Scholarly Public Archaeology Bibliography

This compilation of references presents articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding efforts in the sharing archaeological information with the public. Most sources have been published between 1990 and the present; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 1990 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet. This ever-growing project is coordinated by Patrice L. Jeppson, Linda Derry and Maureen Malloy.
(SAA is not responsible for the content or accuracy of these references.)

As you can see, the content on this page is brief. Please let us know if you have suggested content to add, and visit later to see how the page develops. Send your contributions and comments to us here...

College/University Course Material
Case Studies, Books, and Reports
Blog Commentary and Corridor Talk

Public Archaeology College/University Course Material

Public Archaeology in increasingly offered as a taught subject in college and universities. Public Archaeology, communicating archaeology, community-based archaeology, archaeology and media, archaeology in the public interest, teaching archaeology K-12, and the archaeologists' responsibility to the public are the focus of many recent courses. Syllabi, recommended reading lists, and seminar materials for these and other courses can be found here...


Public Archaeology Bibliographies


  • Archaeological Exploration and Historic Preservation in Delaware

    This web site developed by the Delaware Department of Transportation (Del DOT) contains a comprehensive bibliography of Delaware archaeology including CRM reports, posters and scholarly presentations, as well as booklets, pamphlets, brochures, and hand-outs on archaeology in Delaware that have been created for the public.

  • Sources on Public Archaeology: Ph.D. Field Statement Bibliography, 2006
    (Courtesy of Kim Christensen, UC Berkeley)
    This bibliography covers scholarly sources within archaeology that illustrate the ongoing disciplinary debate concerning the differing meanings attached to the term public archaeology, ethics, and the shift towards community-based research approaches. It is the basis of a field statement written by Christensen in 2006 as a requirement for advancement to Ph.D. candidacy in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
  •  Archaeology in Annapolis Project Bibliography -- incl. Exhibit and Pamphlets
    Numerous exhibits in and around the City of Annapolis have been produced by Archaeology in Annapolis over the past 20 years. Search this comprehensive project bibliography for citations for exhibits, video scripts, and pamphlets related to Annapolis archaeology projects (African American history, presentation of ruins in-situ.
  • Performance, Learning and Heritage' Project Bibliography
    This project Undertaken by the Centre for Applied Theatre Research at the University of Manchester (UK), is investigating the uses and impact of performance as a medium of learning in museums and at historic sites. The project involves research into the increasing and varied use being made of theatre and other drama-based activity as interpretive tools with visitors to museums and historic sites. A vast and comprehensive bibliography available on the project's web site covers these topics:

    Performance and Heritage

  • Archaeology Education Papers and Presentations with emphasis on Ohio
            (Susan K. Nelson Bibliography)
    This bibliography by Susan K. Nelson contains presentations viewable on line as well as Nelson's master's thesis discussing the integration of archaeology education into the 2004 revised Ohio social studies curriculum standards from an interdisciplinary viewpoint.



 Public Archaeology Journals and Journal Articles

           A peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to Public Archaeology. It is                 

           distributed freely online.

Case Studies, Books, and Reports


  • Archaeology is a Brand!
    The meaning of archaeology in contemporary popular culture.

    Written by Cornelius Holtorf, illustrated by Quentin Drew. This is the first full-length study of the meaning of archaeology in contemporary popular culture.
        Paperback (978-1-59874-179-7)
        Hardback (978-1-59874-178-0)
        April 2007
  • Inauthentic Archaeologies: Public Uses and Abuses of the Past
    Troy Lovata
    Is it really archaeology or is it made-up?  Troy Lovata examines the public appropriation of archaeology and shows the impact that archaeological interpretation and archaeological sites have on the public.  He describes outright hoaxes, fanciful re-creations, artistic representations, commercial enterprises, and discredited replicas of the past. The book explores examples from around the world and across time to help readers understand how the past becomes social currency for professional archaeologists, as well as the public at large. Lovata tackles central questions of authenticity, ownership of the past, and the use of archaeology by everyone from artists to multinational corporations. International examples include older appropriations such as the Piltdown Hoax, as well as more recent examples such as the faking of the Japanese Paleolithic, replica Anasazi cliff dwellings at Manitou Springs, Colorado, reconstructed Spanish torreons, and playful Stonehenge replicas (i.e., fridgehenge). In addition to captivating the public, this book includes student exercises, cartoons, interviews, and illustrations to add to the pedagogical value of this concise, fascinating work for students in introductory or public archaeology classes. Left Coast Press, 2007. Hardback (978-1-59874-010-3) Paperback (978-1-59874-011-0)
  •  ACHP Archaeology Task Force Update (March 2007)
    Read about the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's strategy to promote archaeology in Heritage Tourism and Public Education. The goal is to expand the Presidents Preserve America initiative by ensuring public enjoyment of our nations heritage through greater knowledge and appreciation of archaeological properties.
  • Going Public: Customization and American Archaeology
    In this article in the SAA Archaeological Record (May 2006:16-19), author Lawrence E. Moore considers the future of public archaeology.
  • The Management of Archeological Resources. The Airlie House Report. Special Publication of the Society for American Archaeology. McGimsey III, C. R. and Davis, H.A., 1977.
  •  Hands-on Prarie Experience at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeology Park
    This paper, originally presented by Susan K. Nelson at the 2005 SAA convention in Salt Lake City as part of the Learning in Place: Teaching in Replicated Structures symposium, is available here as a downloadable file. (1.9 MB; 10 minutes to download on a 56k modem)


Blog Commentary and Corridor Talk

Reflections on the 2008 SHA Conference
                [dedicated to the theme of Public Archaeology]

Go to this Janauary 25, 2008 blog entry at Archaeolog to read an overview and commentary on the state of public archaeology written by Brent Fortenberry and Travis Parno after the 2008 Society for Historical Archaeology conference.


Updated 09/10/2010