Dimitra Mazaraki is a doctoral student in Archaeology at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her research explores the dynamics between local communities and archaeological sites, focusing on the representations of archaeology, public participation, and valorisation of archaeological heritage. She studied Archaeology in Athens (BA with honours, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, scholarship from the D. Arapoglou Foundation) and Cultural Heritage and Museums in Paris (MA with honours, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, scholarship from the I. Latsis Foundation). She has worked as a contract archaeologist at the Ephorate of Antiquities of Florina and Eastern Attica. Currently, she works as an archaeologist-museologist in the Directorate of Modern Cultural and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Athens. She has also participated in archaeological heritage mediation projects in Greece and France.
Participatory practices of archaeological heritage in local communities of South-eastern Europe: interdisciplinary methods and challenges
The European Union’s policy agenda has been pointing out the importance of the participation of local communities in cultural heritage. However, at many national and regional levels across EU member states, wide disparities are observed in this direction, imposing barriers in the participatory approach of various stakeholders in culture. This paper will explore current practices and challenges of engagement in archaeological heritage by examining diverse projects, focusing on non-urban local communities.
More specifically, the proposed paper concerns the practices of Community archaeology, a field of research that emerged in the 1970s, although it has gained much acceptance, especially in the last decade. Community archaeology aims to connect local communities with the archaeological heritage in the region, exploring different practices of raising awareness and involving the public. The proposed topic will present innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to citizens’ involvement and an overall assessment of the methods used.
The aim is to highlight the benefits of such practices, discuss the methodologies in use, dialogue the various problems that arise and the identified difficulties. The paper derives partly from the PhD research of the author, investigating the dynamics between archaeological heritage and local communities in Crete, Greece. The case study is the city of Malia at the north shore of the island and the archaeological site of the Minoan Palace in the region. In this respect, the paper will give special attention to Greece, integrating good practices and approaches from other countries in South-eastern Europe.