Bulgaria’s National Institute and Museum of Archaeology Hosting 19th Symposium of European Archaeological Council

Ancient Roman ruins are incorporated into the Arena di Serdica hotel in Sofia where the 19th annual symposium of the EAC is taking place. Photo: Arena di Serdica

Bulgaria’s National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia, part of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, is hosting the 19th Heritage Management Symposium of the European Archaeological Council (Europae Archaeologiae Consilium, EAC).

The symposium is entitled “Development-led Archaeology in Europe. Meeting the Needs of Archaeologists, Developers and the Public".

It is taking place on March 21-23, 2017, in the Arena di Serdica hotel in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

It is to bring together leading experts from the European Archaeological Council (Europae Archaeologiae Consilium) from about a dozen European countries, the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia has announced.

“EAC wants to make a contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, by organizing its annual Symposium on a topic which is closely related to the objectives of this initiative. It is appropriate to gather in Bulgaria, the country which is chairing the European Union in the first half of 2018," the EAC has stated.

It points out that development-led archaeology (preventive archaeology) has taken over almost all archaeological excavations in Europe.

It is estimated, that in many European countries, as much as 80-90% of excavations are now development-led and in some countries close to 100%, the Council adds.

​It reminds that in 2015 the EAC Symposium concentrated on development-led archaeology under the title “When Valletta Meets Faro. The Reality of European Archaeology in the 21st Century", tackling the issues of the various legal and organizational models across Europe, the outcomes of rescue excavations, and how to guarantee sustainable benefits to the public.

In 2017, the annual Symposium of the European Archaeological Council was partly connected with development-led archaeology.

It was entitled “Dare to Choose: Making Choices in Archaeological Heritage Management", and focused on decision-making mechanism with respect to cultural heritage management.

And one of the subthemes of the Amersfoort Agenda published after the EAC Symposium in 2014 (Theme 1. The Spirit of the Faro Convention: Embedding Archaeology in Society) was, “Know the public: analyse the wants, interests and expectations of stakeholders in society regarding their involvement in archaeology, preferably through interactions with theses stakeholders."

​“In the 2018 Heritage Management Symposium, the idea is therefore to look at the topic of development-led archaeology from a different angle and open up a discussion between the heritage management officials, the developers, the archaeologists working in the field and the public," the European Archaeological Council (Europae Archaeologiae Consilium) explains.

“How can we meet the needs of these very different stakeholders and do we always need to? How do politics affect the archaeological heritage management and the different stakeholders? How can they in turn affect politics and politicians?" it adds.

The European Archaeological Council points out that the topic is also relevant in view of the decision of the European Parliament and the EU Council to make 2018 the European Year of Cultural Heritage with the aim of raising awareness as well as drawing attention to the opportunities offered by cultural heritage.

​The Europae Archaeologiae Consilium (EAC) was founded in 1999. It is a democratic network of heads of national institutions responsible for the management of the archaeological heritage in the Council of Europe member states.

The EAC is dedicated to the exchange of information between its members about standards and best practice related to heritage management, the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia notes.

The member states of the European Archaeological Council are: Austria, Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.

Update: Bulgaria was admitted as a member of the European Archaeological Council as of March 22, 2018.

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