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Engaging with archaeology: a study on the relationship between local people and the excavation of the ‘Villa of Augustus’ in Somma Vesuviana (Italy)

Matsuda, A.; (2009) Engaging with archaeology: a study on the relationship between local people and the excavation of the ‘Villa of Augustus’ in Somma Vesuviana (Italy). Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The underlying aim of this thesis is to reconsider the subject of public archaeology, as it today seems to search for new directions in which to develop, reflecting the current state of flux in archaeology. The thesis builds on a case study that investigates the relationship between local people and the excavation of the 'Villa of Augusts' in Somma Vesuviana, Italy, carried out by a team of Japanese archaeologists. The case study highlights various ways in which local people in Somma Vesuviana engaged with the archaeology of the Villa: knowing about the Villa; visiting its excavation; contextualising the Villa on the site; interpreting the Villa and the excavation project according to special interest and stake in it; associating the Villa with a local legend; talking and writing about and using the Villa, which resulted in strengthening the old/historical sense of the town; identifying with the Villa through the concept of the local; and making a value judgement of the Japanese excavation project. The results of the case study research indicate that public archaeologists should study and understand the public in detail and, at the same time, carry out outreach work and involve themselves in socio-political critiques and actions. Bearing in mind the physically intrusive nature of archaeological investigation, it is particularly important for pubic archaeologists to carry out action research on the local level, directly engaging with local people, if their work is to have a broader meaning.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Engaging with archaeology: a study on the relationship between local people and the excavation of the ‘Villa of Augustus’ in Somma Vesuviana (Italy)
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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