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On 23.1.2015, Austria ratified the Faro Convention (CoE 2005). The societal framework for Austrian archaeology has thus been fundamentally changed: signatory states commit to encouraging everyone to actively participate in the process of identification, study, interpretation, protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural heritage. The previous standard practice of Austrian professional archaeology to mostly exclude interested citizens from archaeological processes – whether the discovery of archaeology in situ or decisions about the future of finds and sites – thus is directly contradicted by international obligations that Austria has entered into: professional archaeology, which (at least allegedly) aims to work in the public interest, is now required to enable active public participation in archaeology. To pre-emptively and sustainably engage with this new situation, in spring 2015 the charity ArchaeoPublica was founded with support by the Austrian National Heritage Agency and other archaeological organisations. This charity aims to provide archaeologically supervised opportunities for public participation in archaeology and to encourage cooperation between interested citizens and professional archaeologists. First significant steps to increasing public participation in archaeological decision making processes have already been made by, for instance, trying to give heritage protection NGOs statutory participatory rights in EIA-procedures. Most Austrians dig archaeology and thus we now attempt to protect it collaboratively.


  • ARCHAEOLOGY, Heritage management, public participation, Faro Convention, Austria
Original languageGerman
Number of pages12
JournalArchäologische Informationen
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2016

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