# Knowledge base: Adam Mickiewicz University

Back

## Theoretical and practical aspects of popularization of archaeology and archaeological heritage. Selected examples of the application of social research

#### Abstract

This dissertation belongs to the field of public archaeology, the concept of which emerged in the 1970s (McGimsey 1972). It focuses on the multi-faceted analysis and interpretation of the popularization of knowledge about archaeology and its heritage in society, looking at it from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It discusses the definitions of public archaeology in a broad context and underscores the need for dialogue between archaeologists and the society, as well as the importance of legal aspects, local problems, and the role the researchers themselves play in solving the latter. The dissertation also describes extensively the forms of popularizing knowledge about archaeology and its heritage—from museology, through full-scale archaeological reconstructions, historical re-enactments, open-air events, archaeological tourism, to new technologies. This work mainly aims, however, to gain—by studying extensive empirical data—a deeper understanding of the functioning and reception of archaeological events. It analyses and interprets the data acquired during social research conducted in Poland and Denmark in 2016. The study group consisted of 1239 people, including 1185 participants and 54 historical reenactors, who took part in four open-air archaeological events: the 22nd Archaeological Festival in Biskupin “Archeo-Fashion Week” (N=520), the Slavic Culture Festival in Gniezno (participants: N=85, reenactors: N=25), the “Artefacts” Festival organized by the Museum of Ancient Masovian Metallurgy in Pruszkow (N=104), and the Stone Age Festival at the Centre for Historical-Archaeological Research and Communication in Lejre (participants: N=476, reenactors: N=29). The dissertation considers numerous aspects that have not yet been the subject of scientific debate, i.e. the profile of people participating in open-air events, including historical reenactors who recreate past realities; motivations and expectations of the participants; regionalization of the events; strengths and weaknesses of presentations; and the audience’s level of archaeological knowledge. It pays special attention to the function of open-air events, emphasizing the superiority of their social (socializing) function over the educational one since the former resonates more with the audience. This contribution will hopefully encourage a debate on the need for systematic social research dedicated to the popularization of archaeology, which should take into consideration the direct audience of archaeological events. It is the first attempt in Polish academic literature to analyse and interpret the functioning and reception of open-air events based on extensive empirical data. The results of the study presented here can be useful to all organizers of events of this type and, at the same time, can offer guidance on assessing archaeological events and creating popularization programmes in the future.
Record ID
UAMe7c975f3919d419ea4924fe82fe05edc
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Title in Polish
Teoretyczne i praktyczne aspekty popularyzacji archeologii i dziedzictwa archeologicznego. Wybrane przykłady zastosowań badań społecznych
Title in English
Theoretical and practical aspects of popularization of archaeology and archaeological heritage. Selected examples of the application of social research
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying University/Institution (when outside AMU)
Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii PAN w Warszawie (IAiE PAN)
Discipline
archeology / (humanities) / (humanities)
Scientific discipline (2.0)
1.1 archaeology
Status
Finished
Year of creation
2021
Start date
11-04-2019
Defense Date
18-03-2021
Supervisor
Internal reviewers
Krzysztof Olechnicki Krzysztof Olechnicki,, Undefined Affiliation
External reviewers
Keywords in English
archaeological heritage, dissemination of archaeology, open-air archaeological events, the social research
Abstract in English
This dissertation belongs to the field of public archaeology, the concept of which emerged in the 1970s (McGimsey 1972). It focuses on the multi-faceted analysis and interpretation of the popularization of knowledge about archaeology and its heritage in society, looking at it from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It discusses the definitions of public archaeology in a broad context and underscores the need for dialogue between archaeologists and the society, as well as the importance of legal aspects, local problems, and the role the researchers themselves play in solving the latter. The dissertation also describes extensively the forms of popularizing knowledge about archaeology and its heritage—from museology, through full-scale archaeological reconstructions, historical re-enactments, open-air events, archaeological tourism, to new technologies. This work mainly aims, however, to gain—by studying extensive empirical data—a deeper understanding of the functioning and reception of archaeological events. It analyses and interprets the data acquired during social research conducted in Poland and Denmark in 2016. The study group consisted of 1239 people, including 1185 participants and 54 historical reenactors, who took part in four open-air archaeological events: the 22nd Archaeological Festival in Biskupin “Archeo-Fashion Week” (N=520), the Slavic Culture Festival in Gniezno (participants: N=85, reenactors: N=25), the “Artefacts” Festival organized by the Museum of Ancient Masovian Metallurgy in Pruszkow (N=104), and the Stone Age Festival at the Centre for Historical-Archaeological Research and Communication in Lejre (participants: N=476, reenactors: N=29). The dissertation considers numerous aspects that have not yet been the subject of scientific debate, i.e. the profile of people participating in open-air events, including historical reenactors who recreate past realities; motivations and expectations of the participants; regionalization of the events; strengths and weaknesses of presentations; and the audience’s level of archaeological knowledge. It pays special attention to the function of open-air events, emphasizing the superiority of their social (socializing) function over the educational one since the former resonates more with the audience. This contribution will hopefully encourage a debate on the need for systematic social research dedicated to the popularization of archaeology, which should take into consideration the direct audience of archaeological events. It is the first attempt in Polish academic literature to analyse and interpret the functioning and reception of open-air events based on extensive empirical data. The results of the study presented here can be useful to all organizers of events of this type and, at the same time, can offer guidance on assessing archaeological events and creating popularization programmes in the future.
Thesis file
• File: 1
urn:amu-prod:UAMe7c975f3919d419ea4924fe82fe05edc