Archaeology in Public and Media: A short introduction to theoretical premises of the dialogue on heritage

  • Ivan Vranić Institute of Archaeology Belgrade
archaeology and the public, heritage, social memory, identities, media


Along with many different definitions of archaeology, from the inception of the discipline to the present, it may be valid to assert that it is a kind of complex dialogue on heritage with the public of contemporary societies. In this dialogue, archaeologists have directly constructed social memories and modern identities, this being an exceptional responsibility, and have at the same time been susceptible to ethnocentric transfers of modern values and expectations into the images of the past. In this respect, it may well be said that the public is not only the most important consumer of cultural heritage, but also an active participant indirectly influencing the shaping of archaeological interpretations of the past. Thanks to the global trends in the discipline, but also due to the administrative decisions of the Ministry of Culture and Information, archaeology in Serbia is compelled to intensify contacts with the public and to make the results of our work more readily accessible and economically sustainable. The paper aims to offer a short overview of theoretical premises of various models of collaboration of archaeology and the public, to point to the advantages and shortcomings, as well as the consequences of these approaches, thus warning of the many potential problems stemming from the uncritical dissemination of information on the past and heritage to the general public.


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How to Cite
Vranić, Ivan. 2014. “Archaeology in Public and Media: A Short Introduction to Theoretical Premises of the Dialogue on Heritage”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 9 (3), 597-607.