The Centre for Applied Archaeology is organising an innovative seminar series exploring aspects of the value of commercial archaeology, with the first event being held at the Institute on 17 October.

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is home to one of the UK’s largest commercial units – Archaeology South-East (the contracts division of the Centre for Applied Archaeology).
Academic and contract archaeologists have different visions of the nature and purpose of archaeological practice, arising from different value-system and drivers that reflect on the varying needs of diverse customers and audiences. This represents an important challenge for the Institute in the way in which it develops the professional activities of ASE alongside the teaching and research activities of a University department.

This seminar series will explore ways in which contract archaeology works within an academic environment, whilst looking to find new and mutual benefits to the relationship. How do we foster better dialogue between the worlds of academia and professional practice, recognising the positive contribution that each can make to the work of the other? How can our involvement in commercial archaeology deliver better research, teaching and training? How can we exploit contract opportunities to develop innovative practice, expand on the social benefits of community and industry based fieldwork, and push forward the frontiers of our discipline? How can we find and demonstrate public benefit in our work?

The seminars will engage a wide audience in a lively discussion about the purpose and practice of contemporary archaeology, and it is intended that the discussions will be used to chart new directions for Archaeology South-East. Each seminar will explore a key topic involving short presentations (about 15 minutes each) from academics and practitioners, with a view to identifying action points for use in a new forward plan for ASE.

Where applicable seminars will use the Strategic Research Agenda for the EU Joint Programming Initiative: Cultural Heritage and Global Change as a starting point for discussion, focusing on key areas of the Research Agenda, in order to articulate the activities and agenda of CAA-ASE directly with AHRC research parameters for 21st century.

Debate will also be framed by the National Heritage Protection Programme and the recommendations of the Southport Group.
CAA Seminar Series Programme 2014-15

The value of commercial archaeology (click for details)

Any enquiries about the seminar series may be directed to Dominic Perring.