From Heritage to Stewardship

Anthony Pace

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 From Heritage to Stewardship

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  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology


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This article focuses on the sustainable care of archaeological places. It discusses the extent to which constructs of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainability’ are appropriate to the management of archaeological sites. The article begins by revisiting the nature of archaeological sites as resources, and by describing how heritage consumption is intricately linked to heritage transforms. It then reviews some core areas which inform ideas of sustainability in the care of archaeological sites: the ideas of sustainability and sustainable development; heritage value theory and, alternatively, the reaffirmation of conservation philosophy to define intrinsic values of monuments; the idea of stewardship as an alternative to that of heritage; and, finally, the terms of sustainability which best connect with stewardship. Throughout, a ‘post-heritage’ point of departure is adopted, to reiterate the primacy of conservation philosophy as a precautionary response to the transformative and damaging effects of heritage consumption.

Keywords: sustainable development; archaeological places; management; heritage value; conservation; stewardship

Article.  9980 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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