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Durham e-Theses
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The Impact of Archaeology in the North-East of England, 2005-2015

LAIDLER, SOPHIE,JANE (2019) The Impact of Archaeology in the North-East of England, 2005-2015. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (PhD Thesis) - Accepted Version
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This thesis explores the impacts that academics, volunteers and career archaeologists associate with archaeological research and practice in the north-east of England primarily, between 2005 and 2015. Increasingly performance-based impact reviews are used to inform funding decisions within academia and charitable organisations. In addition, the emphasis placed upon the societal value of archaeological interventions in planning policy continues to underpin developer-funded initiatives. These drivers have created pressure to demonstrate accountability and cost-effectiveness producing new challenges and opportunities for the sector. In particular, there are increasing concerns over the ability to recognise, measure and represent the impacts associated with archaeological research and practice. This thesis provides a more nuanced and inclusive methodology for determining and assessing the impacts of archaeological initiatives experienced by those participating directly with archaeological work within the region than has previously been attempted. This has been achieved through the use of a reflexive methodology employing questionnaires, focus groups and interviews to obtain insights into participant's perceptions and experiences. These findings are contextualised by broader analyses of Historic Environment Records, publications and grey-literature to contribute to the debate on a local and national level. Archaeological practice and research in the north-east is primarily valued by practitioners for contributing to the cumulative production of knowledge. In addition, social and economic benefits of archaeology are associated with causal-mechanisms attached to initiatives such as engagement and dissemination strategies. The insights provided in this thesis raise questions about the limitations of externally produced impact assessments and the value of supporting initiatives that can produce long-term sustainable outcomes rather than immediate returns.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Archaeology, Impact, North-East
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 08:00

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