Miss Leah Hewerdine

Supervised by

Research interests

  • Public Archaeology
  • UK Planning Policy
  • Public Engagement 
  • Commercial Archaeology 
  • Archaeology Grey Literature and Publications 
  • Accessibility in Archaeology 

 

Doctoral Research

Public access to archaeology is not always granted. Commercial archaeology projects are often developer-funded and sited on the urban fringe of existing towns and villages where much housing development takes place. Public engagement is essential for these projects because the local community possesses a close connection to their local landscape and the known heritage.  The aim of my research is to investigate the scope and value of public engagement in archaeology in the United Kingdom and its role in shaping public understanding of our historical landscape. The central question this project asks is: how do varying experiences of archaeology differ in their effect on the multiple publics’ understanding of and connections to UK heritage and what can be done to address any shortcomings?

This research is timely because current post-Brexit amendments to law and government policies may no longer require the developer to fund rescue archaeology projects. This could potentially result in a loss of protection for the historic environment and a further loss of public engagement with archaeology. This project will address how we present archaeological material to ensure accessibility and protect the historical landscape from becoming further severed from multiple publics. Through surveys, excavation open days, focus groups, and workshops with multiple publics, I assess the accessibility of archaeological excavations and site publications. Using this primary research this project tests current theories in archaeology by exploring alternative learning experiences and how they can help to maintain a connection to heritage. This project suggests methods for improving public experiences of archaeology to provide the public with a greater and more contextualised understanding of UK heritage.

Take part in my research!

The survey is about public experiences of developer-funded archaeology! It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, anyone can take part, and no knowledge of developer-funded archaeology is required. The link to the survey is here: https://forms.gle/1h151ZyvagtPy2i26  

Teaching

  • Primary marker of Classical Antiquity Core Course assignments Autumn Term 2019
  • Primary marker of Classical Antiquity Core Course 'Relative and Absolute Chronologies' assignment 2018

Educational background

  • 2016-2017. MA Classcial Art and Archaeology (Lond). Thesis title - Does the acceptance and use of funding from for-profit organisations interfere with a museum's role to maintain 'public trust and integrity in all museum activities'? Supervisor: Dr Zena Kamash
  • 2013-2016. BA Classical Studies (Lond). Thesis title - 'The difference between eroticism and pornography is one of art': exploring the reception of sexual imagery in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Supervisor: Dr Zena Kamash

Scholarships and Awards

  • Department of Classics doctoral studentship (2018-)
  • TECHNE Associate (2018-)
  • RHUL Gold Passport Award

 Conferences

  • Ubiquitous barriers, and how we can overcome them, in public benefit with development-led archaeology in the UK. Session: Measuring and assessing Public Benefit; European Arhaeological Council (EAC) Symposium on Archaeology and Public Benefit: moving the debate forward; National Museum Prague, Czech Republic. 2020.
  • Breaking down the barriers in grey literature and publications. Session: Publishing Power; Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG); University College of London (UCL) London, UK. 2019
  • Session co-organizer 
    Session: Gender and Power in developer-fundedarchaeology; Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG); University College of London (UCL) London, UK. 2019.

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