Participate or Perish

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Paper presented at 18th EAA, in Helsinki 2012-09-01. Session organised by Archaeological Dialogues: Can an archaeologist be a public intellectual?

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Participate or Perish

  1. 1. Participate or Perish Damned if we do, damned if we don’t? Åsa M Larsson Societas Archaeolgica Upsaliensis
  2. 2. We want to reach outThe session Social Media for Archaeology atEAA 2012 filled the room over capacity.Outreach is no longer disdained by researchers.
  3. 3. Public archaeology
  4. 4. But not this public…?
  5. 5. Archaeology has a different culture…Some disciplines take public discourse for granted In archaeology, the discourse is often generated by people with another background Jared Diamond
  6. 6. Archaeology is just about the past?• IDENTITY • CULTURE• MINORITY RIGHTS • STRUCTURE• GENDER ROLES • NATURE/NURTURE• ECONOMY • DEVELOPMENT• CLIMATE • INEQUALITY• DIET • RELIGION• URBANISATION • DEATH• WAR AND CONFLICT• DISEASE etc, etc…• NATIONALISM
  7. 7. The debate is ongoing - with or without us
  8. 8. Social mediaIt’s one more tool, not an end in itself• Practice make perfect• Find networks, support• Crowdsource information, tips, advice• Establish a relationship with media/journalists
  9. 9. Think global, start localo Each great journey starts with a simple stepo Better chance to influenceo Unique perspectiveo Easier to make a splasho More needed!
  10. 10. Raiders of the lost site?– Vi vill inte berätta för allmänheten var denna plats ligger ännu eftersom vi ärrädda att det kommer hit arkeologer eller andra som vill göra egnaundersökningar, säger Ingrid Cassel. (…) Det vi önskar från kommunens sida är attdet inte utfärdas tillstånd för arkeologer som vill göra utgrävningar.”We don’t want tho tell the public where this site is yet, since weare afraid archaeologists or others will come here and do theirown investigations. (…) What we from the municipality want isthat no permission shall be granted to archaeologists wanting todo their own excavation.” Ingrid Cassel, Municipality councillor
  11. 11. Why do we need archaeologists? - anyone can find stuff!Comment: joe from colorado“I understand digging our national treasures in certain places but you ppl are ridicilous youthink you are the only ones that should dig, well get off your asses and dig or sit down and letothers enjoy a good relaxing hobby your laws are a power trip, I enjoy digging for treasureand lets not forget how many metal detectorist that have made major discoveries, wherewere you why didnt you find the saxon treasure, why dont you just leave ppl alone andworry about your own back yard.”
  12. 12. Putting our expertise to use– defending our discipline
  13. 13. Are we free to express an opinion? Press relations are more and more important to universities, government agencies, companies – mounting pressure to control speach and participation
  14. 14. But if we don’t…?
  15. 15. Asa M Larssonasa.larsson@sau.se@ArchAsawww.archasa.se

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