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Dimitra Mazaraki

Greece

Dimitra Mazaraki is doing a doctorate in archaeology at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. She studied Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (with a full scholarship) and Cultural Heritage and Museums in Paris 1 (with a full scholarship). She has worked at the Greek Ministry of Culture as a contract archaeologist (Ephorates of Antiquities) and museologist (Directorate of Modern Cultural and Intangible Cultural Heritage). Currently, she works in the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens. Her doctoral research explores the dynamics between local communities and archaeological sites, focusing on the potential of community archaeology in Greece through the case study of Malia in Crete. She also examines issues of accessibility to the archaeological site, public participation, and awareness of the archaeological heritage through mediation and digital technologies.

ACCESSIBILITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PARTICIPATION IN SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE: WHO IS WELCOME IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOURSES?

21st-century archaeology, enriched by fruitful interactions with social and human rights movements, has reflected on more open approaches, proposing different levels of engagement, participation, and collaboration with non-specialist stakeholders.

However, archaeological research and sites remain mostly fenced and detached from their present context, forming a distanced past destined to be preserved undisturbed for future generations. As such, archaeology remains inaccessible on many levels (mental, sensory, and physical) for the various stakeholders, primarily for the non-specialists. It is supported that it is crucial to expand the dialogue on accessibility to ensure a more inclusive archaeology for all stakeholders.

In particular, this paper examines the current state of accessible archaeological discourses in South-eastern Europe, focusing on the possibilities and challenges of community engagement and participation in Greece. It also seeks to explore whether more active engagement of local non-archaeologists in research could foster a more accessible and inclusive archaeology aiming at the democratization of heritage. These issues will be discussed mainly through a case study at Malia in Crete, where mediation and collaborative projects focusing on the local population are underway. The possible dynamics between local and global community archaeology practices will also be explored.