What is archaeology about, in today's Europe?
*How is the significance of the past identified and made relevant?
*How is archaeology practiced nowadays? How are remains of ancient societies and environment identified, recovered and studied? How can these practices be compared and shared?
*Who are the people who do archaeology - How many are they? What are their skills? How do they acquire these skills? How does one become a professional archaeologist?
*How to communicate about archaeology to the public? How to make archaeology interesting and relevant for the citizens of today and of tomorrow?
These are some of the questions and issues addressed by the ACE network - Archaeology in Contemporary Europe: Professional Practices and Public Outreach - with the support of the EC funded Culture Programme for the period 2007-2012.
The ACE network aims to promote contemporary archaeology at a European wide level, by emphasising its cultural, scientific, and economic dimensions, including its manifold interest for the wider public. With the acceleration of infrastructure and development works throughout the continent in the past decades, contemporary archaeology has become particularly important and challenging. The process of development poses severe threats to archaeological remains, which are by nature fragile and non-renewable, but it can also provide new opportunities for increasing our knowledge about the past and for enhancing sustainable archaeological heritage management for the benefit of all European citizens.
Partners in the ACE network undertake research, documentation and related activities along four major thematic axes, each with its various stands and developments: I - 'Researching the significance of the past'; II - 'Comparative practices in archaeology'; III - 'The archaeological profession'; IV - 'Public outreach: invitations to archaeology'