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The European Commission supports the “NEARCH” project: a major international archaeology programme

In the framework of the “Culture” programme, the European Commission has selected for funding the project “NEARCH – New scenarios for a community-involved archaeology”. Proposed by the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap, Paris) and 15 academic and research organizations from 11 European countries, this proposal has been chosen out of 80 applications submitted in 2012.

With a budget of 5 million Euros, half of it covered by the European Union, this 5 years  international programme (2013-2018) leaded by Inrap aims to explore the different dimensions of public participation in archaeology today and to propose new ways of working and cooperating in a profession strongly concerned by the current economic crisis.

NEARCH is one of the 14 projects selected for funding this year by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission. As a follow-up of the now completed “Archaeology in Contemporary Europe” EU-funded project (2008-2012), NEARCH is the most ambitious and largest European programme devoted to archaeology in terms of budget, objectives and number of partners.


The project’s content is structured around six main themes and fields of action, as follows: 

1- Archaeology for the community: informing and involving people
Re-think and develop the ways to communicate and mediate archaeology towards the various audiences.

2- Archaeology and the imaginary: crossroads between science and art
Explore and enhance the relationships between archaeology and artistic creation, by encouraging collaborations between archaeologists and contemporary artists

3- Archaeology and knowledge: teaching and sharing information
Promote new ways of teaching archaeological knowledge and practices to young professionals and sharing archaeological data to the various audiences by using the full potential of the web.

4- Archaeology in a changing economy: towards sustainability
Shape, through the exchange of experiences and comparative studies, a new economic model for a sustainable practice of archaeology and heritage management.

5- European archaeology and the world: dependencies and mutual development
Highlight the societal component of archaeology, considered as the expression of a wider community rather than a restricted academic domain

6- Coordination, mobility and project’s communication
Coordinate the work program and transversal activities such as mobility grants for archaeology professionals and communication and dissemination actions.

Monique van den Dries

For this project, Inrap has brought together various European research centres, universities and cultural organizations:
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain)
Instituto per i beni artistici culturali e naturali dell’Emilia Romagna (Italy)
Culture Lab (Belgium)
Faculteit der Archeologie, Universiteit Leiden (Netherlands) 
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu (Poland)
Archaeology Data Service (United-Kingdom)
Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (Germany)
Jan van Eyck Academie (Netherlands)
Centquatre (France)
University of Oxford (United-Kingdom)
University of Gothenburg (Sweden)

Other associated partners include the archaeology department of the town of Saint-Denis (France), the European Association of Archaeologists (Czech Republic) and the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (France).

At their inaugural meeting on June 20 th and 21 st 2013, at the Centquatre art centre in Paris, the partners discussed the project’s implementation details, fine-tuning the work program, roles and responsibilities and time schedule.

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