Emptying the Magician's Hat

Margaret Purser

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Emptying the Magician's Hat

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GIS technology is a powerful new tool in public archaeology, and using it fundamentally changes the dynamic between archaeologists and the communities with whom they are working. GIS data representations are inherently plastic and dynamic: they can be expanded effectively infinitely, and manipulated in myriad ways and combinations. The most pervasive impacts have emerged from the way that the process of doing GIS work articulates with some key trends linking heritage management practices and cultural landscape studies. One of the key challenges created by the shift to more dynamic and locally contextualized approaches to both heritage and landscape is in the area of engagement with local communities in all aspects of the larger heritage process. These were some of the goals and challenges driving the development of a participatory GIS project in Levuka, Fiji, created to provide a more locally controlled definition of the town's historical significance in the context of a nationally sponsored effort to nominate Levuka to the World Heritage List.

Keywords: GIS technology; archaeologists; heritage management practices; heritage process; World Heritage List

Article.  8393 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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