The E-archaeology Content Repository contains a wide range of diverse SCORM conformant didactic materials covering all major aspects of archaeological heritage and its protection and management. It was grouped within five major parts from general and conceptual issues to practical solutions and recommendations. Each part is composed of a couple of modules discussing major issues for each theme, which are supplemented by a range of informative case studies set to illustrate practical application of these more general concepts.
- Theory of archaeological heritage
- Mapping of archaeological heritage resources
- Valorization of archaeological heritage
- Protection and management of archaeological heritag
- Politicising archaeological heritage
- Integrated archaeological and natural heritage
Theory of archaeological heritage
The first part Theory of archaeological heritage intends to present numerous facets of cultural and archaeological heritage in its broader context. It further discusses the theoretical foundations of archaeological heritage as well as the mechanisms of its construction in today’s dynamically changing economic, social and political circumstances. It is composed of a number of interrelated modules: (1) Theorizing cultural heritage – it reflects and critically assesses the concept of cultural heritage, both its material and tangible form as well as non-material and intangible representations. (2) Mentalities and perspectives in archaeological heritage management – it presents different perspectives in practice of heritage management in relation to landscape and planning and underlines the increasing significance of public constituencies in heritage policies. (3) Concepts of understanding – spatial valorisation of archaeological heritage resources – it provides an overview of the impact of different archaeological paradigms on the recognition and valorisation of archaeological resources as well as strategies of protection and management of archaeological heritage.
Mapping of archaeological heritage resources
The second part Archaeological resources and their mapping is intended to present an overview of major methods of recognizing and recording archaeological resources as well as managing and analyzing spatial data for the needs of archaeological heritage protection and management. It is composed of a number of interrelated modules: (1) Introduction to archaeology for construction engineers presents a systematic overview of archaeology and archaeological practice for non-archaeologists, especially constructional engineers. In particular, this refers to an overall context of conducting an archaeological project and covers legal regulations and administrative practices, licensing and standards of archaeological works, basic foundations of management of archaeological resources, and cooperation between major stakeholders of archaeological heritage. It further provides an overview of different elements of archaeological heritage, including types of sites, evidence for archaeological remains, different categories of portable objects as well as classification of archaeological sites. (2) Urban archaeology presents an overview of archaeology and management of historic towns with complicated stratigraphy. It explores subsequent elements of the research process from desk analysis, through non-invasive prospection, excavation, post-excavation analyses to conservation methods. (3) Maritime archaeology presents an overview of maritime culture heritage including historic ships, submerged archaeological sites in the continental shelf, ports and harbour-cities, and objects deliberately placed under water (‘treasures’). It further presents major archaeological maritime techniques, in particular different methods of invasive and non-invasive research. (4) Aerial survey in archaeological protection and management systems is a systematic overview of aerial prospection in the practice of heritage management. It calls for the integration with other non-invasive methods, especially geophysical survey. (5) Geophysical prospection in archaeological protection and management systems provides an overview of major techniques of geophysical survey and presents major instruments used for this purpose. In addition, it discusses numerous useful hints on how to choose survey method(s) depending upon the site conditions, logistics and time constraints. (6) Geographic Information System as a method of management of spatial data is aimed at providing a brief presentation of GIS in the context of its use in heritage management policy and practice.
Valorization of archaeological heritage
The third part Valorisation of archaeological heritage is set to critically discuss how archaeological heritage is narrativised, valorised and presented. Their role in creating and maintaining local and regional identities has been also underlined. This part is composed of four major modules: (1) Archaeology and politics provides an overview intertwined relationships between archaeology and politics. It discusses also how images of the past served as justifications, social binds, social outcastings, cultural domination or land claims. It also scrutinizes role of archaeology in constructing national identity. (2) Images of the past aims to discuss how images of the past are created and valorised by using elements of archaeological heritage. (3) Cultural biography of landscape discusses the metaphor of the cultural biography of landscape and its use as a tool for sustainable development. It goes on in presenting how it refers to the life history of landscape and its personification. (4) Problematic heritage aims to discusses the constructive nature of cultural heritage. In particular, it focuses upon strategies of dealing with fearsome and neglected cultural heritage.
Protection and management of archaeological heritage
The fourth part Protection and management of archaeological heritage provides an overview of range of useful and practical issues in protection and management of archaeological heritage. These include international conventions and regulations, application of the sustainability concept for cultural heritage, and commercial archaeology. It is composed of a number of interrelated modules: (1) International conventions and legal frameworks is a systematic overview of international conventions and charters in the domain of conservation and preservation of cultural heritage prepared by the world (e.g. UNESCO or ICOMOS) and European (mainly Council of Europe) bodies over the past fifty years. (2) Sustainable development in archaeological heritage sector provides an in-depth discussion how the concept of sustainability be translated into the cultural field. It also discusses the role of archaeologists as providers of information and the context of decision making within the democratic framework of policy-makers and executors. (3) Management cycle and information systems in archaeological heritage provides a thorough overview of the entire management cycle including documentation and registration, archiving, evaluation, protection/conservation, interpretation/synthesis, and communication as well as their relation to a range of legislative issues and public concerns. (4) Commercial archaeology discusses difficult relationships between commercial archaeology and archaeological heritage management. It also presents an overview of market principles in archaeology, in particular in relation to the planning process. (5) Introduction to construction engineering for archaeologists provides an overview of commercial context of archaeological practice on the example of the engineering projects. In particular, it addresses their major components including categorization of engineering soil, in-ground structures and their classification, building process, and its different timescales. (6) Perspectives on looting, illicit antiquities trade, art and heritage provides a systematic overview of issues related to looting and illicit trade of antiques and art objects. It also presents the nature of destruction of archaeological sites as generated by market demand, a broader societal context of local and global power relations as well as role and responsibility of the cultural heritage professionals’ in relation to the ongoing trade.
Politicising archaeological heritage
The fifth part Politicizing archaeological heritage aims to discuss a range of issues related to the presentation and popularizing of archaeological heritage and communication with the general public. It also tackles different modes of knowledge production ranging from digital field archaeology, visual representation, knowledge management, to the sociology of knowledge. It is composed of a number of interrelated modules: (1) Public archaeology provides an overview of the developments that triggered the engagement with the public in various parts of the world. It further presents major facets of community-based archaeology, in particular projects run by the communities themselves or in collaboration with professionals. (2) A single voice? Archaeological heritage, information boards and the public dialogue aims to present a range of issues related to the presentation of archaeological heritage and communication with the general public. This is exemplified by the role of information-boards at monuments and sites as a dominant method of communication with these groups in Sweden. (3) Producing and communicating archaeological knowledge: public outreach in the digital age explores importance of multimedia technologies and the internet for the way archaeology is communicated to the public as well as means of engaging the specialist community and the public in the knowledge production and knowledge transfer. (4) Methods and engagement, publicity and media relationships discusses the importance of communication with the public, methods of engagement, publicity and media relationships. It further presents different strategies and methods of achieving these goals by a applying range different media.
Integrated archaeological and natural heritage
The part Integrated archaeological and natural heritage discusses different facets of complex relations between both types of heritage. It is composed of eight intertwined e-learning modules: (1) “Europe’s cultural landscapes: opportunities and threats,” 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. (2) “Heritage strategies, what, why, where, how, by whom and for whom?” 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. (3)“Nature conservation for cultural heritage experts” is designed for cultural heritage workers who need or want to learn more about nature conservation. In particular, it informs heritage mangers of ways that nature conservation can impact upon or affect cultural heritage. (4) “Cultural heritage management for nature heritage,” aims to introduce the concept of cultural heritage, its different areas of expertise and the different strategies in its management (public and private sectors). (5) “Traverse the disciplines of ecology and archaeology: the new horizon,” goes into basic strategies for crossovers between natural and cultural heritage trying to overcome this divide. It considers the development within the field of archaeology and ecology in relation to public discourse, presents the general knowledge base for landscape management and knowledge transfer for the wider public as well as discusses means of presenting the landscape and pertains to public engagement. (6) “Integrating heritage in land use planning,” deals with the integration of natural and cultural heritage in land use planning, which pertains to aspects of landscape, societal values and governance. (7) “Ownership and benefits,” discusses recent shifts in understanding the role of heritage that has become linked to human rights; this context brings heritage to societal values, such as justice and well-being. (8) “Participatory practices,” addresses four key components of natural and cultural heritage: networks and communities of practice, online and offline communities, public discourses, finance and participation. It discusses the development of democratic participation, with objectives to implement a shared responsibility to identify values, define priorities, and manage heritage-led projects.