Unforgettable Encounters

Unforgettable Encounters: Understanding Participation in Italian Community Archaeology is my first monograph, published by Archaeopress in October 2022. A book for

The book introduces the topic by providing an overview of the field of study and the terminology, examining encounters as the basic unit of participation.

Uomini e Cose a Vignale archive – 2015

Based on a flexible set of tools, analyses, and visualisation boards, the workflow presented in the book facilitates the evaluation of the dynamics of participation in ongoing excavations, informing the daily practice of fieldwork and the development of community projects.

Participation map of Massaciuccoli Romana

The book presents an extensive review of Italian community archaeology projects with a focus on three case studies.

The Punic army in front of the Temple of Concord. (Photo: P. Ricotta in Danile et al. 2018).

Far from being a discipline focusing on the past, archaeology has boundless potential for engaging with people in the present. Encounters between archaeologists and the public with different pasts have the potential to create diverse participative dynamics. 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. However, the impact of this practice remains underexplored.

Unforgettable Encounters demonstrates how evaluating participation can critically influence daily practice on fieldwork, enrich the academic discussion in public archaeology, and inform the decision-making process in community-based planning. The book proposes an operational workflow, aiming to serve as a benchmark for archaeologists delivering collaborative programs in excavation-based projects. It offers a flexible set of tools, analyses, and visualisation boards which can provide a range of information about public participation and can inform the daily practice of fieldwork and the development of community projects. Three Italian case studies present the application of the operational workflow, testing its flexibility and effectiveness. By focusing on Italian community archaeology, this book aims to raise awareness of the importance of evaluating public participation in a country where this commitment has always been evident—especially in excavations—but where research on community archaeology itself has developed only in the last few years.


Introduction ;

1. Participation in archaeology
Introducing participation
Defining the fields of study
Exploring participation
Excavation as a contact zone

2. Public and community archaeology in Italy
Before public and community archaeology
‘Archeologia pubblica’
Excavation and participation at sites in Italian archaeology

3. Methodological framework

4. Case studies overview
Selection of case studies
Massaciuccoli Romana
Poggio del Molino

5. Exploring participation
Massaciuccoli Romana
Poggio del Molino

6. Understanding participation
Social Network Analysis (SNA)
Participation polarised chart
Understanding encounters
From research to governance

Appendix I. Description of interviews and focus groups

Appendix II. Data collection techniques

Appendix III. Cross tables

Reference list