Research Paper

Touching the Past?



Public archaeology is concerned with the external image of archaeology, which is often seen as an elitist niche subject. Yet the future of archaeology lies in ensuring support for the subject and training future archaeologists. The demise of archaeology GCSE and the Government’s further education policies threaten to make archaeology yet more elitist. If we are to engage the public surely we ought to ‘start young’ and nurture a sense of ownership and ‘agency’ in children through schools and museums? This paper describes the design and trial of an interactive archaeological activity inspired by constructivist learning theories. It concludes with some suggestions for good practice in engaging the public in archaeology.

Keywords: public, interpretation, interactive, education, Constructivism

How to Cite: Dhanjal, S. (2005) “Touching the Past?”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 16(0). doi: