Urban centres are places of constant activity and change, so archaeological investigation there presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Discussions about urban archaeology are far from new, but this volume (inspired by the European Association of Archaeologists’ 2018 conference, and produced by the EAA Urban Archaeology Community) looks at the complexities of these projects in their own right, rather than in the context of the results produced.
Urban archaeology is characterised by a series of tensions: between archaeologists and other stakeholders; between the historical and the natural environment; between excavation and preservation in situ, and so on. A key theme that runs throughout this publication is the importance of compromise and communication between archaeologists and the other parties involved, not least the people who live in the towns and cities at the heart of the issue. The place of public engagement as a central part of urban archaeology transcends borders, legislatures, and wider contexts, and underlies every discussion.
Bringing together case studies from across Europe and beyond, this volume highlights the challenges shared by many archaeologists working in urban centres, and shows how much they can benefit from the sharing of knowledge and experiences. An insightful read, and one that will doubtless influence the way archaeology takes place in urban centres in the future.
Managing Archaeology in Dynamic Urban Centres Paul Belford and Jeroen Bouwmeester (eds) Sidestone Press, £40 ISBN 978-9088906053