We believe that the past belongs to all of us, and that whoever studies it, does it on behalf of the community.
It is therefore the scholar’s duty to share the results of research with the public. A scholar is a cultural mediator between the past and the present, and s/he has the power to influence the way society looks at its past and consequently, at the way it looks at itself.
Certainly, this is an incredibly fascinating task but it bears great responsibility as well. The archaeologist, unlike an historian or a philologist, works on the field and while digging, s/he alters the landscape influencing directly the lives of the community. It is a right of everyone then, to be informed of the work of the archaeologist, and take part into the decision-making process around the remains unveiled in the area. When it comes to the ‘cultural landscape’, the work of the archaeologist is key and fundamental to its conservation and overall management.Even though these concepts may appear linear, they are in fact quite revolutionary.
For years, it has been indeed common for archaeologists – at least in Italy – not to publish even the results of their excavations. This way, not only a huge number of information has been lost forever but also, archaeologists have failed their mission toward the community.
Recently, however, there has been a countertrend: not only more and more research is being published and made accessible to the general public, but archaeologists are widening their range of skills. Today, restoration, conservation, management and communication are only few of the activities the archaeologist of the new century engages with everyday.
However, these skills are still not widely accepted and recognized by either the Italian institutions or community as necessary to the profession.
In other parts of the World instead, the analysis of the impact of archaeology on society is a crucial aspect of the overall discipline and it has already been formally articulated into a set of methods, rules and professional profiles.
Our mission is to legitimize these activities in order to bring the discipline of Public Archaeology in Italy up to international academic standards. Italian universities have to offer students the opportunity to learn what Public Archaeology is and how it can contribute to the profession and the role of archaeology within contemporary society.
Roots, or our unconventional book
Everything began in March 2015, when the book “Archeostorie. Unconventional handbook of real-life archaeology” (Cisalpino, Cinzia Dal Maso and Francesco Ripanti eds.) was published.
This publication provides a window into the daily lives of archaeologists in Italy: 34 professionals gathered together to tell the world their own experience. The resulting picture is basically a statement: being an archaeologist today implies and refers to much more than the classical archaeologist brandishing a trowel!
Already back then we knew that was just the beginning of a great adventure, that is now culminating with this scientific Journal and a Magazine that aims to reach a wide audience of scholars, students and non-professionals.