Themes of e-learning modules

One of the ANHER project results are didactic materials which covers the most important aspects of archaeological and natural heritage management. These materials are divided into 8 modules which elaborate the following issues:

1) Europe’s cultural landscapes: opportunities and threats

It provides an introduction to Europe’s cultural landscapes as the basis for understanding the importance of crossing disciplinary boundaries to safeguard natural and cultural heritage. Both cultural and natural heritage are presented as integrated elements of the landscape which can be considered to be under threat. It is stressed that actions that might initially seem useful in one sector can easily have negative impacts in the other.

2) Heritage strategies, what, why, where, how, by whom and for whom?

It presents the development of different heritage strategies, including the historical reasoning behind their implementation, the social framework in which they have been developed, the different mechanisms involved and the long-term objectives of this development. Analysis of the social value of the cultural and natural heritage in the construction of new social and national identities is also presented.

3) Nature conservation for cultural heritage experts

It is designed for cultural heritage workers who need or want to learn more about nature conservation as well as for people who have a basic grasp of nature conservation but who do not know the details of its development, legislation and the practices employed to successfully manage natural heritage resources. This module also aims to inform heritage mangers of ways that nature conservation can impact upon or affect cultural heritage.

4) Cultural heritage management for nature heritage

It aims to introduce the concept of cultural heritage, its’ different areas of expertise and the different strategies in its management (public and private sectors). It also presents the European framework for the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage; highlighting the main European conventions and regulations with the aim of introducing key legislation, policy documents, and international charters. The module incorporates some training in cultural heritage for professionals of other domains, focusing on the social implications of heritage, techniques and methods in archaeology, architecture and city planning, alternate methods of cultural heritage, landscape archaeology and the integration of cultural features within a landscape.

5) Traverse the disciplines of ecology and archaeology: the new horizon

The module goes into basic strategies for crossovers between natural and cultural heritage trying to overcome this divide. It is structured in four parts, showing how these strategies can work within their context. The first part Towards a public discourse on human-nature relations considers the development within the field of archaeology and ecology in relation to public discourse. The Understanding the landscape section deals with research and the general knowledge base for landscape management and knowledge transfer for the wider public and is followed by protecting and managing the landscape part. The last section is presenting the landscape and pertains to public engagement. This structure combines the force field of science, policy and the public. People active within these fields, i.e. academics, policy makers and the public, form a coherent dynamic group of stakeholders.

6) Integrating heritage in land use planning

It deals with the integration of natural and cultural heritage in land use planning. Land use planning pertains to aspects of landscape, societal values and governance. The development of planning philosophies is introduced to better understand the practice of planning itself, which is crucial for effective participation. Also, the practices of ecology and archaeology within land use planning are presented in general terms identifying areas of tension. It is underlined that what might be accepted as normative practice for land use planning in one sector may not be a viable choice for the other.

7) Ownership and benefits

It discusses recent shift in understanding the role of heritage that has recently become linked to human rights and this context brings heritage to societal values as justice and well-being. The role of heritage for society in terms of its use now is as much a focus as is the preservation of heritage for future generations. In both natural and cultural heritage sectors, there is a general increase in the public influence deciding on what is to be considered heritage and how that heritage may be used.

8) Participatory practices

It addresses four key components of natural and cultural heritage: networks and communities of practice (CoP), online and offline communities, public discourses, finance and participation. While heritage may be considered as ‘everything we have inherited’, along with what we wish to pass on, this understanding can lead to several management barriers, including economic and political constraints.