Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

The future of archaeology: Towards a meaningful community-based archaeology


Archaeology and archaeological theory are currently largely in the era of post-processualism. This has been significant as it has changed the ways that archaeologists interact with communities who are stakeholders in community-based archaeological research. However, not all archaeological research has followed suit and in many countries the archaeology still practiced does not include or benefit the local communities. I argue that moving into the future, archaeology must adopt a community-based approach as a mandatory practice in all situations. Community-based archaeology is relatively new in many parts of the world and thus its meaning is still ambiguous. How can we, as archaeologists, do better for the communities we work with and create long-lasting meaningful relationships with them? Community-based archaeology can mean many things and its breadth is part of what makes it so useful, but I argue that it must include meaningful engagement with the source community which leads to a form of heritage-building and empowerment.


Community archaeology, Cultural property, Case studies, Social aspects of Archaeology