In 1784, Immanuel Kant wrote: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another". The Enlightenment is the foundation of modern science and the constitutional state, including its administration of archaeological heritage.
Indivisibly connected with the fundamental principle of the Enlightenment - the equality of all mature humans – are the universal human rights: subjective, individual rights due to any human being. Part of the cultural participatory rights, which the state has to provide for actively, are the rights to participate in cultural life and science. These rights are not just guaranteed in the (non-binding) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also in Art. 15 (1-3) of the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, which has been ratified by both Germany and Austria and thus are binding international and national law.
I thus argue in this contribution that strictly speaking, a ratification of the Faro-Convention is not necessary to make the enabling of public participation in archaeological heritage, its protection and management, an active duty of the state. The Faro-Convention, which Austria in difference to Germany has already ratified, just specifies in greater detail the rights and services the state has to provide to every human on its territory.
If one were to resist public participation in archaeological heritage management, one would thus not only violate already applicable human law. One would also undermine science and the foundations of our social and legal order, and thus also the foundations of modern archaeological heritage management itself.