Developing Effective Communication Skills in Archaeology

deadline for submissions: 
February 24, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Enrico Proietti for IGI Global

This is a Call for Chapters to be published in the book "Developing Effective Communication Skills in Archaeology" by IGI Global.

Enrico Proietti, expert in Communication of Archaeological Heritage from the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (see contacts below), is the editor.

Communicating archaeological heritage at the institutional level and scientific studies on topics related to communication and proper use of the testimonies of the past led us to reflect a lot on the real situation of archeology today. The book is a good chance to start a scientific debate that promises to be interesting. On the reasons for publishing it, we must begin by recognizing the deep lack of archaeological literacy that is typical of contemporary societies, the cause of which seems to be poor communication and a not effective education.
An analysis of archaeological exhibitions would reveal the strong presence of the words “mystery” and “treasure” such as can be seen in “The mystery of the Etruscans”, “The Treasure of the Pharaoh” “Nazca lines: a mystery unrevealed”, “Treasures from the Far East”, and so on.
Our knowledge of many civilizations often arises from grave goods and funerary contexts in general. Therefore, archaeology is often simplistically, or ironically, defined as “the science of the dead”, even though we know very well that archaeology is not at all to be restricted to the dead.
We live in a society that perceives the study and the protection of archaeological heritage with a mixed feeling of pride and satisfaction, often induced. Therefore, it is felt as related to additional realities, not very important nor valid until its consequences are no longer perceived with annoyance, or as colliding with the fulfillment of social needs, especially with one’s own. The appreciation of the charm of ancient remains ends abruptly when their presence prevents the desired work. The protection of amazing finds is still understood, isolated in areas out of the way, of course: whilst all the objects, signs, structures, which, coming from past ages, compose the history and the appearance of the landscape, are even believed too many. Few people are able to understand why and how a durable future can only be built on the comprehension of the past: away from any mystery and all treasures, concepts too weak and far to give birth to personal emotional feelings.
All this mentioned above would convince us to try to change archaeological communication. Archaeologists have their answerability and responsibility. The “sacred attitude” which they have often shown toward archaeological remains has created a gap, a distance. Museums are still presented as temples, where the archaeologist-minister says what is “holy” and how to worship it. Nevertheless, similar to an imposed religion, this cult is never, or very hardly, understood or shared by the receivers of this strange, distorted communication. No one ever explains the “why”. Archaeologists, as holders of scientific expertise on objects, resist giving in to an effective openness of communication.
For sure, we’ll not be against archaeologists at all (many of the people involved in this project are!). On the contrary, we’ll be pro: pro-archaeologists, pro-archaeology, pro-archaeological heritage, pro-communities who live in contact with it. These communities, these people, they need archaeological literacy, need a correct form of communication that helps them to live better in their territories. Archaeology is strongly territorial.

Current societies, in the age of technological globalization, risk not having any more awareness of their roots. We want to try to improve the effectiveness of how we communicate the past. We must have valid instruments that know how to combine absolute scientificity and the right approach to archeology with the capacities and needs of citizens.
Scientific literature, all media, old and new technology, cultural mediation, are all instruments to pursue the goal of improving the common consideration of what is archaeological, in its various aspects.

Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and scholars working in the field of archaeology, communication, journalism, heritage management, sociology, education, semiology, information technology, history, anthropology, geography.
They'll come from several university faculties, institutions at various levels, research centers, schools, media, film and tv industry, cultural mediation organizations, etc.

Recommended Topics
The structure of the book has a first well defined core of topics that will be treated, as follows:
- Developing communication in archaeology.
- Archaeology in Education: a Cognitive Perspective.
- Contribution of the archaeology to the remembrance.
- Public archaeology, archaeology and the public.
- The didactics of the archaeological landscape.
- Why matter matters. A philosophical attempt to understand the value of archaeology for our education and our culture. Or how an archaeological approach gives a unique perspective on our existence.
- The benefit for the public when archaeologic Museums and Institutions work together cross-country in exhibition projects.
- New challenges for archaeology from good communication.
- Digital transformation and Archaeology. Envisioning new possibilities leveraging the cloud, artificial intelligence and mixed reality.
- Communicating archaeology in a social world.

OTHER CHAPTERS ARE ASKED. General indications on contents are provided below. These are brief explanations and not constraints. Each proposal will be evaluated: it is only required to stick to the spirit of the book, as explained above.

1. Communication instruments for archaeological heritage
Communicating the "messages" related to archeology and archaeological heritage, to which are attached signs that require special codes to be deciphered, needs for specific instruments. It is useful to provide a framework of the ones that can correctly communicate those messages.

2. Social implications of maintaining and restoring archaeological heritage
If discovering ancient remains has an adventurous and fascinating side, having to maintain and restore them means financial and social burdens more difficult to accept. Thus, this option takes on a very important social responsibility.

3. Archaeological remains and sociology
The presence of testimonies of the past in the landscape experienced by human communities has different functions: identity-making, affective, interpretative, development-modelling, etc. They have an important sociological dimension and can be exploited to improve social life of those communities.

4. The need for widespread awareness about illicit excavations and trade of archaeological properties.
Illegal activities against archaeological heritage prevent the knowledge of the historical memories of a territory and of the populations that live there. It is therefore necessary that every citizen can increase his awareness in this regard. The level of contrast must grow and everyone must be an active part of it.

5. New museums to communicate archaeology?
Too many archaeological museums appear old and archaeological objects are kept “silent”, as wonderful testimonies but mute, unable to arouse real emotions. Can designers, architects, and archaeologists collaborate with communication experts? Can all together arrive to a new communicative concept of archaeological museum?

6. Archaeological parks do not show the ancient context
In the archaeological parks, visitors observe remains that have either been excavated from the earth or have been cleaned up by the ravages of time. In both cases, an artificial and discretionary context has been created, not corresponding to the real one of antiquity. What mediation can be put in place to compensate, at least partially, this situation?

7. Educational exhibits on archaeological topics
Most of the exhibitions on archaeological topics focus on sensational concepts or on characters and sites of great resonance. True archaeological science is often alien to them. Some attempts have been made, and can be accounted for, but new parameters have to be set.

8. Cinema and archaeology
Speaking of the media, it is particularly interesting to analyze how the film industry communicates archaeology and archaeologists. In fact, cinema is a powerful tool for the formation of the collective imagination and for directing the enjoyment of archaeological monuments. The Colosseum has greatly increased the already high number of visitors after the movie "The Gladiator".

9. Archaeology in developing Countries
Most of the considerations set out in the book, to be honest, are related to Countries where archaeology implies problems related to their advanced development. Instead, there are Countries that are looted of their heritage, and others more where archeology is even scarcely taken into consideration, because of major problems to be solved but also due to the lack of advanced artifacts or, maybe, more to the lack of Governments’ organization. A study of the state of archaeological consideration in those Countries, even commensurate with their cultures, is therefore appropriate.

10. Migrations and archaeological heritage
Future society, as it is emerging in recent years, will see the contribution of strong migratory flows. It is worth discussing what role archaeological heritage can play in the process of forming the new society of a given Country.

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 2a, 2019, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by March 15, 2019 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by May 30, 2019, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Developing Effective Communication Skills in Archaeology. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery®TM online submission manager.

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference), "Medical Information Science Reference," "Business Science Reference," and "Engineering Science Reference" imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2019.

Important Dates
February 24, 20189 Proposal Submission Deadline
March 15, 2019: Notification of Acceptance
May 30, 2019: Full Chapter Submission
July 30, 2019: Review Results Returned
July 31, 2019: Final Acceptance Notification
August 15, 2019: Final Chapter Submission

Enrico Proietti
Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, Directorate-General for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, Italy