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The Principles of the Enlightenment provide the foundation of modern science and the modern democratic state, including its public administrative functions in the field of archaeological heritage management. Indivisibly linked with the primary premise of the Enlightenment – the equality of all humans – is the concept of universal human rights: subjective, individual rights due to every human being
Among the participatory human rights, which the state has to provide for in the form of positive services, are the rights to freely participate in the cultural life of the community and the right to academic freedom. Modern science, in turn, is based on the idea of the general traceability of its results, which necessarily requires that every human must also be able to create his own scientific discoveries; that is, to be able and permitted to conduct scientific research himself as he sees fit without the guidance of others. Any attempt to prevent or unduly restrict self-determined public participation in archaeological heritage management thus not just violates already existing human rights. It also (especially, but not necessarily exclusively, in German-speaking Central Europe) constitutes an attack on modern science and our social and political order and thus on the foundations of modern archaeological heritage management itself.


  • Archaeology, Heritage, Management, Law, Heritage law, Public participation, Human Rights, Enlightenment
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalArchäologische Informationen
Early online date4 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2020

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