From onlookers to devotees


6 October 2022


In the lecture From onlookers to devotees: Exploring dynamics of participation in Vignale, Italy, I presented some of the long-lasting encounters that shaped the project ’Uomini e cose a Vignale’ (People and Things at Vignale) and introduced the operational workflow for the evaluation of participation in ongoing excavations, which is the core part of my book “Unforgettable Encounters”. In conclusion, I introduced the LOGGIA project.


PCMA Heritage Month lecture series, organised by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw [online]


This invitation from my colleague Tomomi Fushiya has been an invaluable opportunity to present the outcomes of my PhD research and introduce the LOGGIA project to the audience of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, a centre active for many years in the field of community archaeology.


From the involvement of citizens as excavators and re-enactors to the co-organisation of research campaigns and outreach activities, public participation in archaeology has become a well-represented practice, fully incorporated into European and national cultural policies. Encounters between archaeologists and citizens are considered as the basic unit of participative dynamics. Each encounter differs from the other: it can happen at the excavation fence and develop there, next to trenches, pits and walls. Or it can happen as a formal meeting between archaeologists and members of local institutions, in an official venue. Encounters may end when the time is up – once concluded a guided tour – or eventually turn into long-lasting collaborations and even friendships.

This paper will unfold the participation dynamics of long-lasting encounters that shaped the project ’Uomini e cose a Vignale’ (People and Things at Vignale), a community archaeology project tied to the ongoing excavation at the Roman site of Vignale (Tuscany, Italy). The contribution proposes an original evidence-based operational workflow to facilitate the evaluation of the dynamics of participation in ongoing excavations. Based on a flexible set of tools, analyses, and visualisation boards, the workflow can provide a broad range of information about public participation, informing the daily practice of fieldwork and the development of community projects.

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