Archaeological practice reveals a remarkable diversity of approaches to the management of archaeological heritage. Starting with increasingly complex methods of field research and survey, management approaches use laboratory-based analytical approaches and integrate interpretative models. These define the nature of archaeological sites, the natural decay and human processes that influence their survival, the evidence used for reconstruction and for methods of interpretation and display. From single case studies to more general, developed concepts of heritage management, an increasing spectrum of meanings and values engage and inform academic, managerial and social concerns. Financial restrictions and archaeological project limitations create new challenges for all, sometimes frustrating the development of archaeological heritage management practice. Archaeological agency is now faced with old and new constraints together with requirements and pressure to ‘perform’. This suggests an increasing and important role for the profession in cultural heritage management.
The theme invites discussion on issues regarding heritage management: defining cultural value, conservation methods, rationale for restoration, risk management, illicit trade, preventive and rescue archaeology, museum presentation and virtual museums. There is room for discussion on issues related to cultural-heritage regulation, management approaches, legislative and institutional aspects, interpretation, presentation and tourism development, etc.
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