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This is an old revision of GrosvenorParkResearch from 2010-07-20 03:42:48.

The Wider Community's Perception of Archaeology - Elitist or Accessible?

Evaluating the Grosvenor Park Excavation

Final Report to Jane Hebblewhite

May-June 2007
Compiled by: Amy Treble, Gavin Smithies and Hannah Clipson
Contents of Report

Page Number

Executive Summary

1.0 Terms of Reference
1.1 The Research Issue
1.2 Aims of Research
1.3 Reasons for this Analysis
1.4 Meeting with Client

2.0 Methodology
2.1 Research Brief
2.2 Research Proposal
2.3 Collection of Data
2.4 Population Sampling
2.5 Evaluation and Analysis of Data
2.6 Project Plan
2.7 Limitations

3.0 Summary of Results
3.1 Quantitive Responses
3.2 Qualitative Responses
3.3 University of Chester Poll: 'Is archaeology elitist?'
3.4 Themes in Responses

4.0 Conclusions
4.1 Prior Interest in Archaeology
4.2 Prior Knowledge of Archaeology
4.3 General Perceptions of Archaeology
4.4 Perceptions of the Grosvenor Park Excavation

5.0 Analysis of Secondary Sources
5.1 Cambridgeshire Community Archaeology Website
5.2 Winchester City Council Website
5.3 Zoological Trail Pilot- The Spring Bank Elephant Walk
5.4 CBA Public Participation Examination
5.5 Journal of San Diego History
5.6 Advice and Encouragement for first time Diggers

6.0 Recommendations
6.1 Interpretation
6.2 Presentation
6.3 Educational Potential
6.4 Marketing of the Grosvenor Park Excavation

7.0 Bibliography

8.0 Appendix
8.1 Research Proposal
8.2 Questionnaire
8.3 Results of Poll on University of Chester Student's Union Website.
8.4 Correspondences
8.5 Graph showing Male and Female age ranges
8.6 Graph showing Occupations
8.7 Graph showing whether the public knew there was an excavation at
Grosvenor Park
8.8 Graph indicating areas which show the amount of people who have
and have not visited the Grosvenor Park Excavation.
8.9 Graph showing the comparison between those who have taken part
in excavations and those who have not in the importance of the
Grosvenor Park findings
8.10 Pie Chart showing if individuals understand what archaeologists do
8.11 Pie Chart showing the main ideas on how to present the findings of
The Grosvenor Park excavations
8.12 Graph showing the relationship between occupation category and
interest in archaeology
8.13 Graph showing the occupation of those interested in archaeology
related to the frequency of their visits.
8.14 Graph showing age variations and Interests in Archaeology
8.15 Graph showing individuals who watch television programmes about
Archaeology compared with frequency of visits
8.16 Graph showing amount of people from Chester and the amount
Who have visited Chester amphitheatre
8.17 Graph showing the amount of people who knew there was an
excavation and have visited it
8.18 Newspaper cutting from the Chester Evening Standard
8.19 Responses from CBA Survey
8.20 Stereotype of audiences regarding interpretation

Executive Summary

Review of Research Issue
The purpose of this archaeological research analysis is to establish the wider community's perception of archaeology. In particular, this report will focus on the Grosvenor Park excavation in Chester. To establish people's opinions a questionnaire will be distributed and from the results we can determine if there are any problems or grievances with archaeology. If the data does indicate changes are required to improve the perception and enjoyment of archaeology, then recommendations will be made regarding the interpretation, presentation, educational potential and marketing of the Grosvenor Park excavation. The main objective is to suggest ways in which archaeology can be more accessible to the public.

Aims of Research Proposal
To gather and collate primary data from a survey of the public, and professionals within the heritage industry, in order to establish their perception of archaeology in the 21st century.
To analyse and evaluate secondary sources, such as published papers, journals and websites and to conduct an evaluation of other archaeological historical sites, including the Grosvenor Park excavation. This will help determine the most successful strategies of engagement and in understanding any barriers to archaeology.
From analysing and evaluating all the evidence gathered, a report will be produced of the research findings with recommendations concerning the interpretation, presentation, educational potential and marketing of the Grosvenor Park excavation.

Meeting with the Client
A meeting was arranged for Monday 14th May where Jane Hebblewhite, Community Archaeological Officer, identified and explained the main objectives and requirements of the research. Jane was concerned that 'archaeology' is an elitist term, therefore creating a barrier which may prevent the public from finding it interesting and getting involved. She explained that our research would involve analysing a range of people's perceptions of archaeology and then to use this information to propose recommendations concerning the interpretation, presentation and marketing of the Grosvenor Park excavation. The client also made some suggestions of secondary sources which may be useful to the study.

Methodology of Research
Central to the research was the distribution of a questionnaire. As we believed the publics' perception of archaeology is very wide ranging depending on a mix of influencing factors, for example; age, occupation and interests, it was essential the questionnaires reached a broad spectrum of the community. To ensure we received a range of perceptions the questionnaire was distributed to several teenagers currently at school or college, a variety of students aged between 17 and 21, people in full time and part time employment aged between 22 and 60, people in retirement, and members of the public were asked at the Grosvenor Park. The questions provided both qualitative and quantitative responses. This data was at the core of the research, however, secondary resources were also used.

Key Findings
A majority of people surveyed expressed an interest in archaeology. However, this was not reflected in the frequency of visits people make to an excavation or site, or in the degree of participation. This raised the concern that members of the wider community perceive archaeology as elitist and inaccessible. There seemed to be no correlation with a person's profile and their degree of interest, although conclusively there was a positive response. However, occupation was considered as an obstacle for some people wishing to participate.

It was found to be significant that 86% watch television programmes about archaeology, but do not get actively involved. It was concluded that people prefer to experience archaeology without direct participation.

A small amount of people surveyed said they work in the heritage or archaeology industry. These individuals were asked to describe how they felt the wider community perceived their profession/hobby. The feeling was generally positive, however some were concerned that the wider public underestimate what they do. This implies a large educational potential, for those within the industry as well as those outside it.

The overall perception of archaeology was very positive, however, there was a general opinion that archaeologists were academic, sophisticated beings. There were no ideas that they are just average members of the public. A high percentage of those who had visited Grosvenor Park excavation said they enjoyed watching it. This information can be utilised when attempting to make archaeology more accessible as a high amount of people seem to prefer this dynamic method of presentation.

A substantial amount of people said the results of the Grosvenor Park excavation are either important or very important, therefore audience expectations have to be reached. The most popular measures of presenting the findings were static, such as; in a newspaper or over the internet.

Recommendations
Interpretation
Improve the signage in-situ
Produce a report of findings, with an academic audience in mind
Interpret the site and involve the wider community through dynamic methods

Presentation
Present the findings of Grosvenor Park by static methods, for example; newspaper or internet
Open an exhibition of the interpretation and findings from the excavation at the Grosvenor Museum or Chester Visitor Centre
A tour of the site as many people said talking to an archaeologist would help them understand what they do

Educational Potential
Hold a lecture at the University of Chester to educate students, 50% in a poll said archaeology is elitist
Involve children by holding activity days or by communicating with local school as there is vast cross-curricular activities available at Grosvenor Park
Organize ways in which retired people can find a way into archaeology. Perhaps by field-walking
Educate people within the archaeology industry on how to teach and deal with newcomers with no prior knowledge or experience

Marketing of the Grosvenor Park Excavation
Advertise specific dates and times when people can watch the archaeologists at work
Advertise the excavation in the local press
Produce a leaflet which can be bought from the Chester Visitor Centre or other Chester tourist attractions, advertising the excavation
Improve the website

1.0 Terms of Reference

1.1 The Research Issue
This archaeological research report aims to establish the wider community's perception of archaeology. The opinion of an archaeologist may be as an adventurer, a detective, a care-taker or perhaps an individual who;

"Gets paid to brush dirt around."

However, there is concern that archaeology is elitist and it should be made more accessible to the wider community. In order to break down these perceived barriers, which could ultimately be preventing people from involving themselves in archaeology, recommendations will be made that could potentially encourage people to become a part of local schemes, or possibly just to gain a more thorough understanding and enjoyment of archaeology itself.

1.2 Aims of Research
The main aim of this report is to determine the wider community's perception of archaeology and if they believe it to be elitist or accessible. A questionnaire will be distributed to a wide population, as opposed to only asking people within the heritage industry for example, in order to obtain opinions of archaeology. Secondary resources, such as journals, websites and books, will also be analysed to measure a wider population's satisfaction and perception of archaeology. If the results indicate that a majority of people find archaeology uninteresting then this clearly suggests some changes are needed. The responses can be used to help with the recommendations on how to make archaeology more enjoyable and accessible in the future, particularly the Grosvenor Park excavation.

1.3 Reasons for this Analysis
Due to concern expressed that archaeology is an elitist term, action is to be taken in an attempt at making it more accessible to the wider community. Currently, heritage is an extremely beneficial and profitable business if it is marketed appropriately. Many people are interested in their heritage so perhaps if archaeology is made more enjoyable then people are more likely to get involved. The findings will indicate what could make archaeology more satisfactory and appealing.

1.4 Meeting with Client
The client in this investigation is Jane Hebblewhite (JH), Community Archaeological Officer for the Chester City Council. The initial meeting was arranged for Monday 14th May 2007. JH explained the key aims and objectives of the research and discussed how a questionnaire would be compiled in order to measure the wider community's perception of archaeology. Because of concern expressed about archaeology being elitist, JH explained how we would first need to find the level of satisfaction of archaeology and then recommend any possible changes to make it more accessible.

2.0 Methodology

2.1 Research Brief
The Research Brief is essential in the investigation as it highlights the aims and objectives of the research. Although it has been discussed in detail in section 1, below is the initial brief:

'How does the wider community perceive archaeology and how can the information gathered be used to interpret, educate and present the Grosvenor Park excavation in light of its historical and social significance.'

2.2 Research Proposal
A copy of this can be found in the appendix (Figure 8.1). It briefly outlines the main aims and objectives which were discussed at the beginning of the project.

2.3 Collection of Data
The primary data for this investigation was collected by distributing a questionnaire to a random sample of the population. A copy of the questionnaire can be found in the appendix. (Figure 8.2) The questions were formulated by following the terms of reference as a guideline. A draft questionnaire was initially compiled which was then altered accordingly by the client, JH. Using her suggestions the final copy was ready for distribution on Tuesday 22nd May.

Alternative methods of primary data was used to gain as varied response as possible. A poll was set up on the Chester Student's Union website asking if archaeology was elitist or not (Figure 8.3). Although it would only give us a yes or no response from a limited sample of the population, it was a good initial indication of the perception of archaeology. Emails were also sent to a range of people and professionals involved in the archaeology or heritage industry to aid in the research and recommendation process. (Figure 8.4)

2.4 Population Sampling
It was realised that many factors would influence a person's opinion of archaeology, for example; age; occupation; interests. Therefore, the target population in this investigation was entirely random. Fifty- seven questionnaires were completed and analysed and although this is a small sample it is still representative and valid as it shows a range of responses from a range of people have been acknowledged. A random sampling technique was used to collate questionnaires.

2.5 Evaluation and Analysis of Data
When evaluating the data, a simple tally chart was initially used to find responses to specifically chosen questions. Once this was collated, the data was used to create graphs in Microsoft Excel, where comparisons could be made across various questions (e.g. links between job occupations and interest in archaeology). Percentages were deciphered for questions such as “do you understand what archaeologists do?” so a specific amount of the population could be stated as to knowing or not knowing. Various types of graphs were created, bar graphs to show comparisons (quantitative responses) and pie charts to indicate ideas from the public (qualitative responses).

2.6 Project Plan
Initially the group worked together when preparing and distributing the questionnaire, analysing secondary resources and contacting people within the archaeology industry. Excellent communication was maintained. However, although the group still met on a regular basis, the research was then broken down and each member was allocated a section of the investigation to ensure deadlines were reached. Each member of the team worked towards the final report which will present the findings of the investigation and make recommendations on how archaeology can be made more accessible for the wider community. An executive summary will also be included to highlight the key features of the research, findings and stages of development.

NAME TASK
Amy Responsible for producing questionnaire, analysis using Microsoft Excel and secondary source analysis
Gavin Responsible for group rationale, presentation and analysis
Hannah Responsible for the final report and analysis

2.7 Limitations
The main limitation in the project was insufficient time to thoroughly conduct research. Time restrictions meant we could not conduct a more in depth survey to ask a broader range of society, for example children through to pensioners. We were also unable to properly follow up newspaper requests.

If more time was available to us it would have been ideal to construct two different questionnaires. One could have been aimed at those in the Grosvenor Park and the other for people unaware of the excavation. This way we could have asked the people in the park more detailed questions relating to the excavation.

A broader time scale would allow for a wider population to be surveyed. As most of the questions were aimed at adult populations, rather than younger children.
A different study should be conducted on children, as they have different requirements to adults, the questions asked in the survey would not have been relevant to them.
During the period the survey was carried out, unfortunately there were weather problems causing the Grosvenor Park area to be damp and wet. This meant there were fewer people available to ask as the park was not appropriate to visit.
Generally when we were at the park to carry out the survey it landed during lunch time, which meant most people would be unavailable due to time constraints on their own break. Additionally, fewer people were around the trenches and questioned more so as to where the archaeologists were, as they were on their own lunch breaks.

3.0 Summary of Results

3.1 Quantitive Responses

Question 1: Gender
Of the 57 surveyed 26 (45.6%) were male and 31 (54.4%) female. (Figure 8.5)

Question 2: Age
Out of the 57 people asked 25 were aged between 16-25 (43.9%), 9 were between 25-40 (15.8%), 12 were between 40-55 (21%), 4 were between 55-60 (7%) and 7 were aged 60plus (12.3%).

Question 3: Full time residency
Out of the 57 surveyed 27 people live in Chester (47.4%) and 30 live outside (52.6%).

Question 4: Job Title
17 people out of the 57 are under category A: Technical, Professional, Administrative, Managerial or Teacher (29.9%). 5 people are under category B: Clerical or Retail Worker (8.8%). 1 person works under category C: Manual Worker (1.8%) (Figure 8.6)

Question 5: Mode of work
19 people surveyed work full time (33.3%), 5 people work part time (8.8%), 28 are students (49.1%), 8 are retired (14%) and 1 person works other (1.8%).

Question 6: Extent of interest in archaeology
45.6% of the population are very interested in archaeology, 33.3% are interested in archaeology, 10.6% have a neutral opinion, 8.8% are not very interested and 1.8% are not interested at all.

Question 7 and 8: Informative archaeological programmes watched
Out of the 57 people asked, 49 said they watch informative television programmes about archaeology (86%), 8 people said they do not (14%).
91.9% watch Time Team
32.7% watch Time Watch
26.6% watch Lost Treasures
10.2% watch another type of programme, including Meet the Ancestors (6.1%) and programmes on the History Channel (2.1%).

Question 9: Informative books or magazines people have read
Out of the 57 people surveyed, 22 read books or magazines about archaeology (38.6%). 35 do not read any (61.4%).
4.5% read Archaeology Journal
4.5% read New Archaeology
18.2% read British Archaeology
4.5% read general journals
9.1% read Current World Archaeology
4.5% read Archaeology Monthly
4.5% read Medieval Archaeology
4.5% read Church Archaeology
4.5% read Journal of Chester Archaeology Society
4.5% read Treasure Hunting Magazine
4.5% read History Magazine
4.4% read National Geographical

Question 10: Archaeological sites or excavations visited
Out of the 57, 52 have visited an archaeological site or excavation (91.2%). 5 have not visited one (8.8%).

61.5% have visited Chester Amphitheatre. Out of the 27 people from Chester only 12 (44%) said they have visited Chester Amphitheatre.

Question 11: Frequency of visits to archaeological sites or excavations
7.7% of people visit an archaeological site or excavation once a week, 22.2% visit once a month, 15.4% visit once every 6 months, 28.8% visit once a year and 26.9% visit less than once a year.

Question 13: Knowledge of excavation in Grosvenor Park
Out of the 57 people surveyed 44 (77.2%) knew that there is an excavation in Grosvenor Park, as opposed to 13 (22.8%) who did not. (Figure 8.7)

Question 14: Visiting Grosvenor Park excavation
32 people out of the 57 asked have visited the Grosvenor Park excavation (57.1%) whereas 25 people have not visited (43.9%). (Figure 8.8)

Question 15: Importance of results from the excavation (Figure 8.9)

IMPORTANCE OF RESULTS AMOUNT OF PEOPLE PERCENTAGE
Very important 19 33.3%
Important 14 24.6%
Neutral 13 22.8%
Not very Important 5 8.8%
Not Important at all 6 10.5%

Question 16: Methods of helping the public to understand archaeological sites
Of the 57 people surveyed 19 (13%) felt that talking to an archaeologist was the most important way to help understand an archaeological site. Next was a guide book, 21 people (36.9%), 12 (21.1%) people felt signage was the next most appropriate way of interpreting a site, then 14 (24.6%) said an audio tour, followed by 13 (22.9%) who said hands on activities and the least important was felt to be the pod cast; 34 people (59.7%)

Question 18: Enjoyment of watching Grosvenor Park excavation
26 out of the 33 people who have been to the excavation said they enjoyed watching but 3 said they did not. (3 of the people who answered they had been to the excavation did not answer question 18)

3.2 Qualitative Responses

Question 12:
Do you work in the heritage industry? If yes, how do you think the wider community perceive your profession?
8 people out of the 57 do work in the heritage industry. (14%)
As something to be economically explored. If it cannot be then it is pointless.
As elitist
Exciting
Some with ridicule yet interested about finds. Too much of a stereotype.
More aware and interested through media
People very interested but a few think archaeologists are crazy
Most people appreciate what's happening but some have general ignorance of the processes and reasons
Great deal of interest
Out of date, not in touch with visitors needs
Very positively, very interested

Question 17
Do you understand what archaeologists do? If no, what would help you to understand more? (Figure 8.10)
50 out of the 57 asked said they do understand (87.7%)
To help understand the 7 who did not understand….
Someone on hand to answer questions, or an open day.
Talking to an archaeologist there
Signage

Question 19
When the Grosvenor Park excavation has finished, how would you like their findings to
be presented to you? (Figure 8.11)
Published in Chester Chronicle: 21%
In a journal or report: 14.1%
Internet: 21.1%
Television: 10.5%
Newsletter:1.8%
Chester Visitor Centre: 5.3%
Exhibition: 15.8%
Radio:1.8%
Media: 1.8%
Information in Grosvenor Park: 3.5%
Pod Cast: 1.8%
Open Day: 3.5%
Tour: 1.8%
Excavation kept open: 1.8%
Leaflet or pamphlet: 8.8%

Question 20
Are you/ have you ever been actively involved with any excavations, re-enactments etc that have taken place?
16 people have been involved (28.6%) whereas 40 have not (71.4%)
...and what was the most enjoyable part?
A friend finding a sword
Different from usual work and getting historical information
The finds
Digging
The Archaeological point
Bringing to life new information about history and people
Surveying and planning contexts
Good to be outside, sociable
Processing through a single feature
Lunch
Sharing knowledge of past with other people

Question 21
Regarding those people who have been involved with any excavations or re-enactments:
Did it meet your expectations? If no, please state why.
Did not understand the value of what was doing

Question 22
In as many or as few words as you would like, how would you describe an archaeologist and what they do?
Useful and informative as they discover objects and other things which would otherwise remain hidden
Professional guardians of the past
Scruffy- with dust
Very important
Examine in detail how things may have been in past
Find out about history
Researchers of past using practical methods
Similar to Time Team
Dirt Monkeys
Very patient
Record the past before it is destroyed
Full of stories and used to hard work
Diverse, interesting and sophisticated
A person who participates in intrusive and non-intrusive methods to discover and interpret histories of our past cultures
Public think it is a lot simpler than it is
They question what we know
Like Mick and Phil off Time Team, intelligent and interesting
Have big beards and a jumper
Examine relics
Detectives of the past
Preparing the remains of the past to be presented to the public
Practical academic
Very interesting, keep history alive
Preserve the past
Talented, scientific
Look and discover old stuff
Find information on our ancestors, look into the context
They dig up the past, like Jurassic Park
Depends on the type of archaeologist
Friendly
Very hands on, enthusiastic
Bringing back our heritage
Private investigators to past

3.3 University of Chester Poll: 'Is archaeology elitist?'
102 votes were cast on the Chester Student's Union website.
50% voted yes it is elitist
50% voted no it is not

3.4 Themes and Patterns in Responses

3.4.1: Prior Interest in Archaeology

23 people out of the 57 surveyed visit an archaeological site or excavation every six months and more. However the interest in archaeology is much higher than this, 45 out of the 57 (79%) surveyed are either interested or very interested in archaeology. (Figure 8.12)

A person's occupation was compared to how frequently they visit an archaeological site or excavation. It was found that student workers and full time workers generally make less visits than students, part time workers and retired individuals. (Figure 8.13)

In order to examine if a person's profile effected their interest in archaeology, age was compared to the degree of interest. Most 16-25 year olds feel neutral and above, all 25-40 felt at least neutral, 40-55 year olds were mostly interested and above, 55-60 were interested and above and most 60+ were interested and above. There was no significant pattern although a larger degree of interest was felt amongst the older people surveyed. (Figure 8.14)

To measure the amount of interest in archaeology, question 7 asked if informative archaeological programmes are watched. This was compared to the frequency of visits people make to archaeological sites and excavations. (Figure 8.15)

3.4.2: Prior Knowledge of Archaeology
A graph was designed to show the comparison between those who have taken part in excavations and those who have not in relation to the importance of the Grosvenor Park findings. Generally people who have participated think the findings are more important however a large amount of people who have not participated also think the results are important. (Figure 8.9)

3.4.3: General Perceptions of Archaeology
The data showed that 32 people surveyed live in Chester and only 12 have visited Chester Amphitheatre. This could suggest a lack of interest in local heritage or a perception that archaeology is inaccessible. (Figure 8.16)

3.4.4: Perceptions of the Grosvenor Park Excavation
A graph was created to show the amount of people who knew there was an excavation at Grosvenor Park in relation to if they had visited it. 44 people know there is an excavation but 14 of those have not visited. (Figure 8.17)

4.0 Conclusions

4.1 Prior Interest in Archaeology
The data collected shows that the majority of people surveyed (79%) are either interested or very interested in archaeology. Other results gathered corroborated this feeling of satisfaction; 49 out of the 57 (86%) surveyed watch informative television programmes about archaeology and 91.2% have visited an historical or archaeological site or excavation. (Figure 8.15) This suggests that the wider community do not perceive archaeology to be elitist. However, some of the results seem to indicate that although a large amount of people find archaeology interesting they do not visit sites or excavations on a regular basis and do not participate in any archaeological schemes or excavations. This implies two things; people do perceive archaeology as being inaccessible or it is being marketed, interpreted and presented inappropriately and in an unappealing manner.

It was acknowledged that practical reasons may restrict some people in involving themselves in archaeology, for example; occupation. The relationship between occupation, of a person interested or very interested in archaeology, and the frequency of visits to an archaeological site or excavation was examined. The results showed that student workers and full time workers generally visit sites less than part time workers, students and retired individuals. Perhaps this is because their work commitments are more intense and they have less time to spare. However, the data shows that members of the wider community who maybe have more opportunities to visit sites still only make visits once every six months and less. Only 8 out of 24 (33%) non-full time workers visit sites once a month or more. This implies that archaeology is not accessible or not appealing to potential visitors. (Figure 8.13)

Age was also considered as a factor that might influence a person's opinion of archaeology. There were no findings that suggested a pattern as only 6 people were either not very interested or not interested at all and these perceptions came from three different age ranges. A deduction worth noting regards the considerations to be made when establishing the best methods of interpretation and presentation due to different audience requirements and expectations. (Figure 8.14)

Age Range Very Interested Interested Neutral Not Very Interested Not Interested At All
Under 16 0 0 0 0 0
16-25 7 11 4 2 1
25-40 5 3 1 0 0
40-55 5 4 1 2 0
55-60 2 1 0 0 0
60+ 6 1 0 1 0

The table above shows the degree of interest amongst the different age ranges. Although the survey shows less responses from people aged 55 and over, compared to the amount of students, amongst the people aged 55-60 and 60+ the majority had an interest in archaeology. There were responses from the younger category showing a lesser interest. When deciding on the most appropriate interpretation and presentation the audience has to be considered carefully. Interpreters need to cater for people with a prior knowledge, interest and experience, in this case people aged 55 and over, but also have to find a way in educating and exciting a new and perhaps unfamiliar audience. This will be discussed further in section 6.

As already established the degree of active involvement does not reflect the amount of interest there is in archaeology. A good example of this is the vast majority of people who watch television programmes about archaeology: 49 out of 57 (86%). It is fair to conclude that the wider community representative of this investigation prefer to experience archaeology from a distance as opposed to experiencing it actively. The results from question 16 consolidate this theory as most people felt static methods of interpretation would help them understand an archaeological site better. For example; signage, a guide book and an audio tour.

The above conclusions do suggest archaeology is perceived to be elitist and perhaps inaccessible but the positive route to be taken is that there is a huge potential audience who have an interest in archaeology and if the appropriate schemes and outreach methods are adopted then more people will become actively involved.

4.2 Prior Knowledge of Archaeology
The results show that a majority of people understand what archaeologists do. Question 17 indicated that 50 out of the 57 (87.7%) have an understanding. However, only 16 (28.6%) people have participated in an excavation meaning the other 40 (71.4%) have a limited experience of archaeology. A matter of concern expressed by a person who is involved in the heritage industry was that people do not appreciate the processes entailed and there is a ‘general ignorance'. This implies there is a barrier to archaeology, however considering the amount of interest this barrier can be broken. Recommendations on how to do this will be discussed in section 6.

Question 12 established how many of the 57 surveyed, work or are involved in the heritage industry. 14% said they do work in the industry and their opinions on how they feel the wider community perceive their profession varied. Most believe they are perceived in a positive way, but some said they are believed to be elitist or 'out of date and not in touch with visitors' needs.' This is perhaps the case as although the wider community do find archaeology interesting this is not being reflected in visitation and participation levels. Visitor needs have to be considered carefully so interest develops into involvement.

The research indicates that 16 people have participated in an excavation or re-enactment. The majority gave positive responses as to how much they had enjoyed it. However, most people who have had involvement either work in the heritage industry or are students. Even though they participate out of enjoyment they are also motivated by work demands or course requirements. Only 2 people out of the 16 seem to have been involved because of pleasure. Again, this implies archaeology is inaccessible to the wider community.

4.3 General Perceptions of Archaeology
The investigation shows that the wider community's perception of archaeology is very positive. Many of the people surveyed stated they found archaeologists to be very enthusiastic and very interesting. There were a few opinions that fit the romanticised stereotype, for example, 'Detectives of the past' and then there was the other common perception such as ‘they dig the past' and they find out about our history. It is worth noting that a majority of the responses in question 22 claimed archaeologists are part of a sophisticated and academic profession. Although this is very true, nobody mentioned that an archaeologist can just be a member of the wider community, participating out of enjoyment or fun. This implies the wider community do perceive archaeology as elitist and perhaps methods need to be adopted to encourage people that archaeology can be for a wide audience, therefore barriers can be broken.

Question 18 shows that 26 out of 33 people who had been to Grosvenor Park enjoyed watching the excavation. This suggests the wider community prefer to see archaeology dynamically. This is consolidated by question 16, when people were asked to rate the importance of methods in understanding archaeological sites, a majority said talking to an archaeologist. This answer also came up in question 17 when asked to state what would help you to understand what the archaeologists are doing. The results seem to tell us that the wider community enjoy watching archaeology in an exciting or dynamic way (for example; 91.9% of people who watch television programmes watch Time Team). However, people do not like getting actively involved. Whilst this may indicate an elitist perception it may also just imply a general laziness within society.

The above theory can be strengthened with the data that tells us 32 people in the survey live in Chester and only 12 have visited the amphitheatre. (Figure 8.16) News of the amphitheatre excavations has been in the public domain so perhaps members of the wider community simply do not want to actively visit or participate in archaeology. As explained previously, the results suggest people find archaeology interesting but only from the comfort of their own home or in their own time. Although this will be mentioned in section 6, a recommendation would be to ensure the Grosvenor Park interpretation is carefully planned and appropriate for a broad audience. This is so the individuals who do not like to actively visit sites or become involved can also learn, appreciate and benefit from the findings.

The poll which was created on the University of Chester Student's Union website, asking; 'Is archaeology elitist?' showed results of exactly 50% saying yes and 50% saying no. There were 102 votes. Although these results are slightly limited as there is no background to the voters or no influencing factors to analyse, it shows half the representative population of this research do think that archaeology is elitist. There is a significant amount of the wider community that believe there are barriers to archaeology, appropriate programmes need to be established to interest more people and allow a way in for the people who are already interested.

4.4 Perceptions of the Grosvenor Park Excavation
Question 13 shows that 44 out of 57 people surveyed knows there is an excavation in Grosvenor Park (77.2%). 32 out of the 44 have actually been which means that 14 people who know about it have not visited. 72.2% is a good response which indicates people certainly do have an interest in archaeology. It also indicates the Grosvenor Park is an area of interest and people are willing to visit and learn about its past. The 14 people who have not visited (31.8%) may not have had the time yet. Perhaps they do find archaeology inaccessible but 8 of them were interested or very interested, it is more likely work restrictions or another personal matter has stopped them from visiting.

A very positive response taken from the questionnaire is the majority of people surveyed said the results from the excavation are either important or very important. This indicates how carefully planned the interpretation and presentation needs to be as there is a high amount of people who are expecting to learn about the past of Grosvenor Park. The results from question 15 also show that there are members of the wider community who can potentially be educated about archaeology, in perhaps a way they never imagined. 13 people said the importance of the results were neutral or less, but said they were either interested or very interested in archaeology. Maybe the Grosvenor Park situation is not appealing to some people or perhaps its history is not relevant to them. 6 people are not from Chester and 5 are students so there is a strong possibility their roots do not lie in Chester. Heritage is important to many people and even though this can be catered for at local sites there are methods to include people from wider areas.

Question 19 established how people would like the Grosvenor Park findings to be presented. (Figure 8.11) Although this will be addressed in section 6, the most popular response was by static methods. For example; in a newspaper or on the internet. A fair amount said in an exhibition (15.8%) which is a dynamic technique but on the whole this data reinforces that the wider community prefer to experience archaeology in a personal way. The question is however; is the best plan to give the audiences what they expect and require? Or, should the tactic be to focus more on using alternative methods, perhaps not favoured by the audience, but in the hope of breaking any barriers to archaeology? A balance can be reached which compromises on both aspects. This will be discussed in section 6.

5.0 Analysis of Secondary Resources
A range of secondary resources were analysed during this investigation in order to measure a wider population's satisfaction and perception of archaeology. Also to examine ways in which other archaeology services or societies have found successful ways in breaking barriers and reaching a wider audience. Following are examples of some of the research conducted.

5.1 Cambridgeshire Community Archaeology Website

Cambridgeshire community archaeology is committed to serving the wider community, by making easy access to archaeology and encouraging public involvement throughout the community. Within their projects, the local communities can be directly involved in preservation, investigation and promotion of their local heritage.

Boxworth Archaeology Project:
This project was funded by a grant supplied by the Local Heritage Initiative and support from south Cambridgeshire District Council, and the Council for British Archaeology. The excavation took place on a pasture land which was privately owned and ran for four weeks in summer of 2004. The project was designed to involve the local people through a direct experience. Cambridge County Council's Archaeology Field Unit provided training for locals in digging, recording and finds processing. Once the excavation was finished village research groups had been working on cleaning, cataloguing and organising their finds and records so a report could be prepared due later this year. Additionally, an open day took place which included site tours and a display which held some of the best finds. An exhibition also took place in Boxworth village hall, showing the finds from the excavation. During the excavation all local schools visited.
www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/archaeology/outreach/community/local/lhi_boxworth.htm

Mill Common Community Excavation:
In the winter of 2004-05 an excavation in Huntingdon revealed a large civil war ditch and traces of medieval activity. This excavation gained huge public interest however there was no direct public involvement. Therefore, Mill Common excavation was designed as a community excavation which provided the opportunities for local involvement. This gave local people the opportunity to learn about their heritage and gain some archaeological techniques. The excavation was run by Cambridgeshire County Council Archaeological Field Unit, and funded by Huntingdon and Godmanchester Civic Society through Local Heritage Initiative grant scheme. Public involvement was encouraged, as well as to improve archaeological knowledge within the town, the common and the surrounding areas. The project was run by professional archaeologists who supervised and trained volunteers. Within the nine days of excavation, there were 70 volunteers and around 300 visitors. Volunteers were able to learn about field techniques and post excavation. The findings were analysed and a report was due in 2006, as well as a talk on the dig taking place in February 2006. Additionally there were plans to make a display of the dig at Huntingdon Library.

The website is greatly explanatory on the excavation, public interest and the presentation of the findings after the excavation.
www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/archaeology/outreach/community/local/lhi_millcommon.htm

5.2 Winchester City Council Website

Hyde Community Archaeology Project:
This project was run by Winchester Museums service and was completed in 1999. The aim of the excavation was to uncover the plan of the east end of Hyde Abbey Church and to identify the burial place of Alfred the Great. The project was also designed to get the wider community involved with archaeology, and to work alongside professionals. Once the excavations were completed, post- excavation analysis began to take place. The website states that as new information is received updates will be published. The website is very explanatory about the past of the abbey and the findings within the four trenches.
www.winchester.gov.uk/GeneralR.asp?id=SX9452-A781BCE7

5.3 Zoological Trail Pilot - The Spring Bank Elephant Walk

This was a project sponsored by the Local Heritage Initiative (LHI) in Kingston Upon Hull. Its main objective was to get the local community involved in their heritage and archaeology. The programme was based upon Hull Zoological Gardens which existed between 1849 and 1862. The participants were to interpret the story of a 7 year old elephant who walked through Spring Bank every morning and evening whilst it was living in temporary accommodation, until the elephant house was built.

The local community were involved in producing various interpretative materials, for example way markers and leaflets. A heritage trail was designed as well as an interpretative sculpture that formed the destination of the trail. Research was conducted during local adult education classes. Skills were developed by conducting studies on local history and through project management, teamwork and participating in heritage interpretation workshops.

The findings of the programme were presented in exhibitions of old newspaper cuttings, photographs and maps, guided walks and training was provided for local walk leaders. The results were also presented on the LHI website. A more detailed account of this scheme can be found: www.lhi.org.uk

5.4 CBA Public Participation Examination

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) commenced an investigation into the extent of public participation in British archaeology in 2002. The study was established due to a perception that although there is an immense interest in archaeology, the full potential of the enthusiasm was not being embraced and utilised. There was also concern of disenchantment amongst the public.

A survey was produced and was sent to a range of individuals within the heritage and archaeological industry and it was also sent to various archaeological societies. This was done to gain their theories as to why the wider public do not participate in archaeology. The 4 questions are as follows:

Please provide examples of good practice in public participation in archaeology. These may be things you have initiated yourself or be things initiated by others which you recommend. If available, it would be helpful if you could provide references to any documentation, or e.g. any web addresses. Please do not send paper copies at this stage.

What do you consider are the principal barriers to increasing public participation in archaeology in all its forms?

Suggest realistic ways of reducing these barriers

Are there any related issues you would wish the working party to address or other observations you would like to make?

A random sample of some of the responses can be found in the appendix. (Figure 8.19) However, the general consensus was that the barriers to archaeology was that there is a feeling of 'them and us', problems with archaeological education and problems with the limited perception of archaeology as 'digging things up'.

A report was produced by the CBA, ‘Participating in the Past’. This documented the results of the research and recommendations in encouraging good practice in archaeology. Examples were; talk-and-chalk activities for adults, guided walks, viewing archaeologists at work, holding events and field walking. The final report and all of the responses can be found: www.britarch.ac.uk/caf

5.5 Journal of San Diego History

The San Diego Presidio was selected for excavation as an example of Spanish Colonialism. It was also believed to be useful site for comparative research between the differences in Spanish missions versus military administration behaviours in California. The San Diego presidio is the only site in California that can be fully excavated as it is on city property with no modern buildings surrounding it. The area was originally the first permanent settlement place by the Europeans. The site was used for research as well as educating undergraduate and graduate archaeology students from San Diego State University and public education on San Diego history. The site is visited by thousands of tourists every year. However, it was decided that volunteers would not be able to take part in the excavation due to varying educational backgrounds which would not have aided the project. Students were used due to their knowledge of excavating and archaeological research design, concepts of archaeological primary and secondary depositions and various other skills learnt prior to the excavation. Additionally, teachers were trained on how to produce a teacher training manual on archaeology. A lot of the people who visit the sit already live in San Diego, therefore generally having some knowledge on the sites history, however lectures were provided covering what is known about Spanish Colonisation, historical information about Spanish- Native American interaction and an overall summary of the archaeological excavation as well as incorporating previous projects and preservation of the sites during the 1930s, excavating techniques and exhibition of artefacts. With the attendance of children, time is devoted solely to them to talk about the archaeology. Additionally, with regards to tourists the lectures are adjusted to meet their needs and knowledge.

Journal of San Diego History, Winter 1991, Volume 37, Number 1:
Archaeological Excavation and Education at the San Diego Royal Presidio, 1987-1990 by Brad Bartel

5.6 Advice and encouragement for first time diggers (Current Archaeology)

Lisa Westcott describes how first time archaeologists need to be aware of what goes in to excavating a site. Before an excavation takes place, which involves members of the wider community, the leading archaeologists must inform of important factors before-hand.

Westcott L, 'Advice and Encouragement for first time Diggers', Current Archaeology, Volume XVIII, Number 5 (2007)

6.0 Recommendations

6.1 Interpretation

The signage at the Grosvenor Park needs to be improved drastically, to meet the needs of all audiences. (Figure 8.20)
The target audience needs to be carefully considered.
The excavation could be placed in a journal or report aimed specifically at academics.
Dynamic forms of interpretation.
The general public perception in Chester at present is that the archaeologists are only interested in the Romans.
To maintain credibility and interest it is imperative that if websites are advertised at a dig that they actually relate to the excavation in question. At the current excavation in Grosvenor park two websites are suggested on the information boards that do not directly have any correlation to the dig itself.
The archaeologists at a site need to be as approachable as possible. Therefore it is suggested that the “Yellow t-shirt” scheme or something similar should be reinstated.
In addition the general public also like to see that progress is being made at an excavation. Perhaps a regular diary or newsletter in the local press is another way of raising profile, visitors and future public funding.

6.2 Presentation
The findings from the Grosvenor Park excavation should be presented using static methods, such as in a leaflet, in a newspaper or on the internet. This would meet the requirements of the audience who find archaeology interesting but do not wish to become actively involved.

An exhibition containing information and finds from the excavation is also an appropriate way to present the results to the wider community. This could be done at the Grosvenor Museum or the Chester Visitor Centre. 21% of people surveyed suggested this, making it the second most popular method.

A tour of the site could be a successful way to present the findings of the excavations. A substantial amount of people stated that talking to an archaeologist would help them to understand an archaeological site. This answer was also popular amongst people who said it would help them to understand what archaeologists do.
The results of the survey show a distinct preference toward exhibitions. In light of this perhaps a regular exhibition of Chester’s archaeology could be staged.
Similarly, a DVD could be produced by the department and used to promote the diversity and importance of Chester's archaeology.

6.3 Educational Potential
A high amount of students stated that they were interested in archaeology and a significant amount said the results of the excavation were important. Perhaps a way in informing this audience and to educate them further would be to hold a presentation or lecture at the University of Chester. Also, 50% of University of Chester students believe archaeology is elitist so there is a large educational potential here. Secondary resources examined suggest that archaeological societies should collaborate with local Universities to get more people involved in archaeology.

Although no people under the age of 16 were surveyed in the questionnaire, there is huge educational potential with school children, especially at the Grosvenor Park. The site can be used for a range of cross curricular activities, for example; history, geography and physical education. The children can also be given a first hand experience of archaeology. Various secondary resources indicated that involving children in archaeology was essential in increasing public participation.

A high percentage of the people surveyed, who were interested or very interested in archaeology, were over the age of 55 and retired. However, these people said they did not participate in any excavations etc. There is educational potential here so a recommendation here would be to reach this section of the population. Perhaps by organizing a field trip or advertising daytime field work.

Chester has a diverse archaeological background and because of this, perhaps walking tours around the city, led by Chester archaeology would be another way of maintaining public interest.

A few people, who work in the archaeological or heritage industry, commented on how their work was misunderstood and how the wider public do not appreciate the extent of work archaeologists go into. Professional archaeologists, or amateur, could be taught how to teach and deal with people with no prior knowledge or experience in the field. The York Archaeological Trust believe a principal barrier to increasing public participation is;

'There are some archaeologists who lack experience and prefer not to tackle the various challenges associated with dealing with the public' (York Archaeological Trust)

6.4 Marketing of the Grosvenor Park Excavation
The research indicated that a majority of people enjoyed watching the excavation. Times could be advertised in the local newspaper or on the Chester Amphitheatre Project website when people can go watch the archaeologists at work and ask them questions. The findings should be presented at the excavations, perhaps in trays, so the wider community can see directly what is being found.

The Grosvenor Excavation should be marketed in places where the wider community indicated where they would like to see the findings presented. In this case the most popular medium was in the local newspaper.

Television was also a popular medium for findings to be presented, therefore, the excavation should be marketed in the regional news. An event could be organised at Grosvenor Park, on a weekend to allow full-time workers to attend. It should be emphasised that it is a day dedicated to the wider community to have fun and have an opportunity to learn and experience archaeology.

Advertising the excavation in the local press will attract residents of Chester, however, a high percentage of the people surveyed in Grosvenor Park were not from Chester. Chester is clearly a city popular with tourists so the excavation should be advertised in the Chester Visitor Centre or perhaps at another tourist attraction in a leaflet. 8.8% said they would like to see the findings presented in a pamphlet or leaflet.

The survey showed that people would like to see the findings of the excavation on a website. This website should be advertised in the local press and on the signage in-situ and it should be improved.

7.0 Bibliography

Bartel B, 'Archaeological Excavation and Education at the San Diego Royal Presidio, 1987 - 1990', Journal of San Diego Royal Presidio, Volume 37, Number 1 (1991)

Howard P, Heritage: Management, Interpretation, Identity (London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006)

Timothy DJ & Boyd SW, Heritage Tourism (Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2003)

Uzzell D & Ballantyne R, Contemporary Issues in Heritage and Environmental Interpretation (London: HMSO, 1998)

Westcott L, 'Advice and Encouragement for first time Diggers', Current Archaeology, Volume XVIII, Number 5 (2007)

Websites

British Archaeological Jobs Resource, Short Guide to Interpretation Panels and Leaflets in Archaeology, (2004), [Online]. Available: www.bajr.org/Documents/Interpret

Council for British Archaeology, CBA Public Participation Survey Responses, (2002), [Online]. Available: www.britarch.ac.uk/caf

Council for British Archaeology, Stakeholder Participation in Strategic Land-Use Planning for the Historic Environment, (2003), [Online]. Available: www.britarch.ac.uk/conserve

Council for British Archaeology, Stakeholder Project: Summary and Conclusions, (2003), [Online]. Available: www.britarch.ac.uk/conserve

Local Heritage Initiative, Information or Interpretation, [Online]. Available: www.lhi.org.uk/docs/style_sheet

Cambridgeshire Community Archaeology Website, [Online]. Available: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/archaeology/outreach/community/

www.worcestershire.whub.org.uk/home/wcc-arch-community.html

Winchester City Council Website, Hyde Community Archaeology Project, [Online]. Available: www.winchester.gov.uk/GeneralR.asp?id=SX9452-A781BCE7

Local People: Local Past, [Online]. Available: www.olioweb.me.uk/local

8.0 Appendix

Figure 8.1: Research Proposal

Archaeological Research Proposal

Team Members
Amy Treble
Gavin Smithies
Hannah Clipson

Brief

Research Issue

The investigation is concerned with establishing the wider community’s perception of archaeology. Archaeology in general, and of the Grosvenor Park excavation in Chester. Questionnaires will be compiled in order to measure a random sample of the public’s thoughts and opinions. Secondary Research will also be conducted.

Aim of Research

The wider community’s perception of archaeology will be measured by distributing a questionnaire. The responses will help determine if people think archaeology is elitist and inaccessible. The ideas obtained from the questionnaire, and from secondary resources, will be used to recommend ways in which people can enjoy and participate in archaeology. The research findings and suggestions will be compiled in a final report.

Client

The client is Jane Hebblewhite, Community Archaeological Officer for the City of Chester Council. The initial meeting was held on May 14th were Jane explained the key aims and objectives of the investigation. The client explained how there is concern that archaeology is elitist. Therefore, the aim was to find the wider community’s perception and interest in archaeology and suggest ways barriers can be broken using the research findings.

Proposal

The questionnaires will be ready for distribution from the week starting Monday 21st. They will be distributed to a random sample of the population as it has been acknowledged a person’s individual profile can influence their perceptions. The questionnaires will be analysed after approximately 2 weeks.

Data

Primary Sources: Primary data will be collected from the questionnaires, a poll set up on the University of Chester Students’ Union website and hopefully from email correspondence.

Secondary Sources: A variety of resources will be used to help in this research. For example, journals, websites, previous reports and text books.

Proposal Methodology

The questionnaire will obtain both qualitative and quantitative responses. The data will be evaluated and collated and the information will be put into graphs using Microsoft Excel. Percentages will be calculated.

Figure 8.2: Questionnaire

Questionnaire: The Public Perception of Archaeology
on the Grosvenor Park Excavation

The following questionnaire is part of an undergraduate project where three students, part of the University of Chester, are examining the perceptions of Archaeology.

Section A: About Yourself
This will help to analyse the survey more accurately

Please circle as appropriate

1) Are you: Male Female

2) Age: Under 16 16-25
40-55 55- 65 60+

3) Where is your full time residency? Please state area……………………………….........

4) Please circle the most appropriate job title:
A Technical Professional Administrative

Managerial worker Teacher

B Clerical worker Retail worker

C Manual worker Retired

5) Do you work: Full time Part time

Student Retired Other


Section B: Your interest/knowledge of Archaeology
This section is to get some information on your knowledge/ interest of archaeology

6) How interested are you in archaeology?

Very interested Interested Neutral Not very interested Not interested at all

7) Do you watch informative television programmes about archaeology?

Yes No (If No please go to question 9)



8) Which programmes do you watch? Please tick as many as applicable.
Time Team
Time Watch
Lost Treasures
Other………………………………....................

9) Do you read any books or magazines about archaeology?

Yes No (If No, please go to question 10)

If yes, which ones?

……………………………....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................


10) Have you ever visited an archaeological site or excavation before?

Yes No (If No, please go to question 12)

If yes, which ones?

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

11) How often do you visit an archaeological site or excavation?

Once a week Once a month Once every six months

Once a year Less than once a year

Section C
This section examines your perception of archaeology

12) Do you work in the heritage industry? Yes No (If No, please go to question 13)

If yes, how do you think the wider community perceive your profession?

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................


13) Do you know there is an excavation in Grosvenor Park?

Yes No

14) Have you visited the Grosvenor Park excavation?

Yes No

15) How important are the results of this excavation to you?

Very important Important Neutral Not very important Not Important at all

16) How important are the following to help you understand an archaeological site? Please put in order of importance, with 1 being the highest.

Signage
Talking to an archaeologist
Guide Book/ Pamphlet
Audio Tour
Hands On Activities
Pod Cast
Other suggestions……………………………….......................................................

17) Do you understand what the archaeologists are doing?

Yes No

If no, what would help you to understand more?

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

18) Did you enjoy watching the excavation?

Yes No



19) When the Grosvenor Park excavation has finished, how would you like their findings to be presented to you?

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

20) Are you/ have you ever been actively involved with any excavations, re-enactments etc that have taken place?

Yes No
If yes, please state what

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

What was the most enjoyable part?

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

21) Did it meet your expectations?

Yes No
If no, please state why

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

22) In as many or as few words as you would like, how would you describe an archaeologist and what they do?

………………………………................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Thank you very much for your participation in this survey, you have been most helpful

8.4: Correspondences

8.4.1 Email to Faye Simpson

From: GAVIN SMITHIES 0508192@chester.ac.uk>
>To: faye_simpson99@hotmail.com
>Subject: Archaeological Research
>Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 12:59:02 +0100
>
>Hi Faye
>We are a group of level two History and Achaeology student from Chester
>University. We are currently involved in a project for Chester Archaeology
>and
>are working in conjunction with Jane Hebblethwhite. We understand that you
>are
>currently undertaking a Phd on the communities involvement in archaeology.
>As
>part of our project we are conducting a survey of the publics perception of
>archaeology in the 21st century with a view to including the data in a
>recomendation for the future interpretation of sites in the city. Any input
>you
>could contribute would be gratefully recieved and naturally any findings we
>have >would be made available to you if you wish.
>
>Thanks
>Gavin Smithies
>Chester University

Response

Hi Gavin,

That sounds like a fantastic project, would be more than happy to
contribute, it will be really interesting to see the results. This type of
project is a huge step forward for heritage management in the UK, especially
if these results will be implemented in future.

Don't know whether you have also looked at S, Jones, C. holtorf, G. Lucas,
and N, Merriman work all who have looked at peoples perceptions of heritage,
though most of these have been qualiative surveys and based on general
perceptions rather than more localised community perceptions (with the
exception of Jones).

Yes PhD on community archaeology, accessing its values through qualitative
ethnographic survey. I am coming up to the site in June for a couple of
days, and am more than happy to chat then and share some of my intial
results, and also slightly later in the summer results from any work I do
relating to Chester. If its at all helpful discuss ideas of peoples
perceptions from my prevoius work.

If you need any more info etc before then you are more welcome to contact me
on 01392 273788.

Best wishes
Faye

8.4.2: Email to Robert Isherwood

Hello Robert,
>
> We are a group of level two students at Chester University. As part of the
> current module, we are undertaking a project for Chester Archaeology, which
> involves carrying out a survey of public perceptions of 21st century
> archaeology and a recomendation for the interpretation of a dig at the
> Grosvenor park, in the city. We understand that you have recently researched
> emerging trends in archaeology and wonder if any of this emerging information
> could be relivant to our project. Any assistance would be gratefully
> recieved.
>
> Thanks
>
> Gavin Smithies
> Chester University
>

Response

Hi Gavin,

My research is looking specifically at community archaeology and I am not sure
what aspects of this you would be interested in. Community archaeology is
certainly a growing area of activity in respect of public involvement in
archaeology. You might get some idea of the scale of it by looking at the HLF
website which gives brief details of projects they are funding.

I can give you a few references that you might find useful and/or interesting.

Holtorf, C. 2005 From Stonehenge to Las Vegas - Archaeology as Popular
Culture.
Walnut Creek: AltaMira.

Holtorf, C. 2007 Archaeology is a Brand! The Meaning of Archaeology in
Contemporary Popular Culture. Oxford: Archaeopress.

These two books provide good discussion of public perceptions of archaeology.

If you are interested in examples of site interpretation for public
consumption,
the work of Leone and Potter at Annapolis is very interesting. Much has been
written about this. Look at -

Leone, M. and Potter, P.B. 1996 Archaeological Annapolis. In, Preucel
and Hodder
(eds) Contemporary Archaeology - A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.

Other interesting sites that have been interpreted for public consumption are
Catal Hoyuk (Hodder); Flag Fen (Pryor) and Jorvik (York Archaeological Trust).
I believe there are websites that relate to these sites.

Also, if you are intending the use of questionnaires in your research can I
recommend that you look at some of the literature that relates to this in the
field of Social Research. I am sure you will find this useful and help you
avoid any pitfalls. Much has been written on this.

I hope there might be something useful to you in the above comments.
If I can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me
again.

Best wishes,
Rob Isherwood

8.4.3: Email to Cheshire News

Dear Sir or Madam,
We are three students at Chester University currently undertaking a project
focusing on how the wider community perceive archaeology, specifically
concerning the Grosvenor Park excavation, by carrying out a survey in the wider
community. We are hoping that the project will lead to a renewal of the
interepretation of archaeology, suggesting improvements of the presentation of
the Grosvenor Park excavation and any future excavations that may take place.

We are enquiring to see if there is any way you can inform the public of this
possibly through the Chester Chronicle newspaper, where we would welcome any
views of interpreting heritage and archaeology through the following email
address: grosvenorproject@yahoo.co.uk

We will be found in the Grosvenor Park on various days, and would also be
available for photos.

Many thanks for your help.

Amy, Gavin and Hannah

(No response was received)

8.4.4: Email to Dan Hull

Dear Sir or Madam,
We are three students at the University Of Chester currently carrying out a
project on how the wider community perceives archaeology. We are carrying out a
survey in the wider community which we will then analyse individuals
interpretation of an excavation currently taking place in Chester Grosvenor
Park. Our project is hoping to give ideas as to how excavations could be
interpreted, and we are required to look at other excavations that have taken
place and the interpretation of these by the public.

We were enquiring if there was any other research that has been taken place in
this, and if there is any other information you would be able to supply us with
that may help us out in this project.

Thankyou very much for your time and help.
Yours Sincerely,

Amy Treble, Gavin Smithies, Hannah Clipson

Response

Dear Amy, Gavin and Hannah,

Thanks for your enquiry. There is a quite a lot of material on the public perception of archaeology, but not so much of the fieldwork or excavation itself that I can think of. It’s certainly an interesting topic. Emma Waterton at Keele University has done some work on how scheduled ancient monuments are perceived. You could try contacting her on: e.waterton@his.keele.ac.uk. She’s also published something recently in Grabow, Hull & Waterton (2007) Which Past, Whose Future? Perceptions of the Past (BAR), which should be out next month.
Don Henson may also get in touch with some ideas…

Good luck!

Dan Hull.

8.4.5: Email to Emma Waterton

Dear Emma,
We are three students at Chester University and we are currently undertaking a
project on how archaeology is perceived by the public, focusing on the Chester
Grosvenor Park where there is currently an excavation taking place. We recently
got an email from Dan Hull from British Archaeology and he suggested we get in
touch with you as he said you have done some work on how ancient monuments are
perceived. We were wondering if it is it possible for you to supply us with
some of the information you found which may help us in our work.
Many Thanks for your time.
Amy, Gavin and Hannah

Response

Dear All,

I'd be happy to talk to you and help with information if I can...but
first, can you tell me a little more about how you are using the
excavation? Are you conducting interviews with members of the public, or
surveys? That sort of thing...also, what are the questions you are hoping
to answer with this project? I have worked with some local communities in
the past and am currently drawing together ideas about archaeology and the
public...I am sure I would have some references you might find useful.

Best wishes,
Emma

Figure 8.5: Graph showing Male and Female age ranges

Figure 8.6: Graph showing Occupations

Figure 8.18 Newspaper cutting from Chester Evening Standard

Figure 8.19

York Archaeological Trust
(Andrew Jones)

Question 1

The main place to look are the YAT website www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk and the magazine Yorkshire Archaeology Today this is produced 3 time a year and with the Annual report of YAT gives the public a good overview of all work of the Trust.
We still think that JORVIK and the ARC provide opportunities for people to participate.

Question 2

The main barrier is the cost of running archaeological projects. This means that we (YAT) have to charge up to £40 per day for people (including children) to participate.
There are some archaeologists who lack experience and prefer not to tackle the various challenges associated with dealing with the public The main challenge is paying for enough professional staff to supervise health and safety, excavation, finds processing, recording etc.to meet current professional standards.

Question 3

One way is to introduce tiers of staff who act as monitors to less experienced staff. So a range of tasks and supervisors can be organised, not all of whom meed to be paid professionals. I guess there will be many archaeologists in local authorities etc who might not be happy with this kind of arrangement.

Question 4

There must be publicity/community gains for many developers to have education/participation activities at sites being developed. If archaeological work could start well before planning permission is granted, then more time would be avaialble for planning, training etc.

Boston and District Archaeological Society
(Ian Jebbett, Secretary)

Question 1

Examples of good practice

Within Lincolnshire there are several examples of good practice, we feel however, that special mention should be made of the work of the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire, its community archaeology team and its commercial arm Archaeological Project Services. Through the Heritage Trust members of the public can access archaeology not only as active participants but also via lectures, walks and living history events. Staff have given up their free time often with little or no payment in order to teach members of the above societies archaeological field skills. Staff have also assisted the Boston society in its post excavation work.

Question 2

Principal barriers

The principal barriers to effective public participation would appear twofold. Firstly, the community archaeologists are funded in part by district councils who face continued financial pressures, often the first cuts are in heritage or cultural services. Secondly, the pressures on archaeologists involved in developer-funded projects is enormous, there is often not the time to involve the public in archaeological work taking place in their locality either as active participants or as visitors

Question 3

Reducing the barriers

Perhaps the best way to reduce barriers is an increase in community archaeologists, although local authority funding may not prove viable, other alternative sources could perhaps be found at national level from for example, English Heritage or HLF, and then allocated as needed. We are uncertain as to how realistic a proposal this would be nor who would administer such a scheme although the CBA might be best placed. The promotion of other archaeological activities such as field survey rather than excavation might create greater opportunities for public participation.

Question 4

Other issues

The enormous public interest in archaeology will only continue if there are real opportunities to become involved. However, as with any subject there is a certain amount of politics, either real or imagined, which for the person first starting out in archaeology can prove a deterrent and can only serve to widen gaps and hinder people becoming involved in the subject.

University of Manchester Field Archaeology Centre
(Robina McNeil)

Question 1

Examples of good practice

UMFAC is involved in five areas - Research, Community Involvement, Local Heritage Initiative, Archaeology Days and Heritage Open Days, Past Below Ground
  • Research - Invite local groups to use the SMR for research purposes. Main success in this area is A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester published for AIA conference in 2000. Local societies and individuals researched and wrote sections of the gazetteer, which was co-ordinated and edited by UMFAC. This resulted in effective partnership and gave people sense of ownership and pride of place
  • Community Involvement - Staff are presidents, trustees of local societies. We make small grants available for purchase of equipment etc in return for archive being deposited at the Centre. Evening lectures to local societies. We have successfully held a number of seminars/workshops notably on Valetta and LHI to which all local societies from the region invited. Involved in vocational training and training excavations for undergraduates
  • Local Heritage Initiative - We are actively involved with the LHI project at Mellor and provided advice, expertise, staff and training. As a result of seminar a number of projects (Royton, Stockport, Moorside are proceeding
  • Archaeology Open Days and Heritage Open Days - Guided tours of Castlefield, Park Bridge: excavations and surveys for children at Gorse hall, Park Bridge and Smithills: Romans at Setanti (Tameside Visitor Attraction)
  • Past Below Ground - We take archaeology into schools and link it in with curriculum Question 2

Principal barriers

  • PPG 15 and PPG 16
  • Unease between professionals and amateur/volunteers
  • Lack of encouragement and interest between parties
  • Lack of training and accreditation

Question 3

Realistic Ways of Reducing these Barriers
  • We welcome the consultation document Roles and Skills in Archaeology and see Occupational Standards as beneficial to professional and public
  • Active working partnerships
  • Not sure if Heritage Link will also be beneficial in this area
  • Specific projects
  • Hosting seminars have proved to be successful perhaps because they focus on specific topics and have a workshop element to them. This is one way to encourage public participation and opinion, improve public interest and knowledge, and promote the study and safeguarding of the region's archaeological and historic environment
  • Archaeology Open Days and Heritage Open Days

Surrey Archaeological Society

(David Graham)

[A submission in two parts, see also below]

Question 1

The Surrey Archaeological Society (SyAS) has a number of programmes designed to encourage public participation in archaeology. Our Community Archaeology scheme, jointly funded by SyAS and the County Council, employs a professional to carry out historic landscape surveys in specified areas with the particular brief of involving local clubs and people in all aspects of the work. This has proved very popular and a number of projects have been completed.
The Society also organises field walking, excavations and training days, all of which are open to anyone, either to participate directly or, where the site allows, to watch. The excavations at Guildford Castle were visited by thousands of members of the public.
The Society runs a Young Archaeologists Club whose members help with practical projects as well as enjoying a wide variety of visits, talks and hands-on events.
The Society maintains a medieval moated site which is open to the public at all times and is provided with an explanatory notice board and leaflets. Other initiatives have involved helping local authorities set up heritage trails, producing, among many other publications, a full colour illustrated book on the archaeology of Surrey aimed at the general public.
A lecture programme is organised each winter, specialist groups work within the Society and the library is open to the public for an initial three free visits.

Question 2

The principal barrier to further public participation is a lack of resources. Supervising unskilled volunteers, however enthusiastic, takes time and effort and there is a limit to the amount of time that the Society's more experienced members can devote to this and still produce adequate academic reports. Our most successful projects have involved co-operation between the Society and professionals, where the work load can be shared.

Question 3

Archaeological organisations / County Councils should be encouraged to employ staff with the specific brief of increasing public participation. Museums should be encouraged to be more pro-active in organising projects in their areas and in using their collections to give hands-on training to newcomers. Museums should also provide facilities, both in terms of space and equipment, which can act as a focus for voluntary work.

Question 4

Public participation in terms of watching events, visiting sites, attending lectures and reading books is probably, in Surrey anyway, fairly well catered for. Actual physical participation in projects is more difficult to manage, particularly when dealing with large numbers of unskilled people. In our opinion the key lies in a good basic theoretical and practical training programme - which require resources. The CBA could well help in this area, with a training pack explaining the basics, with suggestions for local courses, lecturers (very much needed in Surrey) and more regional practical training initiatives.

Bembridge Heritage Society
(Mr P B Frankland, Chairman)

Question 1

It is most important that good practices and good public relations be applied in any form of archeology. In Bembridge we are fortunate I having a Heritage Centre which records and displays the History and Heritage of Bembridge. Some of our members belong to the Vectis Searchers Metal Detecting Club who have a strict code of conduct and work in close co-operation with Ruth Waller our County Archeologist. We are now working with Ruth Waller in the initiation of an Isle of Wight Community Archeology Project using the Parish of Bembridge as a pilot scheme, which, we hope will make the residence more aware of their local archeology and in which they can participate.

Question 2

Funding is considered to be the principle barrier to increasing public participation in archeology and setting up various schemes as above. Lack of skills by the public in recognizing archeology sites and field walking techniques is also a problem.

Question 3

Direct more lottery money towards History and Heritage Societies, who have specific aims and objectives for developing a local interest in the subject. Provide courses at local technical collages on the basic principles of Archeology and engage local Archeologists to work with local communities.

Question 4

A field hand book on the basic principles of Archeology would be especially useful to local groups.

Figure 8.20

When designing an interpretation panel or plaque, imagine the audience are one of four stereotypes.

Just looks at the title and the picture...then walks on.
Just looks at the title and first paragraph as well as the pictures before moving on.
Looks at everything and then walks on...(Usually saying...hmm I never knew that).
Looks at everything, is interested and goes to a library or bookshop to find out more.

The interpretation should work on ALL four levels of interest, and there is nothing wrong with the viewer only getting the information they want from only the title of essays and picture. There is something wrong if they can't though.

Archaeological Jobs Resource, Short Guide to Interpretation Panels and Leaflets in Archaeology, (2004), [Online]. Available: www.bajr.org/Documents/Interpret

Figure 8.10



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