups. In an
attempt to salvage cultural history, political citizen action is taking place with Project Mosul, a
volunteer initiative supported by the European Union.
What the project uses are crowdsourced images to virtually recreate artefacts as 3D
objects, using the latest in photogrammetry techniques, and these 3D representations are then
presented in an online museum where the data will be freely accessible to the public.106
This positive effort to engage communities around the world to preserve knowledge and cultural
heritage empowers people to be politically active and participate in remarkable ways. The
project is expanding to include other countries where destruction of archaeological sites and
monuments has taken place such as Nepal, Egypt, and Syria.
In Australia, laws that protect archaeological heritage is seen to be based on a perceived
public need with archaeological heritage having a perceived value; in the absence of either,
legislation to protect archaeological heritage would be non-existent.107 The same could be
asked of archaeological practice in Europe; can archaeology continue in the commercial sectors
without the help of legislation to protect it if there is no ‘public need’ or any ‘perceived value’? It
is a political question that relates the responsibilities of archaeology and heritage to its citizens.
The research conducted by Zimmerman et al. indicates ways in which archaeology can
be translational and lead to policy shifts. Even though the public (and perhaps archaeologists)
rarely thought of archaeology in relation to contemporary social issues, they asked themselves
how archaeological examinations of homelessness might be used to inform public policy related
to improving the daily lives of homeless people.108 This is an example of contemporary
archaeology that ‘does politics’ and openly recognizing that current archaeology also does
politics, the use of it should invoke a responsibility for those political powers.109

McGuire 2008, 17.
Project Mosul:
North 2006, 139.
Zimmerman et al. 2010, 446.
Ibid. 444.
Furthermore, abuse of the knowledge archaeologists create and the power associated
with it is always a risk, but risk at least can be diffused if knowledge is put to use by
communities, not individuals, and if power can be shared instead of concentrated, then
archaeologists need to be civically engaged and try to become translational, working with others
to transform their knowledge into practical applications to benefit communities.110 It is here that
Zimmerman et al. contends that the public will not truly value archaeology until archaeologists
recognize the political nature of their own work and develop activist strategies in conjunction
with the communities with which they collaborate.111
If archaeologists and professionals from the heritage sectors, along with the public, can
identify problems and needs, they too should be able to suggest changes in governmental
policies. That sounds more like a democratic process. By making archaeology more political
and relevant to issues relating to the present (homelessness, climate change, erosion,
environmental diversity, endangered species, educational equality), it has the potential to be so
much more than the perceived few digging in the dirt. It leaves room for the broadening of the
archaeology discipline itself, which should evolve as people, culture, environment, and
technology advance.

5. Case Study 1. The Netherlands Drentsche Aa Programme

Drenthe is a province in the Netherlands located in the northeast region of the country
(fig. 5). The majority of the province lies within the broad belt of Pleistocene sandy and moraine
landscapes that extend across northwest Europe, from Flanders (via the southern and eastern
parts of the Netherlands) into northern Germany and western Denmark.112 The Drentsche Aa
National Landscape (fig. 6) encompasses around 20% of the province, and coincides with the
catchment of the Drentsche Aa brook system (Aa = stream, small river) which drains the
northern part of the old boulder clay plateau.113 Villages are integrated in the Drentsche Aa
landscape, with the region itself containing over 3500 archaeological find spots from almost
every period, including Prehistory, Protohistory, and the Middle Ages.114 With a long history of
settlement, it is described as one of the most unspoilt sandy soil landscapes in the northwest

Elerie & Spek 2010, 94.
Ibid. 95.
European lowlands with well-preserved historical stratification.115 This makes it more than just
an important Dutch landscape, but an important European one too.
A research and action programme of the Drentsche Aa region was carried out as part of
the NWO programme ‘Preserving and Developing the Archaeological Archive’ (Bodemarchief in
Behousen Ontwikkeling, PDL/BBO)116 during 2005-2009; a five year project that explores issues
of research and public participation in more depth. According to Elerie & Spek, there is a
growing awareness in the Netherlands that nature management, heritage management and
public participation need to be more integrated117 and their work tries to address this in the
Drentsche Aa region.

Figure 5. National Landscapes of the Netherlands designated by the Dutch government in 2004.

The Drentsche Aa National Landscape: 2005, 9.
Elerie & Spek 2010, 85.
Ibid. 83.
Ibid. 84.
According to the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed
-RCE), the Drentsche Aa National Landscape project was an interdisciplinary collaboration
between researchers from different disciplines, which included the active input of knowledge
and ideas from local residents and community organizations.119 This highlights the practice as
being an acceptable model to which the Dutch government finds agreeable, as it is further
emphasised by the RCE that scientific knowledge will have a direct relationship in the social
practice of environmental policy via action research in the future.

Figure 6. The Drentsche Aa National Landscape contains one of the best preserved brook valley
systems in the Netherlands.

5.1 Participatory Action Research

Active research is a reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals
working with others or part of a ‘community of practice’ to improve the way they address issues

Erfgoedbalans 2009:
Elerie & Spek 2010, 86.
and solve problems.121 Lewin’s work during the 1940s around participatory action research
conceived an important notion; one in which research and action can be (and should be) done
with people, not for people, to achieve rewarding outcomes. The dialogue between public
authorities and experts on the one hand, and local residents and stakeholders on the other,
takes place most specifically in a process referred to as ‘participatory planning’, ‘communicative
planning’, ‘interactive planning’ or ‘consensus planning’122 and by setting goals together, policy
can formulate. Bloemers and Van der Valk address the role of science in policy, the ‘knowledge-
action nexus’, in that, academic knowledge plays a role in the transdisciplinary process when
decisions are being made in the Netherlands regarding archaeology.123 The knowledge-action
nexus can be better shown in a diagram (fig. 7).

Figure 7. The core structure (via Heleen van Londen) of the interaction between knowledge, policy,
imagination and practice, with the knowledge-action nexus running from policy-makers (planning) to
scientists (experts & academics).

The relationship between research, policy and the public is expressed as ‘knowledge-
action’ in the following table (tab.1) regarding landscape and transformation. The interaction
between research and design, focusing on the role of facts and constructions of the past and
the future, is ‘imagination’ and the knowledge production and experiences stemming from
interaction, which is generally mediated by stories, maps and designs to share with all actors, is
‘sharing knowledge’.125

Ibid. 92.
Ibid. 93.
Valk, A. van der & Bloemers 2006, 30.
Bloemers 2010, 13.
Bloemers et al. 2010, 505.
Table 1. The different types of action and their relationships to research, policy and the public.

Taking this into consideration, the Drentsche Aa case study explores these concepts with
the field names project, ‘a prime example of public participation in a cultural heritage activity’,127
a form of action research. Later in this chapter, we will examine to what extent this is true in the
broader context of the various models of public engagement in the Netherlands.
The Drentsche Aa research and action programme had four main objectives:

1. Develop an integrated concept of landscape, with corresponding framework to support

integration of the various cultural heritage specialisations and link them with ecological
2. Develop methods and techniques for linking and enriching the landscape knowledge of
experts with the landscape knowledge of residents and other social and stakeholder
groups, based on the integration of the material, social and conceptual dimensions of the
cultural landscape.
3. To develop procedures that improves collaboration between researchers, designers,
residents and policymakers in terms of both substance and of process.
4. Develop planning concepts that integrate all the spatial challenges of nature
management, heritage management and regional environmental and planning policy.128

Elerie & Spek 2010, 92.
The following seven projects, implemented from 2005-2009 within the Drentsche Aa
region and set about using the above guidelines, highlight how and to what extent experts and
the public participated under the concept of participation action research.

5.2 Drentsche Aa Projects

1. Cultural Heritage Inventory
Experts - creating digital maps, to describe the geology, archaeology, historical geography, and
architectural values; an inventory that required more expert input than public input.
2. Landscape Biography
Experts and volunteers - the record of the long-term history of Drentsche Aa resulting in a book,
a source of inspiration for everyone; a collaboration between experts and the public aimed at
the wider public.
3. Landscape Vision
Experts and residents of Drentsche Aa - three public meetings held for input on the landscape
vision that guides the policies of all involved; inclusion of the local public to participate along
with the experts.
4. Online Cultural Atlas
Experts developed for the public - an online application developed to allow anyone to access
the website and find cultural heritage information,129 with the experts delivering information
output to the public, for the public.
5. Field Names Project
Experts and residents - insight into how people perceive the current Drentsche Aa landscape
and how their meaning might play a role in the future for the region; a good example of
multivocality and collaborative research that lends itself to present day activities.
6. Biography of the Water
Experts and students - educational project (2007-2008) to be used in qualitative and quantitative
water management and provide active input into public design and booklets on water
management in relation to landscape and heritage management; commendable for the broader
environmental and collaborative approach, with potential for sustainable future projects.
7. Design by Research in Current Planning Processes
Researchers and managers - a planning process resulting in papers and published in illustrated
books aimed at the general public and local residents specifically.130

Dorpsatlas Drentsche Aa:; Atlas van Drenthe:
The ‘landscape biography’, ‘landscape vision’ and the ‘field names’ projects allow for
more of an inclusive public interaction and collaboration with experts. With a focus on these
projects, the concepts and project details will be elaborated upon to provide a clear
understanding of the processes that these projects undertook and further examine their

5.3 Landscape Biography

Many aspects of the ‘landscape biography’ can be regarded as a form of ‘action
research’ as they have an exploratory and experimental quality intended to address the tasks in
the Drentsche Aa National Landscape’s management and development plan.131 The origins of a
‘landscape biography’ could be described as a reaction to the earlier academic perspectives on
landscapes, such as objectivist archaeological viewpoints during the 1960s. This processual
archaeological research approach was seen to be limiting and during the 1980s cultural
geographers, such as Samuels, focused on moving from a broad objective approach to one of
human agency in the formation of landscapes, focusing on the importance of individuals
shaping landscapes.132 Samuels also identifies elite authors of the landscape who play an
important role in shaping landscapes, and this in turn aids our own understanding of past
landscapes in the present. For others, such as Bender, there is never ‘a’ landscape per se, but
many landscapes, which are not passive as people create their sense of identity (whether self,
or group, or nation state) through engaging, re-engaging, and appropriating sedimented pasts
that make up the landscape.133
In the Netherlands, the term ‘cultural biography of landscape’ was introduced and the
theory further developed upon by Jan Kolen who regards landscape biography as the
progressive interplay of forces between the richly varied material landscape and the world of
ideas, meanings, representations and memories; a continual process of updating and
representing the past.134 According to Beek et al. the theoretical emphasis of the biography of
landscape has led to a lively debate and to more fine-tuned perspectives, where a more
geographical scope is adopted, the biographical approach adds the long-term history of a
landscape or region, ‘mapping’ the transformations, functional changes and shifts in meaning of

Elerie & Spek 2010, 92-94.
Samuels 1979, 63-67.
Bender 1998, 25.
Elerie & Spek 2010, 90.
the most important places and spatial structures, and relating them to both socio-economic
developments and the history of institutions, mentalities and spatial concepts.135
The approach of a biography of landscape can be one in which a non-linear view of
history can share various narratives of the roles of individuals, economic and ecological
changes over a long-term period of time on a particular landscape. With regards to the
Drentsche Aa region, this holistic approach integrates past lives of the landscape as part of
ongoing events, bringing the past landscape into the present via different perspectives. The
concept integrates a narrative of landscape and individuals who inhabited the land over time,
contributing to a landscape identity. This exploration of landscape biography, through the
authorship of landscapes by human agency and the long-term use of a landscape perspective,
allows for a landscape of the past to be brought into the present day, and in turn, allow for the
contemplation of heritage for the future.
The landscape biography concept actually permeates through many of the Drentsche Aa
projects. For the landscape biography project, it was used as an interdisciplinary tool to
investigate and record the long-term history of the Drentsche Aa region, involving a team of nine
researchers (a physical geographer, a palaeobotanist, three archaeologists, two historic
geographers, a toponymist, and a GIS specialist), some 40 local volunteers (amateur
archaeologists, amateur historians, nature lovers) and five undergraduate students.136
The Drentsche Aa landscape biography approaches the landscape from multiple
perspectives, one of which is the landscape as a living environment, raising questions such as
how did past residents and users view their village landscape? How did their views change over
time and how do current residents view that same landscape?137 What the landscape biography
of the Drentsche Aa combines are two approaches, a historical ecology approach (long term
development of the physical landscape and changing perceptions/use of that landscape by
people) and a historical anthropology approach (long-term development of the social and mental
landscape i.e. perceptions), both concerned with the interaction between humans and the
landscape.138 Elerie and Spek explore the biography outside of the history of the physical
landscape, and include the village landscape as a social space by using field names as a

Beek et al. 2008, 183.
Elerie & Spek 2010, 93.
Ibid. 105.
Ibid. 97.
historical source; a way of getting the public involved in cultural heritage, meanings, and
concepts.139 From this, the field names project developed.

5.4 Field Names Project

Oral histories from the people in the villages provided a heritage revival of sorts to the
lost mental landscape of past field names. In a number of villages in the Drentsche Aa region,
the field names emerge as a curious aspect of village history or ‘second-hand’ identity makers in
the living environment.140 As living heritage, it could be said that the living field names project
provided a good basis for the public to be involved with their own cultural heritage (fig. 8), which
further serves the physical landscape, meanings, narratives and concepts that the landscape
biography encompasses.

Figure 8. An open-air theatre performance from the Field Names Festival in 2009 that drew around
1200 visitors, inspired by the field names and local stories associated with the location.

The publication Van Ezelakker tot Jeruzalem (From Donkey Field to Jerusalem),142
which explores the field names from multiple perspectives, is the result of two years of fieldwork,
archival research, digitization, philosophizing and experimentation that involved the residents,

Ibid. 105.
Ibid. 106.
Ibid. 107.
Van Ezelakker tot Jeruzalem:
local experts, students and a range of academics and artists.143 This can be recognised as a
successful project that involved participatory action research between experts and the public. It
should be used as an example of a ‘heritage revival’ that created new opportunities in the
present by the investigation of the past; what is a heritage revival without the public to revive
their own heritage? This can be a potential model of sustainability for the future that involves
new ideas, new projects, and new knowledge.

5.5 Landscape Vision

The landscape vision was a cultural and historical survey that preceded the consultancy
with RAAP (one of the largest Dutch archaeology companies in the commercial sector) and
other field experts, covering the entire basin area of the Drentsche Aa.144 Three public evenings
were organized in which residents could think and react to the vision developed.145 While the
residents and stakeholder groups were presented with three opportunities to be involved with
the brainstorming of the landscape vision (an open interactive process and approach), a design
agency of landscape architects and a process support agency were brought in to present ideas
in an appealing way and communicate with all parties in a way that inspires.146 This appears on
the surface to be a top-down approach, the experts telling the public what inspires them about
their own landscape rather than the other way around, however, the result was a landscape
vision that serves as a framework to the long-term development of the landscape, with the
considerations, recommendations, and suggestions taken from these three public meetings
(albeit a small window of opportunity for the public to really engage with experts) and later put
into practice. The authors of the landscape vision of 2004 were a combination of experts, the
local community and other stakeholders who built upon the existing landscape and cultural
heritage, which are summarised as follows:

● An integrated approach should be adopted - everything is closely linked up with

everything else;
● The landscape should be made more interesting by creating vistas, more variety, more
● The landscape is dynamic - it should not be preserved as a museum;
● Quality should be a first priority in planning decisions (e.g. new housing developments);

Elerie & Spek 2010, 106.
Landschapsvisie Drentsche Aa:
Belvedere Project Landschapsvisie Drentsche Aa:
Elerie & Spek 2010, 101.
● Historic layers in the landscape should become more visible to help us understand how
the landscape with its Neolithic tombs, burial mounds, trails, fords, churches and church
paths evolved;
● Drastic changes must not be made except in areas which were already completely
overhauled in the past;
● Restraint is needed in the construction and design of facilities - simplicity is what the
area needs;
● Borders and transitions (e.g. between field and stream valley) should be made more
Using this as a guideline for projects in the Drentsche Aa national landscape, with the
expectation that the landscape will ‘survive’ for future generations, aligns with the national Dutch
Belvedere planning policy. This policy regards the cultural and historic values within spatial
development, with the preservation and use of cultural heritage to inspire development rather
than conserve or replace it.148 However, planning policy can almost be impenetrable for the
general public and archaeology cannot be dependant upon spatial planning alone; it is only one
facet of the archaeological practice.

5.6 Policy
The Drentsche Aa was recognised as a living environment, and was treated as such
through the board of the National Landscape via the 2002 policy. Under the ‘development-
orientated landscape strategy,’ the existing landscape is the starting point for new developments
that are permissible and even considered desirable, but should be in line with the history of the
area and the underlying structures.149 With regards to broader policy developments, in 2002
there were four different levels of government policy - international policy, national policy,
provincial policy and municipal policy, whereby the nationwide policy of the various
governments were closely intertwined.150 The long-term policies were aimed at maintaining
existing natural areas and preventing further depletion.151 Over time, the Dutch government has
taken steps to decentralize power and has given ownership of rural and nature policies to the

The Drentsche Aa National Landscape: 2005, 19-20.
The Belvedere Strategy:
Logemann 2002, 14.
Ibid. 15.
Ibid. 20.
Dutch provinces. Thus, the provinces are presently responsible for realizing the national
objectives for rural areas, which means more cooperation between provinces is needed.152
In the updated 2012-2025 BIO policy plan for Drentsche Aa, the ‘landscape-oriented
development strategy, conservation through development’ was still upheld. After ten years,
the new version of the plan, which still meets the original 2002 vision and goals, contains new
action points154 including new financial opportunities such as the ‘Foundation Area Fund
Drentsche Aa’.155 The aim of this foundation is to generate income from the public that can be
reinvested in the area. The website to which online monetary donations can be made uses
rhetoric that aims to strike an emotional chord with the public, with examples of ‘do you have a
warm heart towards Drentsche Aa?’ The chairman of the fund expresses his concerns to the
Dutch public specifically, making them very aware that you can demonstrate your commitment
by making a monetary donation, thus making you partly responsible for the development of the
area. It is worth noting that at no point does the website address the broader European
If Drentsche Aa is praised for being one of the best preserved stream valleys of western
Europe with a long history of settlement, with nature and agriculture coexisting for thousands of
years in the region, the website should be made more accessible for the public beyond the
Netherlands. For example, the online model employed is already limiting in that there is no
language option for the broader public to better understand why the Drentsche Aa region is
important and there is not an alternative for monetary donations that can be made outside of the
What is further limiting is that the website does not provide any opportunity to involve the
public (beyond monetary donations) in any capacity with the various projects that will be carried
out on the Drentsche Aa landscape (if they are to be further funded at all). After contacting the
Drentsche Aa project fund leader, Kees Folkertsma, to confirm this by asking to volunteer and
be involved with any of the projects, his response was that it would not be easy to organize, and
was then directed back to the Dutch website. The Drentsche Aa region is part of the European
network of nature areas, Natura 2000 (European Union nature & biodiversity policy),156 and that
means the Netherlands contribute to the Pan European Ecological Network (PEEN), which aims
to protect and promote the development of species and ecosystems to ensure the survival of

ARCADIS 2013, 12.
Ibid. 10.
Ibid. 53.
Gebiedsfonds Drentsche Aa:
Natura 2000 Network:
specific species and habitats.157 If the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is
bound by international agreements on National Parks to ensure the functioning of the Dutch
system of National Parks as a whole,158 this network of politics, planning, land use and nature
conservation requires more involvement from different stakeholders.
The Netherlands is one of the founding members (May 1949) of the Council of Europe
(CoE) and in keeping with its conventions, the European Landscape Convention (Florence
Convention) and the Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro
Convention), the Netherlands should be aiming to allow the public to play an active part in the
protection, management and planning of landscapes.159 Thus implementing the CoE’s main
objectives, namely, promoting quality of life and social well-being.
With regards to archaeology, why is it important to involve the public or anyone ‘outside’
of the field? Firstly, it is one of the requirements of the European Convention on the Protection
of Archaeological Heritage known as the Valetta Convention. Article nine ‘Promotion of Public
Awareness’ clearly states:

! Conduct educational actions with a view to rousing and developing an awareness in

public opinion of the value of the archaeological heritage for understanding the past and
of the threats to this heritage;
! Promote public access to important elements of its archaeological heritage, especially
sites, and encourage the display to the public of suitable selections of archaeological

While this is left up to interpretation from different European countries, Article 6 (i) makes it quite
clear in the ‘Financing of Archaeological Research and Conservation’ section:

! Arrange for public financial support for archaeological research from national, regional
and local authorities in accordance with their respective competence.161

While the cost of protection should not be borne by the public when the cause of that cost lies in
benefiting private interests, the revised Convention requires States that become Parties to the
Convention to arrange for public financial support for archaeological research no matter what its
origin.162 This means that not only should the public be involved in heritage, they are actually

Dutch Nature Policy:
European Landscape Convention:; The Faro Convention:
European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Revised):
already paying for some of their heritage, on top of any extra donations they may want to
contribute. Furthermore, public support is seen as an important factor for the success of
archaeological heritage management, and although experts press the idea that the preservation
of archaeological heritage is of public interest, the public has little involvement in heritage
projects.163 The question, therefore, should not be does the participation of the public allow for
better public understanding of archaeology? But in fact, does allowing the public to participate
make for better archaeological practice?
On the Drentsche Aa National Parks website, the line of emotive (borderline
scaremongering) rhetoric is furthered with statements such as “everyone should not only know
what is going to happen, but should also be feeling some sort of involvement for a successful
outcome of the plans for the Drentsche Aa region which badly needs the input of everyone in
years to come...because there is only one Drentsche Aa.”164 This raises some questions, such
as, does the (limited) public need to be told how important landscapes are for them to donate to
the fund? Or can (and should) the public get involved in the various projects and learn the
importance for themselves, through their own empirical experiences with their own emotive
responses, which might further ensure the safeguarding of landscapes for future generations?
During 2010-2012 the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte decentralized tasks in the field of
nature conservation and rural development, with statutory duties being transferred to the
provinces who then became not only responsible for their local policies, but also leaving the
provinces largely responsible for their own funding.165 This in turn was probably one of the
reasons why the Drenthe province turned to the public for crowdfunding. Unfortunately, the
limitation of allowing the (restricted) public to be involved via monetary donations alone is
inadequate; a more imaginative approach might allow projects to get a real start. By actually
including the public, which can also extend to the wider global public online and offline, a
meaningful experience and exchange could be achieved, as it was in the projects described
above including the landscape biography, landscape vision and field names. The festivities and
open days that were held for all stakeholders in cultural heritage linked the present to the past,
bringing economic gains along with it. These are the stepping-stones that lead to unexpected,
unforeseen, new, interesting, and exciting future developments.

Kok & Londen, H. van 2012, 44.
Nationaal beek- en esdorpenlandschap Drentsche Aa:
ARCADIS 2013, 12.
Some opportunities seem to be developing from the ‘hands off’ approach the national
Dutch government has adopted. According to Baas et al. Landscape Development Plans (an
instrument available to local governments in the Netherlands for landscape management and
landscape development) have been and are being drafted by many Dutch municipalities to form
a useful framework for policy-making, maintenance, and further development of historical
cultural landscapes (fig. 9).166

Figure 9. The phased plan for the implementation of Landscape Development Plans.

One element of a Landscape Development Plan (LDP) is the analysis of the landscape,
information building to develop a landscape vision. This could expand on the three public
meetings for the Drentsche Aa example, by involving the public in all seven prescribed steps of
the LDP. Research conducted by Baas et al. into the perception of landscapes by the general
public demonstrates that there is a growing interest in landscape history, however, there is still
room for improvement regarding cooperation (or perhaps co-creation?) between the general

Baas et al. 2011, 64.
Ibid. 53.
public and professionals.168 At present, the influence of non-professionals (the public) is rather
limited and dependant upon the help of others (local municipality or companies), but in order to
increase this influence, a Dutch non-governmental organization (NGO) recently started to get
involved in countryside management,169 Landschapsbeheer Nederland (Landscape
Management Netherlands), and initiate new projects with the public (the local community
specifically) in mind. The NGO aims to conserve and develop the landscape together with
individuals, organizations, companies and governmental bodies, through projects, providing
support in the form of knowledge, training, advice, and supplying tools.170 The NGO also has a
vast amount of volunteers working with them to maintain and develop landscapes. This is one
starting point for the cross-section of policy and real participatory action research in the
It is important to keep in mind the financial model, the not-for-profit and non-
governmental organisations that place the public at the centre of everything they do. With
regards to overhead, this may be the beginning of a changing economic model, which can
already be seen in recent developments with UK companies such as DigVentures and
MicroPasts. This developing economic model has the potential to avoid certain tax restrictions
regarding monetary donations and perhaps bylaws, which may allow companies with NGO or
not-for-profit status to prosper by knowledge co-creation ‘with’ the public not ‘for’ the public, as
well as crowdfunding monetary benefits to enhance or start new projects. This appears to be the
early stages of a real ‘polder model’, a win-win situation, when compared with the Dutch
commercial sector where individual archaeology companies are suffering financially due to
fierce competition171 and missing out on new and unexpected opportunities due to the scarcity
of public involvement in projects.

As an interdisciplinary method, the landscape biography approach for the Drentsche Aa
region was specific in that it was scientifically focused while at the same time being accessible
to the public, which meant that:

! An accessible written and well-illustrated landscape biography (in book form) for
residents, policy makers, designers and stakeholder organizations was produced.

Ibid. 54.
Landschapsbeheer Nederland:
Londen, H. van et al. 2012, 17.
! An online digital cultural atlas containing all the relevant maps and datasets were
produced during the course of the research and aimed for the same target audiences.
! Mono-disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic papers were published in peer-
reviewed journals and books aimed at academics.172

An important statement Spek et al. makes is that a willingness on the part of scientists to
listen to and accept the ideas of local experts is essential and can be achieved by organising
joint design studios and field visits, involving volunteers in the compilation of databases and the
production of overview maps, and experts to provide feedback on the results of the research
process.173 What Spek et al. conclude with is their interpretation of the biography of landscape,
which was used for the Drentsche Aa participation action research approach, with the
continuous biographical timeline of the scientists integrated with the more place-oriented and
unique individual narratives and meanings of residents and other local experts.174 Spek et al.
recognise that public participation needs to be more integrated in the Netherlands, as it has not
only practical implications, but on scientific research that underpins future policy, design and
management of nature conservation sites and cultural landscapes, as nature conservation
organisations will have an increasingly important role in the management of National
Landscapes such as the Drentsche Aa region.175
Archaeologists, researchers, policy makers, local residents, and the wider public
attribute different meanings to a landscape because the landscape has more than one ‘identity’.
It is a palimpsest to which identity building/association, as well as the experiences, will be
different for every individual. Can archaeologists, researchers and policy makers refer to
landscape heritage without involving the public in its identity building? And does one identity
necessarily need to take precedence over another? These are the questions the public should
be involved with from step one when aligning science, the archaeological record, and historical
data with tangible outcomes for future policies.
The development of new methods to co-create, disseminate, and rethink presumed
knowledge requires cooperation and collaboration with experts and the public. Van der Valk and
Bloemers foresaw that academics will be required to (re)consider their elitist attitudes and
become more helpful and more oriented towards productively combining fragments of

Elerie & Spek 2010, 108.
Ibid. 109.
Ibid. 85.
specialized knowledge.176 In this way, knowledge can become more accessible outside of
academia and some might say more ‘useful’.
In the Dutch archaeological sector, Kars and Kolen take it a step further and claim that
archaeologists, contractors, and the public need to be more than ‘providers’ and ‘end users’ of
archaeological knowledge; a differentiated perspective on society in which all those who are
interested should be able to experience the archaeological past and produce knowledge about
that past (in this way producing heritage) that may contest the knowledge of others.177 Van
Londen too clarifies that it should not be the aim of research to legitimate ideology nor plainly
hand over historical knowledge, rather, research should be aimed at disseminating knowledge
through participation, validating methods and critically debating policies.178 This is especially
important when taking into consideration the questionable use of said policy building (based on
historic information that archaeologists provide) governments use to potentially construct or
deconstruct identities.

6. Case Study 2. Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project

Scotland is a country situated in the northern part of the United Kingdom, with the North
Sea to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Scotland has a rich history, with diverse
archaeological sites spanning all periods; from shell middens of the first settlers lying adjacent
to buried ecclesiastical buildings, to Iron Age forts that overlook defensive structures
constructed during the two World Wars.179 A wide range of archaeological sites can be found on
the foreshore and seabed,180 indicating that the coastal regions of Scotland were favoured by
people of the past, and resulting in an archaeologically rich history of human activity.
Smith and Dawson’s research during the mid 1990s on the lower Wick River valley
(northern Caithness) in Scotland resulted in an abundant amount of evidence for relative sea-
level changes181 and has led to further research over the years to the scale of threats posed by
climate change, sea-level rise and coastal erosion in Scotland. Dawson states that erosion is
already a problem for many parts of the Scottish coast, but climate change predictions suggest
that the problem may increase in the future, exacerbated by more frequent and more intense
storms and by a rise in sea level.182 Moreover, if rising sea levels continue, the sea will be able

Valk, A. van der & Bloemers 2006, 31.
Kars & Kolen 2012, 135.
Londen, H. van 2006, 173.
Dawson 2013(a), 77.
The Scottish Government (1.7 Historic Environment):
Dawson & Smith 1997, 76.
Dawson 2013(a), 77.
to penetrate further inland, which will be problematic for those stretches of the Scottish coast
where archaeological sites have been found to favour low-lying ground.183 Research on the
Western Isles, where low-lying areas threatened by Atlantic storms can be destroyed when the
wind is combined with high spring tides,184 is used as an example to show the range of natural
threats to coastal archaeology in Scotland and outline how this has been managed in recent
Due to the length of the coastline of Scotland and preservation of many archaeological
sites, managing coastal heritage threatened by erosion can be seen as quite challenging.185
Desk-based assessments in the Western Isles example showed that they can be a good source
of information, and highlight the most vulnerable areas for survey, but have been less useful at
locating sites or assessing areas of high archaeological potential.186 While the desk-based
assessments can be used to prioritise areas for survey, the criteria for prioritization needs to be
based on the physical nature of the coast and its vulnerability to storm damage, not on the
anticipated density of archaeological remains.187 This is due to the lack of up-to-date information
that can only be derived from physical surveys. For example, a large number of archaeological
sites that were located within an area identified as being of ‘low priority’ in the desk-based
assessments excluded some potentially important information regarding the nature and
distribution of land-use and settlement in the post-medieval period,188 and would have been
missed if not for a physical follow up survey of those areas.
Heritage managers in Scotland have recognised the power of the public in updating
records and reporting new discoveries, including relying on the public to help to determine which
sites should be focused on, and use the concept of ‘public value’ to help assess (in some cases)
where to allocate archaeological project funds.189 Community survey and excavation projects,
that often receive good publicity, help to further increase the profile of the threat to
archaeological sites from erosion (both locally and nationally), and take the collection of data
about eroding coastal sites to a new level when they bring heritage professionals together with
the public to manage a threatened resource.190 The following projects that are presently being

Dawson 2013(b), 4.
Ibid. 13.
Ibid. 11.
Ibid. 14.
Dawson 2013(a), 82.
developed in Scotland by Dawson et al.191 will be explored with the outcomes of public
engagement and involvement in archaeological practice.

The Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project (SCHARP) builds upon more than a
decade of archaeological research carried out by Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the
Problem of Erosion (SCAPE) and others.192 Presently, SCHARP has two main components that
can be divided between the ShoreUPDATE and ShoreDIG projects, which will be discussed
here in more detail.
Between 1996 and 2011, 28 Coastal Zone Assessment Surveys (CZAS) were
completed, covering approximately 4700 km, some 30% of the entire Scottish coast (fig. 10).193
The CZAS have all been digitized and made available to the public via the SCAPE website,
where anyone can access and download the files. In order to evaluate the information contained
within these completed surveys, the SCAPE Trust reviewed the data and found that from the
approximate 11,500 sites recorded, of which 3768 sites carried a recommendation for further
work, however the recommendations had not been pursued because the large number of sites
outstripped the available resources.194 Here lies a very common problem that many
archaeologists and heritage managers face; however, SCAPE endeavoured to work towards a
solution through SCHARP.

Dawson 2013(a), 80.
Figure 10. Map displaying locations of all CZAS 1996-2011.

Dawson 2013(b), 9.
On the SCHARP website (fig.11), information about every single site that has ever been
recorded is made available via an interactive online map on the ‘Sites at Risk’ tab. There are
some 940 red and orange dots on the Sites at Risk map and these represent potentially
important coastal heritage sites that have been identified as 'at risk' from erosion.196 Some of
which are adjacent to the UNESCO listed Heart of Neolithic Orkney.197
This three-year project (2012-2015) relies on volunteer citizen archaeologists visiting the
actual sites that are at risk from coastal erosion and assessing the current condition of these
existing archaeological sites, as well as documenting any new sites.

Figure 11. Map markers for sites include: red (high-priority), orange (medium-priority), yellow (low-
priority), and green (newly-recorded).

Heart of Neolithic Orkney:
Sites at Risk:
The data is constantly being improved upon by local knowledge, as a result of the
surveys conducted by the local people, to which they can provide recommendations for action
by using ShoreUPDATE.199 This component of the project requires a smartphone app (using
platforms such as Android or iOS) which updates (via the surveys) information on the coastal
heritage Sites at Risk register. There are online tutorials and information to guide the public on
how to use the app, take appropriate site photos with a camera phone or tablet, and carry out a
survey for submission to the archaeologists and heritage experts. There are also
ShoreUPDATE training events available (or SCAPE can be asked to conduct them) for people
in various areas to participate in. It is here where the public receive more information about
archaeological surveys and coastal heritage, meet other fellow citizen archaeologists, and find
out about other activities and opportunities in the project.200
Another way the public are getting involved with their own heritage in Scotland is by
working with the archaeology experts at SCAPE (who all started out in their careers as
volunteers) to develop and support community projects. There are currently 12 archaeological
and historical sites around Scotland's coast for which ShoreDIG projects (another component of
the SCHARP initiative) on threatened sites are being established; some are at the beginning
stages of being set up and others are already underway. These projects (fig.12) include
recording and researching shipwrecks,201 virtual cave reconstructions,202 rescue excavations203
and an e-citizens youth campaign for a sustainable European coastline.204

Findhorn Bay Safe Haven:
4D Wemyss Caves:
Medieval Cromarty:
YES! Coastal Campaign:

Figure 12. One example of twelve community involved archaeological projects around Scotland's

These projects aim to find out more about a site, share this information beyond
Scotland’s borders, and lead to a better awareness and/or management of sites.206 New project
ideas from the public are also eligible for support by meeting certain criteria, with the
supplement of a project proposal form that can be downloaded from the SHARP website. The
criteria used when selecting ShoreDIG projects can be divided between people, sites and
projects (tab. 2).

People " There must be evidence of local involvement and support to develop and
carry out the project
" Sites where ShoreDIG activities have the most potential for community
benefit will be prioritised
" Projects must show potential for involving our target audiences of new
heritage volunteers within coastal communities and young people, as well
as established community heritage groups
" Project resources for ShoreDIGs will be distributed as equitably as
possible amongst regions

Sites " Sites must be either one of the existing priority sites, or have been
identified as priorities as a result of new information
" Sites must be threatened by coastal erosion
" Sites must be accessible and it must be possible to work safely on them
" All constraints must have been identified, for example, legal designations
at and around the site, and relevant permissions applied for or in place
" Landowners permission to work at the sites must have been granted
" As far as possible, ShoreDIG projects will cover a range of site types

Projects " Projects must be achievable within the project timetable and be completed
by August 2016
" Projects that have potential for wider benefits e.g. interpretation, improved
site condition and management, opportunities for involvement of a wider
audience through project related events (e.g. open days, guided walks)
will be prioritised
" A range of investigation and interpretation techniques and methods will be
employed across ShoreDIG projects

Table 2. The criteria used by SCHARP for selecting ShoreDIG projects.

General Criteria:

Collaborative in nature, what the ShoreDIG project asks of people are for their
participation, and further suggestions, to undertake projects at sites that have an existing ‘high
priority’ risk status of destruction through natural erosion. This aspect of SCHARP aims to
mediate the use of limited resources into sites that are valued by the public and have a value
placed on them by heritage professionals.208 In a sense, this is providing a platform for
multivocality, by using a democratic model of archaeological practice. While it is the experts
from SCAPE who appear to ultimately decide what projects go ahead, it is the information
contributed by the public during the three year project that will have helped to identify what is
important and what is at risk, at local and national levels, and improve how to manage coastal
heritage in Scotland.209

6.2 Participatory Action Research

After contacting the archaeologists at SCHARP to inquire about the analysis and
discussion of their three-year project, the project manager Joanna Hambly responded that they
are presently too busy doing the work to be writing about the process of the work itself. This
might be readily available after the project is fully complete later this year (unless it is extended
due to its current success), when there is time to reflect on the results, but unfortunately that lies
beyond the time allotted for this thesis. SCHARP thus far, however, has won the ‘Best
Community Engagement Archaeology Project of 2014,’ promoting ‘good practice’ and
advancing public education and awareness of innovative archaeological practices.
It can be said that SCHARP approaches the eroding coastal heritage around Scotland
as an opportunity for the public to benefit from. The crowdsourced public are actively taking part
and exploring the archaeological and historical past through SCHARP, learning how to survey,
record coastal erosion, and participate in salvage excavations, which further demonstrate the
importance of recording information that would have otherwise been lost to the elements. The
ongoing interpretations made by the public for the project can further improve site information
that is continually disappearing through climate change, natural destruction and erosion. The
concept of ‘heritage’ as future ‘action’ is the main goal for SCHARP.

Dawson 2015, 256.
British Archaeological Awards 2014:

So, what is the difference between heritages that have the potential to be lost to natural
destruction, compared to heritages destroyed by new developments and other polluters? Either
way, information is being collected, excavated, or preserved for future generations, and possibly
for future research. Is there really a difference between the two concepts and is there such a
thing as a privately practiced archaeology? For SCHARP, it is a public practice. In fact, it
reaches beyond the prescribed ‘public outreach’ terminologies and engages in public
participatory action research within the archaeology sector because engaging the public as a
whole with issues that relate to them and their surroundings is of far greater importance, and
achieves much in the long-term, than being concerned with the public ‘liking’ the idea of
archaeology enough to donate to it.
For Schadla-Hall, there will always apparently be tension between professionals,
academics and ‘the rest’ but, in the changing society in which we live, access, involvement and
openness are increasingly demanded and the increasing trend towards freedom of information
all have an effect on often inaccessible archaeological data,211 which SCAPE is expediting. In
contrast, the participatory action research in the Netherlands case study connects the restricted
public accessibility to the rise of commercial enterprise in archaeological research, although
amateurs can still have the option to assist private companies, it is up to the firms to determine
whether or not an amateur is allowed to participate.212
How does SCHARP motivate the public to participate at all? By appealing to the ‘regular
walkers’ the ‘coastal visitors,’ and ‘local coast communities’ with local knowledge, these ‘project
volunteers’ all qualify for taking part and making a valuable contribution,213 which is highlighted
on the SCHARP website as lending way to other opportunities such as meeting with experts
and new people with similar interests, learning more about heritage, and developing new skills.
This form of online crowdsourcing for offline participation is beneficial in that groups and
individuals can carry out work that archaeological experts could not undertake en masse and in
a reasonably short amount of time. What this further extends to is an unforeseen opportunity for
‘outsiders,’ such as tourists for example, who can use the online Sites at Risk map to explore
new areas of Scotland’s coastal heritage that are not yet represented in any travel guidebooks
or trip advisors.

Schadla-Hall 1999, 148.
Duineveld et al. 2013, 145.
SCHARP Volunteering:
6.3 SCAPE Funding
SCAPE is listed as a charity. The SCAPE Trust was established as a charitable
company in 2001214 and it is presently run by a board of directors who are all specialists in
various aspects of the cultural and natural heritage of Scotland’s coast.215 This emerging
charitable status appears to be an attractive development in archaeology organisations. What
SCAPE has undertaken with SCHARP is the use of local knowledge and community
involvement, by giving members of the crowdsourced public opportunities to catalogue sites of
archaeological and conservational significance, without asking them for monetary donations, or
rather, crowdfunding in return.
SCAPE is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, the Crown Estate,
and the University of St Andrews. With offices across the UK, the Heritage Lottery Fund has
been funding heritage in the UK since 1994, advocating for the ‘value of heritage’, with
investments of 375 million pounds each year, along with 3000 pound grant schemes.216 Historic
Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, safeguarding the nation’s historic
environment, with their role predominantly focusing on delivering policy and advice on all
aspects of the historic environment on behalf of Scottish Ministers.217 The Crown Estate are a
‘values driven’ business investing in and managing UK’s ‘important assets’, where stewardship
is deeply engrained in their business (due to their long-term history and heritage), they act
accordingly as good stewards of the properties they manage which include parkland and
gardens, farmland and forestry, the marine environment, and buildings and streetscapes.218 The
University of St Andrews is revered for being one of the leading research-intensive universities
in the world, along with being Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English-
speaking world, founded in 1413.219
With these charitable trusts as monetary backers, it is important to note that SCHARP
could get off the ground, but not without the help of the crowdsourced public. As there are no
developers who pay for the damages of coastal erosion affecting archaeological sites, involving
the public sector and moving away from the commercial sectors of archaeology makes much
more sense, as it is rare to construct coastal defences for eroding heritage sites and there are

The SCAPE Trust:
Heritage Lottery Fund:
Historic Scotland:
The Crown Estate:
University of St Andrews:
no actual legal obligations for any agency to take any action whatsoever.220 While the model
SCHARP uses is one that involved an output of crowdsourced labour, it should be viewed as a
service rather than a product. The product is the result of knowledge that is gained by
crowdsourcing the public who choose to take part.
Involving communities in coastal archaeological projects across Scotland is not a
relatively new concept. SCAPE built upon the success of the Shorewatch Project,221 which was
coordinated by Historic Scotland and the Council for Scottish Archaeology, who started the first
pilot project in 1997.222 The Council for Scottish Archaeology (CSA) is a national charity that
works to promote the use of archaeology as a tool for learning, with information and access to
resources, as well as organising workshops for schools and providing information on
excavations/places of archaeological interest across the different regions of Scotland.223 Since
2001, The SCAPE Trust has jointly managed Shorewatch with the University of St Andrews and
were awarded with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and together with money from Historic
Scotland they funded a Shorewatch co-ordinator who has helped to expand the scheme.224 In
the earlier stages, a problem with the original Shorewatch concept was noted; simple recoding
was not enough for some groups of people who felt disappointed if a site they had been
monitoring was subsequently lost to erosion.225 It was recognised that groups needed help in
undertaking practical projects at sites before they were lost, that is to say, to adopt an approach
to sites at risk where action could provide the ‘preservation by record’ approach that is often
adopted when sites are threatened by development.226
What SCAPE has recognised is that a ‘one size fits all’ solution does not apply to all
archaeology sites, thus the development for collaborative partnerships with charitable trusts,
professional expert groups, branches of government, and crowdsourced community groups
have all contributed in different ways to record and/or preserve eroding sites through projects
such as SCHARP. It could be said that the value of doing archaeology has been significantly
improved by use of this transdisciplinary approach.

Dawson 2015, 253-259.
Archaeology Scotland:
SCAPE Shorewatch:
Dawson 2015, 253-259.
6.4 The Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model
There are two economic terms originating from macroeconomics that can be analogised
into a theoretical cultural heritage model. Without getting too involved in jargon terminology, the
first term, the ‘Virtuous Cycle,’ relates to a recurring cycle of events, where the result of each
one increases the beneficial effect of the next.227 The second term, the ‘Multiplier Effect’, relates
to the cyclical flow of an increase in final income arising from any new injection of spending.228
By replacing ‘injection’ with ‘addition’ and ‘final income’ with ‘supplementary knowledge,’ this
interpretation, made by the author, of the exponential possibilities of cultural heritage can be
realised and be of a virtuous nature. Hence, the Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model
relates to the developments gained from this case study and can be better understood in a
visual representation (fig. 13).

Figure 13. Interpretation of the Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model by author.

This additional supplementary knowledge has a ‘multiplier effect’ by reaching beyond its
origins, to other regions, for new projects, and more opportunities for the crowdsourced public to
be vital contributors. This in turn reflects the ‘virtuous cycle’. For example, the work from the
Scottish Coastal Heritage at Risk Project has been recognised not only through conferences
and academic journals for other professionals in the field, but via more open and public online
Oxford Dictionary:
Economics Online:
media.229 This can advertise to the public recent developments in archaeology in which they too
can take part. Nearby, Wales and Ireland have similar coastal heritage issues and have been
underway adopting the innovations of SCAPE by apply a similar method for similar ongoing
In Wales, the Arfordir coastal heritage project recruited local volunteers (receiving
training and support from professional archaeologists), to record and monitor sites. With all their
information, the project generated additional knowledge about the coast, building a bigger
picture of Wales’ coastal heritage.230 In Ireland, a very recent pilot project, aiming to protect
Ireland’s coastal heritage from climate change, will recruit citizen archaeologists to monitor
existing sites, help map vulnerable sites, and record artefacts. Archaeology lecturer Dr. Bonsall
acknowledges in the article that ‘people are often not sure of what they’ve found, and the idea is
to raise awareness and to ensure that anything valuable is recorded and is preserved as quickly
as possible.’231
Thus, the multiplier effect, branching out from the initial conception and developing new
forms of virtuous (and recognised as beneficial for all involved) action research based on similar
notions. These examples are indicators of the growth of public crowdsourcing for both online
and offline participation. This interpreted Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model can already
be seen as providing new possibilities for nearby UK regions, which in turn can produce new
research aims and goals for other coastal areas around the world that too suffer from the very
real and current issues of climate change and coastal erosion processes. This recognition
allows for archaeologists to play yet another role than the generally perceived ‘scientific expert’
in their ivory tower, or the ‘Indiana Jones’ treasure hunter; a role model of social action and a
mentor for cultural heritage.

6.5 Policy
There is a long history of supporting ‘community archaeology’ in the UK. The Council for
British Archaeology (CBA) is an example of an educational charity (established in 1944) working
throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and promote the appreciation and care of
the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations.232 They have a
statutory role as one of the national amenity societies consulted on listed building proposals with
a membership of 620 heritage organisations and institutional members representing national,

STV News:; Current Archaeology Press Release:
Arfordir Coastal Heritage Project:
Irish Central:
Council for British Archaeology:
regional and local bodies encompassing state, local government, professional, academic,
museum and voluntary sectors.233 This makes CBA not only significant in providing a forum for
ideas and enhancing public engagement in archaeology, but also as a facilitator for policy
direction and development in British archaeology that links the government to the public; the
necessary ‘middleman’ of heritage in the UK. CBA were also involved in the awards ceremony
for supporting SCAPE’s vision on SCHARP,234 further providing public credence to such
How does Scotland’s legislation fit in with SCAPE and SCHARP? Under the Scottish
Government, Section 6 - The Built Environment (made up of existing and newly constructed
buildings including man-made surroundings), an action plan is devised. As part of that plan, the
identification of potential impacts of the changing climate on the Built Environment sector sets
out the action to be undertaken in Scotland to adapt to those impacts.235
Climate change is identified as having an impact on the design, construction,
management and use of buildings and surroundings. Listed under Part 2 - List of Current and
Planned Actions is a table (tab. 3) of action to which SCAPE took part. In doing so, the time-
scape showed that 40% of the coastal survey has been completed, with SCAPE and local
authorities having produced a prioritisation method and a prioritised site list for coastal areas
surveyed to date.236 By working with the above funding bodies and crowdsourced public,
SCAPE can prioritise the recommendations identified for action with regards to the high
archaeological potential and severe threat perceptions across Scotland’s coastline.

Action Delivery Time-scape Deliverables

Historic environment coastal SCAPE Initial survey A number of sites identified

survey, in collaboration with Trust, HS complete. as high-priority, to be
community groups, contractors and SEPA. surveyed in the next couple
and/or grant-aided of months to test the SCAPE
archaeologists. selection.

Table 3. Action Plan to minimise the negative consequences of climate change to the historic

Draft National Planning Policy Framework: 2011, 1.
British Archaeological Awards 2014:
The Scottish Government (Section 6: The Built Environment):
The Scottish Government (Footnote 89):
The Scottish Government (Section 6: The Built Environment):
Historic Scotland, being the executive agency of the Scottish Government and delivering
policy and advice on all aspects of the historic environment, produced a ‘Review of the
Archaeology Function.’ Under Innovation, SCAPE was listed as utilising new technology
processes through the use of interactive websites and GPRS navigation, shaking off the
widely‐held archaeological image of ‘trowel and brush’ and focusing on the digital age to which
participants can source exact locations and areas of interest across Scotland and relay data
back to SCAPE.238 Historic Scotland also produced a ‘Grants for Archaeology Projects 2014-15,’
to which guidance for potential applicants to the archaeology programme will continue to
encourage community inclusion and leadership, and the involvement of the crowdsourced public
through SCAPE.239
What this means is that the archaeological experts working at SCAPE, on projects such
as SCHARP, involve the crowdsourcing of people that are not legally bound to any projects. The
key component of public outreach and crowdsourcing features in the Scottish Government
heritage strategy via Historic Scotland,240 which informs archaeological frameworks at a local,
regional and national level. This in turn inspires more of this participatory action research.
While the SCAPE Trust is already helping Historic Scotland to understand the extent of
the threats posed by coastal erosion to sites and monuments in vulnerable areas, there may
also be parallel concerns about the fabric of historic buildings (such as lighthouses and
harbours) important to the cultural heritage of coastal communities.241 This in turn can relate
back to the Cultural Heritage Virtuous Multiplier Model and instead of being seen as a
devastation to cultural heritage, can be viewed as an opportunity for more projects, more
crowdsourced public, more funding and additional supplementary knowledge.

Participatory action research features quite prominently in this case study. Due to the
nature of destruction to sites, not at the mercy of new developments, but to the ongoing
changes in climate and natural erosion processes, the public are trusted to be involved in their
cultural heritage. By allowing the public to select a site, and edit the information contained within
the project database, trust between experts and the general public is necessary. The benefits of
local knowledge can further enhance records by providing accurate and up-to-date information
that may have been unknown or outdated from the original surveys conducted by

Historic Scotland 2012, 30.
Historic Scotland 2014, 5.
Towards a Strategy for Scotland’s Marine Historic Environment: 2009, 14-20.
ibid. 17.
archaeologists. The large numbers of sites (both recorded and unknown) are addressed as
fundamental concerns for not only archaeological values, but also perceived public values in the
various coastal areas of Scotland. This brings about questions with respect to the role
archaeologists as experts play and the role of the public’s multivocality in making decisions
about where funding should be prioritised, potentially choosing certain histories over others.
What SCHARP has taken advantage of is the use of a multimedia platform and digital
tools, alongside the traditional archaeological tools of the trade. With social network sites such
as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (which all link to the SCHARP website), the various forms
of multimedia including videos, phone and tablet apps, micro/macro blogging, an online
newsletter, photographs, maps and documents are all made available to anyone who wishes to
explore the coastal heritage in regions across Scotland. Crowdfunding on the other hand is not
particularly encouraged. In contrast with the previous case study, there are no online donation
options. However, there is an actual online and offline participation option for the public to edit
and update data records with current condition surveys, that will eventually be used to update
the CZAS records and enable archaeological experts to better prioritise sites and allocate funds,
along with the public. This enables more opportunities to salvage sites with a high priority status
in a short amount of time (which might be of the essence when natural erosion or unpredictable
storms can further damage sites) with fewer resources.
For Dawson et al. there are thousands of archaeological sites threatened with damage
and destruction, and in order to plan for the future there is a need to engage heritage managers,
archaeologists and the public in these problems,242 not only for the present, but also for the
foreseeable future. Moreover, greater cooperation is needed, with people sharing experiences
and ideas on how best to manage the threatened resource before it is destroyed. Dawson uses
the European Archaeological Association as an example of an organisation that could play a
crucial role in coordinating the sharing of experiences and collaborative action.243 Rather than
necessarily seeing the threat posed by coastal processes in a negative way, the potential
destruction of a site could act as a catalyst that stimulates action, where research projects that
at present target unthreatened sites could be focussed on coastal sites, allowing important
questions to be answered while saving valuable information that would otherwise be lost,244 and
bridging the gap between heritage professionals and the public. Thus, if the current conventions
of archaeology and heritage adhere to their value systems and are already recognising the

The European Archaeologist: 2012, 86-89.
importance of crowdsourced public involvement in projects, the future of archaeology and
heritage sectors can branch out from the current commercial sectors that are presently adopted.
It is apparent that the output of additional supplementary knowledge, contributed by the
crowdsourced public, has the potential to produce positive social results for the present, forming
a socially responsible approach to archaeological practice.

7. Analysis: Parameters of Practices

The Council of Europe (responsible for the European Landscape Convention to which
both the Netherlands and the UK ratified in 2005 and 2006 respectively),245 interprets the
concept of ‘landscape’ as being the key element of individual and social well-being and that its
protection, management and planning entail rights and responsibilities for everyone.246 In this
regard, the public should have the right to co-create their landscapes via planning and
management. This recognition is further developed by Egoz et al. stating that combining
articulations of existing environmental and cultural rights adds new features to be considered,
such as the right of active public involvement in decisions that influence landscape.247 The idea
of the public having rights to landscapes touches upon the intangible values landscapes have
within ongoing cultural changes, which should allow for more opportunities to be involved in the
policies governing landscapes. With this in mind, we can reflect on the core thesis questions
relating to the enhancement of current research, heritage, and public understanding of
archaeology (which has developed into public participation making for better archaeological
The idea for the parameters of practice of the Drentsche Aa National Landscape case
study was born as a precursor to the government’s policy of designating Natural Landscapes.
This approach no longer focuses on the natural environment, but on the entire landscape as a
source of inspiration for new policy; a more integrated approach to both research and policy.248
The focus on local identity building, for example, when the public had the opportunity to be
included in projects, experienced positive outcomes. However, it is assumed under the use of
the landscape biography concept that landscapes are of inspiration to people, who can build
identities around them; an ideal that does not reveal the whole ‘character’ of the landscape. As
a tool, this ideology is limiting in that it can prevent other landscape attributes.

Council of Europe:
European Landscape Convention: § 9.
Egoz et al. 2011, 7.
Elerie & Spek 2010, 96-97.
Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) is, on the other hand, a method of
landscape-scale interpretation and analysis of the historic environment that has been developed
over the last 10 years for archaeological resource management purposes by English Heritage
and English local government.249 Invented in the UK during the 1990s, HLC considers
“landscape to be mainly a product of perception, not the same as the environment. It is
‘imagined’ from its material components, notably all those derived from the past. It recognises
many ways of perceiving landscapes - those of different experts (historians, ecologists,
architects, art historians, agronomists), of the public, of personal and collective views, and of
economic viewpoints.” A good example of HLC can be seen in the SCHARP case study
example, which is inclusive of collective ways of interpreting the changing landscapes over time.
What the Drentsche Aa case study has started to do is enhance heritage by use of
public engagement, not crowdsourcing public engagement, but crowdfunding is a start. It would
be useful to find out how much crowdfunding has been raised since the option to donate has
been made available to the Drentsche Aa region. Presently, the private foundation fund has its
own board that evaluates project proposals and selects initiatives that are eligible for funding,
and they do not specifically have the option for the public to make any choices.
The research regarding the Drentsche Aa case study was predominantly contributed to
by experts, however, there is room for further development of the use of public multivocality to
enhance further research. This would further reach out to the participation of more stakeholders,
making for better archaeological practice and potentially better research outcomes and
developments for the future. The knowledge of residents and land uses, alongside institutional
knowledge, allows for creative solutions for both development and management. The
Netherlands Drentsche Aa case study is an example for partial public inclusion, but it falls short
by failing to grow in the parameters of practice on a European scale, predominantly because of
its top-down approach. Moreover, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing could be better used to
include the rights of the public to be involved with current projects, rather than be turned down
or turned away. In the UK, it can be seen that charitable companies, including the Heritage
Lottery Fund, donate to research projects that include the public from the very beginning. While
the Netherlands do not have such a fund, they do have the Bankgiro Lottery and the Postcode

Fairclough 2006, 203.
Ibid. 203-204.
Lottery Fund, that both support cultural heritage projects including Drentsche Aa,251 but leave
the public to one side.
Duineveld et al. have clearly broken down the Netherlands archaeological practice, with
its current limitations, into three parts:

1. Marginalizing the Knowledge of Amateurs

The Dutch Archaeology Quality Standard regulates who is authorized to excavate, produce
knowledge, and determines the value of archaeological finds, along with placing archaeologists
in a hierarchy with one another. Amateur archaeologists, and the rest of the public or ‘non-
experts’, have no place in this qualification system, despite the fact that amateurs use the same
methods and procedures as professionals and have better knowledge of local cultural history
than professional archaeologists.252

2. Organizational Transformations and the Increasing Bureaucracy

Since the beginning of the 1990’s, the National Service for Archaeological Heritage changed
from an archaeological institute focussing on excavations to a knowledge institution aiming at
conservation of archaeology. As a result, its former tasks have been passed onto the provinces,
local councils and commercial excavation companies. The rise of bureaucratic procedures
caused the discontinuation of many informal networks between amateur archaeologists and
local, regional, and national civil servants within the National Service for Archaeology, Cultural
Landscape and Built Heritage.253

3. The Selective Accessibility of the Policy Instruments

Archis is an example of a system that is exclusively accessible to people and organizations
connected with the archaeological field. Those who are not connected will have to report their
finds indirectly and they cannot consult Archis to find out whether a site has archaeological
heritage. The production and selective use of some instruments causes some knowledge and
values to be excluded.254

For these reasons alone, the public appear to have little to no influence, or say, as to
which heritage is more ‘valuable’ and ‘meaningful’. Research undertaken by Lampe in 2014
regarding ‘community archaeology’ in the Netherlands confirmed that some 95% of the
archaeologists surveyed argued that everybody should be able to participate in community

Digitale Nieuwsbrief Nationaal Park & Nationaal Landschap Drentsche Aa:
Duineveld et al. 2010, 300.
Ibid. 298-299.
Ibid. 299-300.
archaeology projects and were open for the public to participate at very ‘high value’
archaeological sites.255 However, archaeologists answered ‘no’ to the open question about
democratising Dutch archaeology and called for decisions to be made scientifically.256 For the
non-archaeologists, at least 84% surveyed preferred not to help experts in making decisions
about archaeological objects that, in their opinion, were important to keep for future
generations.257 In this light, the fear archaeologists might have about the ‘quality’ of archaeology
suffering, alongside maintaining their positions, is obsolete and contradictory, especially if they
appear less concerned with the public being involved in sites with ‘high’ archaeological value.
Concepts, methods and tools for the progression of archaeology in the digital age were
highlighted at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA)
annual conference in Paris last year.258 For the Netherlands, the archiving and publication of
archaeological research data has led to the establishment of EDNA, a depot for Dutch
archaeology and DANS data archiving network services. This collaboration, together with the
Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, allows researchers to insert their own data sets.
Unfortunately, that does not include a section for the public to input photos or information of
areas with potential archaeological deposits, importance, values, or highlight sites that might be
threatened by erosion, nor does it allow the public full access to field reports. For example, the
reports that are ‘open to the public’ via DANS are restricted to ‘archaeology group members’,
including some reports that were conducted for the Drentsche Aa case study.
As pointed out earlier by Van den Dries, integrated public archaeology does not really
exist in the Netherlands. The archaeology community engages with the public as a means to an
end, being that public support is predominately used to enact laws to protect heritage, along
with funding for further research and knowledge gathering. There is the Archeologische
Werkgemeenschap Nederland (AWN),259 an association of amateur archaeologists who can
volunteer on excavations, but only if there are authorized bodies willing to take responsibility for
them. Article 3 in the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage
states that excavations and other potentially destructive techniques are carried out only by
qualified and specially authorised persons.260 This in turn has been interpreted as limiting
voluntary work by amateur archaeologists and local communities who are perceived as not

Lampe 2014, 56.
Ibid. 57.
CAA conference:
European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Revised):
having the skills to participate and to which authorized bodies in the commercial sector have
limited or no time to involve them.
If the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency makes claims as to heritage care being of public
interest, for which government also takes responsibility, and as an executive body of the
Ministry for Education, Culture and Science, its tasks should go beyond merely preserving and
protecting buildings, sites and works of art.261 However, this ideal is not evident through its
actions of decentralizing power, which almost seems contradictory. The perceived responsibility
(including by-laws, heritage management and funding) now lies with the many provinces of the
Netherlands, causing more bureaucratic measures and more red tape around cultural heritage
that further separates and divides regions. This can be seen in Landschapsbeheer Zuid-
Holland, the non-for-profit foundation ceasing its activities in 2013 due to the significant
reduction in fixed financial support by the Province of South Holland, combined with declining
revenues from projects governed by state and other authorities.262
Nonetheless, the decentralization of powers may lead to future possibilities for regional
and local communities to get involved with their own heritage management, but who will guide
them? The limited amount of employed provincial archaeologists? Or will people and
organisations look to other associated sectors and form new alliances to achieve common
In keeping with the Valetta Convention, the public do in fact have a right to be involved in
archaeology. Therefore, different forms of involvement should be created, be it through offline or
online opportunities. Especially in today's climate, with an acceleration towards evolving
technologies being adopted in the field (3D printing, drone photography and modelling, open
source GIS) and requiring more skills, alongside changing attitudes towards the archaeological
and heritage disciplines being an ongoing socio-political process.
The new and exciting developments in the Netherlands regarding parameters of practice

Wie Was Wie (Who Was Who?)

The website presents historical personal information, aggregated from archive collections and
user generated content (crowdsourcing). The database contains digital information from
documents (records) about people of the past.263

Cultural Heritage Agency 2015, 4.
Landschapsbeheer Zuid Holland:
Wie Was Wie:
Vele Handen (Many Hands)
A crowdsourcing archival website with many projects that anyone can contribute to and make
use of with accessible online archives.264

De Verhalen van Groningen (The Stories of Groningen)

Accessible online stories about the culture and history of the province of Groningen using a
website platform. Along with associated offline activities, everyone (professional or not) can
contribute and participate.265

It is apparent that an upsurge of online and offline public crowdsourcing activities for
cultural heritage is growing in the Netherlands. For a small country that is continually increasing
in immigration,266 considering new and innovative opportunities for ‘non-Dutch’ citizens to
participate in archaeology and heritage building might be an interesting exercise. How do
immigrants relate to the Dutch landscapes in which they live and participate in? How does the
landscape biography approach apply in these cases? Can the Historic Landscape
Characterisation approach also be applicable here? Furthermore, this might open up
opportunities for the existing Pan-European heritage building in which the wider public also have
the right to be involved.
For the Scottish SCHARP case study example, different parameters of practice are
apparent. Due to the destruction of sites through ‘natural’ processes, the project was dependant
upon the public getting involved in order to update, record, and in some cases, preserve
identified sites. The solutions to the problems were centred around various innovations via
public participation and action research (working towards protecting heritage rather than
building it) connecting people to heritage; a side effect that was not actively pursued as an
outcome for policy. By doing so, research was enhanced by the democratic model of
multivocality, alongside professionals at SCAPE who also made decisions about what projects
to pursue, which were dependent upon public concerns. In the UK, archaeology has enough
room for commercial and charitable archaeological firms, with various experts willing to take on
anyone who is interested in participating in archaeology and heritage. In fact, community
archaeology has existed for many years in the UK and is part and parcel of archaeological

Vele Handen:
De Verhalen Van Groningen:
CBS Statistics Netherlands:
The UK standards for archaeological practice, The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
(CIfA), represent the interests of archaeology and archaeologists to government, policy makers
and industry, setting standards and issuing guidelines, improving employment practices and
raising standards of work.267 The CIfA also acts as the self-regulating body for the
archaeological profession, which means that government does not regulate the practice of
archaeology and as a result decisions are made more democratically about how the profession
should be regulated via ‘Codes of Conduct’ ensuring a high standard of work.268 These
standards are useful for the advocacy of historic environmental services. The Standard and
Guidance for Commissioning Work or Providing Consultancy Advice on Archaeology and the
Historic Environment (2014) states in section 3.1.2 c:
Where possible, promote community engagement with the historic environment,
seeking to ensure that archaeological investigation is directed toward providing
benefit to the public, whether directly through participation and engagement in the
process, where it is appropriate to do so, or indirectly through the increase in
knowledge that the results of investigation provide to the local and wider

Furthermore, other documents regarding the standards for archaeological practice is

intended to introduce best practice for community groups involved in archaeology, and in so
doing increase the broader public benefit of voluntary archaeological work.270 While the history
of public involvement within the archaeology sector in the UK has increased over the years, the
Council for British Archaeology has always championed the role of the voluntary sector in
archaeology271 claiming an ‘archaeology for all’ approach. This is evident with the developments
of appointing ‘Community Archaeology Support Officers’ to increase the voluntary sector in
archaeology in the UK.
However, volunteers are not necessarily synonymous with public crowdsourcing.
Amateur archaeologists are viewed as volunteers for participation in projects directed by experts
for reaching specific goals. Crowdsourcing lends itself more to the concept of ongoing
innovative and creative solutions for the field of archaeology and cultural heritage at large, both
online and offline. The same applies to the concept of crowdfunding, which too looks beyond the

CIfA Self Regulation:
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists 2014, 6.
CBA Research:
‘normative’ forms of funding. The recent developments at the Flag Fen site is an example, not
only being Europe’s first crowdfunded excavation that the public media have been promoting to
the wider public, but also with small-scale crowdfunded developments. One example is a project
that explores 3D visualisations of a world generated from archaeological and
paleoenvironmental data, including round houses and wooden platforms, track ways, fences
and the great causeway structures of Flag Fen in a virtual landscape.272 The UK is enhancing
heritage by reaching out beyond its boundaries, for different solutions to archaeological practice
for future sustainability, which is apparent with various recent and ongoing projects.
Some other successful developments for the practice of archaeology in the UK include
The Portable Antiquities Scheme, a DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sports) funded
project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the
public in England and Wales.273 The public can contribute by reporting any archaeological
objects found or by volunteering to help record finds. Other projects, including the previously
mentioned work of MicroPasts, are also featured on this website for anyone to donate monetary
funds (crowdfunding) or participate in projects both online and offline (crowdsourced projects).
Another example of how the public can be more involved is with the improvement of the
levels of ‘academic access’ they are privy to. As compared to the relatively closed nature in the
Netherlands regarding public archaeological input and access, ARCHI UK is an online database
resource for the public to locate archaeological sites and historic places.274 This digital resource
can be utilized with GPS coordinates from phones and tablets, connecting the digital landscape
to the observed ‘real-time’ physical landscape. Along the same lines of public access to expert
information (without a pay wall), is the Archaeological Data Service which supports research,
learning and teaching by freely making available digital resources and disseminating a broad
range of data in archaeology275 to which the Council for British Archaeology is also part of,
communicating past and recent results of research.
Internet Archaeology has been around since 1996, an independent and not-for-profit e-
journal for archaeology hosted by the Department of Archaeology at the University of York and
digitally archived by the Archaeology Data Service. This open access platform publishes
academic content and explores the potential of electronic publication through the inclusion of
video, audio, searchable data sets, images, visualisations, animations and interactive

Virtual Prehistoric Worlds via Kickstarter:
Portable Antiquities Scheme:
mapping.276 This is an example of a very proactive approach to the openness of information,
conceived some twenty years ago, for the benefit of professionals and the public inside and
outside of the UK.
By highlighting some of these ongoing and recent developments, a question arises.
Whom are we doing archaeology for? It could be stated that archaeological narratives connect
the past to the present, but if archaeologists are the only people who can state that these
narratives are ‘the truth,’ aren’t they limited to the belief systems (and the limitations of scientific
inquiry) of the archaeologists themselves? Due to the amount of archaeological work carried out
on a voluntary basis within the UK, with strong support from various organisations over the
years, it can be affirmed that the public are (and have been for some time) considered to be at
the centre of archaeological practice. Thus, public participation might be already making for
better archaeological practice in the UK and this may well continue into the future.
According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the ‘Nature Outlook
for 2010-2040’ is branding landscapes, selling Europe’s nature as a product that could attract
more people and generate more funds for landscape management and increase public funding,
use of social media, and crowdsourcing.277 Governmental plans for the future, where ‘synergies’
can achieve increasing social ownership, is already starting to be explored in the Netherlands.
This might lead to more opportunities for the government to take on more of a role to really
include people in its landscape development.
Looking beyond perceived borders, there is a connection to be made with an Australian
government initiative that might have some potential use in the Netherlands. A scheme that was
initiated by a Liberal government some 18 years ago for income support payments was enacted
surrounding activities for job seekers that provide work experience placements that benefit local
communities.278 While this year it is has been made compulsory for every unemployed
Australian citizen to be part of this scheme in exchange for welfare benefits, that is not what is
being advised here. What is being suggested is the initiative for people, who may be
unemployed and disadvantaged, to have the opportunity to be placed in not-for-profit
organisations or local, state/territory and government organisations that ensure the following:

o Seek local community involvement in activities that will generate outcomes to benefit the

Internet Archaeology:
Cultural Nature:
Guide to Social Security Law:
o Work experience that will develop or enhance a job seeker's ability to work as part of a
team, take directions from a supervisor, work independently, communicate effectively
and improve job seeker motivation and dependability
o Provide flexible work experience opportunities for people with annual activity
requirements, voluntary job seekers and job seekers with barriers to employment that
will assist them in re-engaging with their community and workplace279

These stipulations may be related to Australia, but can be seen to be of use in the
Netherlands if made available to the public who may wish to participate in such activities that
relate to their environments. This is to suggest that the Dutch government can think more
broadly about crowdsourcing people who are not only retired or people who have the time to
engage in cultural heritage and environmental projects, but cooperate with the disadvantaged,
the disenfranchised, the unemployed, and the disabled within their policies.
In summary, it can be noted that the UK is in keeping with the European Landscape
Convention, which highlights the landscape as having an important public interest role in the
cultural, ecological, environmental and social fields, and constitutes a resource favourable to
economic activity and whose protection, management and planning can contribute to job
creation.280 While crowdsourcing and crowdfunding might not be directly creating jobs, it can be
seen as indirectly creating new jobs and new forms of management that were previously
imperceptible. For example, the level of enthusiasm and encouragement in campaigns such as
SCHARP continue to make it a success. As social media is being used to promote and maintain
public interest, with clear instructions on how to complete tasks and solutions to problems
encountered are offered by the professionals and the crowdsourced people themselves, new
contacts and relationships are forming, new skills are being learnt, and gaining a passion for the
work indirectly creates new work opportunities. Furthermore, digital access to information leads
to disseminating knowledge, allowing anyone to better educate him or herself and get involved.
Whether there are cultural differences that affect archaeological theory and practice,
these two European case studies focus on different reasons for the use of crowdfunding and
crowdsourcing in archaeological practice; one to build identity and develop landscape biography
for future generations, and the other to solve the ongoing problems of eroding sites. When
observing the first case study, interdisciplinary (involving various academic disciplines) actions

European Landscape Convention:

are employed, as compared with the second case study that employed more transdisciplinary
(integrating diverse research forms relating to problem-solving) actions.

8. Interpretation: Vision & New Developments

The aim of this thesis is to bring practice and theory together, and to investigate
innovative crowdsourcing and crowdfunding techniques used in public and academic spheres
relating to the field of archaeology. Not only this, but to understand the different viewpoints and
practices of the two different case studies and the interactions between them to explore future
possibilities and solutions. When archaeology shifts from academia to society a process of
integration can produce new outcomes and a balancing of multivocality, and an opportunity
arises to include interdependence and reciprocity between the academic sphere and the public
sphere in archaeology and heritage practice. As analysed in the previous chapter, innovative
ideas are forming towards the goal of assessing future pathways of archaeological practice and
theory. Opportunities to innovate could reinvigorate the archaeological field, and this can be
better achieved if it is better understood what it is archaeologists do, for whom, and for what
The worldwide market-driven economy has been addressed within this thesis. The
increasing pressure of the market in the archaeological sector has demonstrated that alternative
forms of entrepreneurial ventures, such as crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, are creating new
markets that are financially facilitated by interested stakeholders outside of academia. It can be
stated that crowdfunding is a way to help reduce current market failures.
By evaluating the current state of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing in archaeological
practice, it is clear that there is no such thing as free money or free labour; one must give to get.
Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding principles are being adopted and transformed, not only by
individuals, but also by small businesses, not-for-profit archaeology and heritage sectors,
government, and continuing to develop and evolve worldwide.
Through observing the archaeological, economical, and political developments in other
places around the world, what this thesis hopes to start is a collaborative pilot project. A pilot
project beginning in, but not limited to the Netherlands, that can apply crowdsourcing,
crowdfunding, not-for-profit status, multivocality, educational andragogic principles, current
socio-economic issues, public and expert co-creation, and can achieve what it sets out to
evaluate; archaeology as a useful and socially responsible endeavour.

The participatory action research that is discussed within this thesis should be the
starting point to design such a project for experimentation, with the public being at the centre of
the project. Before governments and associated social sectors can be involved with
crowdfunding and/or the crowdsourcing of people to engage with cultural heritage and
environmental projects, there is groundwork that needs to be done. What will motivate people to
work for and with the project? What benefits can be offered to participants to stimulate
collaborative behaviour? What incentives other than ‘for future generations’ can be applied to
the here and now? With more involvement there can be more influence through publicity,
engagement, and creating opportunities everyone can get excited about.
Firstly, establishing what the project will be (what it sets out to achieve and for what
purpose), the team players and other collaborators can learn about the public support and/or
public inclusion for the project through discussions. This could be in the form of local community
meetings, conferences, social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and including relevant
online forums and blogging), where both online and offline awareness for a project is
established and can allow for the next step of assessment; how to work together. Having an
online platform, as well as an offline platform, can further bring together academic researchers,
archaeological and historical communities, and interested members of the public to collaborate
and co-create new forms of archaeological and cultural heritage research.
Secondly, from the information gained through this process, a formal management
and/or business plan needs to be determined. This could also be part of the first step,
dependent upon knowledge gained through discussions and outreach to sectors that might also
have some advice, identified knowledge gaps or ideas. Through discussions, learning about
interested stakeholders who might want to be involved could also dictate the scale of the
Thirdly, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing can use an online social media strategy, for
example, to grow crowd support and build relationships with new connections that may not have
been accessible previously. An online citizen science platform to host the project, a start-up
campaign, could be a useful way to gain access to crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. This might
be helpful for projects that want to go beyond local, regional and national borders, as this can
open doors for international collaboration. However, dependant upon the project, both
crowdfunding and crowdsourcing may not be required, perhaps one is more useful and/or
necessary than the other. It is context-dependant.

Associating the project with a learning institution, such as a university, a vocational
training school, a museum, a library, or the city archives, might also enhance the quality of the
project by gaining access to other resources. If the project is classified as not-for-profit, or has
charitable status, it might also make it easier for start-up and ongoing funding. Crowdsourcing,
on the other hand, is about the crowd. They should be at the centre of the project. Thus, an
open invitation should be extended to anyone who is interested or think they might want to be
involved in some way that can result in innovation and creativity; rethinking the concept of being
a volunteer is essential.
The relationship between academics/experts and the crowd is changing in many sectors
and predominantly through the paradigm of technology, which is making it increasingly possible
to resurrect cultural heritage that is at the mercy of destruction by political, natural, and
commercially induced processes. This in turn has allowed for the flourishing of competing
interests and opinions, and as all sectors need to be challenged in order to progress,
multivocality is really doing the archaeology sector a service. The theoretical applications of
knowledge, ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake’ and the practical applications of knowledge,
‘knowledge as participatory action’, are both required in order to bring about smart courses of
future engagement. If the objectives, scope and purposes are clear from the outset, and if the
project is continually made clear throughout its development, then there might be a higher
chance of a continuation of interest and crowd involvement. The project should be flexible for
this reason. If archaeology and cultural heritage management can start from the bottom-up, then
this is an opportunity to do just that; the theoretical concepts addressed within this thesis should
be put into practice. In turn, further research in this manner could potentially widen the scope for
archaeology and heritage projects in the near future.


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The SCAPE Trust: <>
The Scottish Government (Footnote 89): <>
The Scottish Government (1.7 Historic Environment): <>
The Scottish Government (Section 6: The Built Environment):
The UR Excavations: <>
Towards a Strategy for Scotland’s Marine Historic Environment:
University of St Andrews: <>
Van Ezelakker tot Jeruzalem: <>
Vele Handen: <>
Virtual Prehistoric Worlds via Kickstarter:
Wemyss 4D Caves: <>
Wie Was Wie: <>
YES! Coastal Campaign: <>