21st-century Challenges for Archaeology

2020 - ongoing
Funding body: 
Historic England

In 2017 CIfA, in partnership with and funded by Historic England, convened a series of six discussions workshops on important issues within the archaeology sector in England. More than 150 individuals attended the workshops and over 70 people contributed to the online discussions. This project completed in 2018 (see below for the final report).

2019 - present
A follow up to this project commenced in 2019 and involved a review of the original workshop recommendations and the creation of a framework for delivery associated with several define work packages involving various organisations This work is currently ongoing and involves sector wide collaboration led by Historic England and CIfA. The current series of work packages underway can be accessed below.

Current work packages

Project set up

Historic England project lead: Barney Sloane, National Specialist Services Director. Historic England
CIfA project lead: Peter Hinton, Chief Executive, CIfA
Project support: Julie Clerc, Historic England

Project advisory board:
Kenneth Aitcheson, Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME)
Duncan Brown, Society for Museum Archaeology (SMA)
Quinton Carroll, The Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO)
Luisa Duarte, The Institute of Conservation (ICON)
Tim Evans, Archaeology Data Service
Chris Evans, British Academy
Kate Geary, CIfA
Chris Gerrard, University Archaeology UK (UAUK)
Sandy Kidd, Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service (GLAAS)
John Lewis, Society of Antiquaries of London
Dan Miles, Historic England
Jen Parker Wooding, CIfA
Neil Redfern, Council for British Archaeology (CBA)
Anna Stocks, ALGAO
Victoria Thomson, Historic England

Background to the project - 2017-2018

The main challenges

Six topics were discussed at workshops, each preceded by an online discussion:

  • New models for archive creation, deposition, storage, access and research
  • Professional standards and guidance - who sets them and what are they for?
  • Designation and management of the archaeological resource in the context of a changing planning system
  • New models for local curatorial services: potential future roles for local authority archaeology services and Historic England
  • Synthesis of information from developer-funded investigation to create new historical narratives
  • Challenges for archaeological publication in a digital age: who are we writing this stuff for anyway?

2018 Project report
The project reports can be accessed here:

Project report: the world after PPG16: 21st-century challenges for archaeology

Appendix 1: what about Southport?

Appendix 2: discussion questions and background papers

Appendix 3: transcript of online discussions