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Dr Caroline Pudney; Afnan Ezzeldin and Professor Howard Williams, all from the University of Chester.

Public Archaeology: Arts of Engagement, is edited by Professor Howard Williams and Dr Caroline Pudney, from the University’s Department of History and Archaeology, and University of Chester Archaeology graduate, Afnan Ezzeldin.

The collection is published by Archaeopress Publishing Ltd as part of their Access Archaeology series. It provides original perspectives on public archaeology’s current practices and future potentials. It stems from the second University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference, held in April 2017, at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. The significant fraction of the content in the book has been generated and written by the then-undergraduate students who took part in the Conference. Topics include tackling the relationship between homelessness and archaeology, the nature of community archaeology, how children and adults can be engaged in archaeology through artistic practices, and how we evaluate community archaeology projects. The book is also published in memory of Dr Peter Boughton, FSA, Keeper of Art for West Cheshire Museums.

Professor Howard Williams said: “Our thanks go to the students themselves, for their hard work in facilitating the Conference and then in writing up their work for publication. Thanks also go to our colleagues in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University and we are also grateful for the steadfast support of Archaeopress, who have facilitated this book appearing both in print and open access online. The audience of academics, heritage professionals, students and members of the public made the Conference viable, valuable and a memorable experience for all concerned and we hope that this book reflects and extends the debates aired on the day.”

Dr Caroline Pudney said: “The Student Conference is one of the highlights of the undergraduate academic year and the students have made us proud, not only in their presentations but in their commitment to engaging in the dissemination of their research. As Programme Leader for Archaeology, as a professional public archaeologist and as an editor and contributor to this volume, it has been a great honour to work on this book. I’d like to thank all the authors for helping to make it an exciting and much needed review of our practices as public archaeologists, and Dr Sara Perry and Dr Seren Griffiths for agreeing to write the poignant Foreword and Afterword.”

Afnan Ezzeldin added: “It has been an honour to work alongside Howard and Caroline for this book. They have taught me a lot in terms of how to edit and what to look out for when doing so, the process has been long, but definitely worthwhile, as I feel like I have improved my skillset. The sheer motivation carried by both of them has been incredible to watch, and, honestly, has been very inspirational. I do not think many students have been given an opportunity like this one, so I would like to thank Howard for inviting me to be a part of it. It is an experience I am very proud of. Having the physical copy to hand really puts things into perspective, and my participation in this project will hopefully be just the beginning.”

Howard said “Dr Peter Boughton supported numerous collaborations with the University of Chester in his role as Keeper of Art at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum, including the Conference which inspired this book. The University awarded Peter with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in August 2019 in recognition of his life-long contributions to the visual arts in Chester. Very sadly and soon afterwards, Peter passed away. We are honoured to dedicate this book to his memory, which is especially fitting given the numerous ways in which our contributors tackle the relationship between art and archaeology.”

Public Archaeology book cover.jpg

Public Archaeology: Arts of Engagement book cover
Public Archaeology: Arts of Engagement book cover

The book can be bought as a hard copy, or downloaded as a pdf here:


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