The field of community archaeology has been growing for several decades and has been explored in many countries across the world, including countries in Northern Europe and the Middle East. One of the issues that has sprung up in this research and practice has been the fundamental issue of what we understand as “community archaeology”. This seemingly simple question refers both to the “communities” and the “archaeologies” concerned, and to the interrelations between them. Which communities are we addressing when doing community archaeology (and which are ignored)? What approaches to archaeology do we employ? Is it only excavation, does community archaeology end when the excavation season is over? How do we affect the community in which (or with which) we work? How does the community affect us, the archaeologists? And how can we measure and explain success or failure of “community archaeology” projects?

These questions have been explored at length in some parts of the world, such as the UK and the USA, but are arguably still to be expanded upon within the contexts of Middle Eastern archaeology and archaeology in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The aim of this conference is to think critically about relationships between communities and archaeologies theoretically as well as by discussing cases from cultures that are quite different from each other. In particular we wish to focus on the Nordic region, the Baltic States, and the Middle East. The different historical trajectories and cultures will enable us to find similarities and differences in the theory and practice of community archaeology.


Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires, Faculties of Arts and Theology
Centre of Excellence in Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions, Faculty of Theology

Local Organising Committee

Rick Bonnie, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, rick.bonnie@helsinki.fi
Raz Kletter, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, raz.kletter@helsinki.fi
Marta Lorenzon, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, marta.lorenzon@helsinki.fi
Suzie Thomas, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, suzie.e.thomas@helsinki.fi