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Archaeology and Development Research Network
The role of the archaeological resource, archaeologists, and more generally cultural heritage, in ‘development’ has become an increasing concern of the archaeological discipline and has been the topic of some recent conferences (e.g. 13th ICOMOS Annual International Symposium, May 2010). The term ‘development’, and along with it terms such as ‘sustainability’, covers a plethora of definitions and approaches, many of which developed in other academic disciplines, and continue to be argued and refined. A range of approaches and perspectives is also present within the Institute, with current research and activities concerning economic impacts, social values, community participation and international conventions. The aim of this proposed Research Network is to act as a platform for those working with the concept of development to create a discourse on the subject which is specifically appropriate to the Network’s varied interests in the field, and which we believe is currently lacking. This discourse will aim to better define underlying themes and concepts which take account of the broad range of approaches within the study and implementation of archaeology. In light of this work we will explore the potential or indeed dangers of the archaeological resource as a mechanism for development and establish better practical and ethical approaches for archaeologists. The Research Network is initially intended be a short-term collaboration of one year. The aim is to use this short period to unite current research in the Institute and lay a conceptual foundation in this area. This initial Network is designed to provide a crucial first step in the creation of more focused networks in the area of development and lead to collaborations on major research projects. The Network will also provide networking opportunities for its members with a key aim to invite experts from other departments within UCL, other universities, development agencies and civil society associations to take part in this discourse. The Network would discuss the archaeological discipline’s role within the wider aims of development as part of a series of planned seminars and conferences.
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