Skip to main content

Towards an Evaluation-Based Framework of Collaborative Archaeology

  • David R. Guilfoyle (a1) and Erin A. Hogg (a2)

Collaborative archaeology is a growing field within the discipline, albeit one that is rarely analyzed. Although collaborative approaches are varied and diverse, we argue that they can all share a single methodological framework. Moreover, we suggest that collaborative archaeology projects can be evaluated to determine the variety among projects and to identify the elements of engaged research. We provide two case studies emphasizing project evaluation: (1) inter-project evaluation of community-engagement in British Columbia archaeology and (2) intra-project evaluation of co-management archaeology projects in Western Australia. The two case studies highlight that project evaluation is possible and that a single framework can be applied to many different types of projects. Collaborative archaeology requires analysis and evaluation to determine what facilitates engagement to further the discipline and to create better connections between archaeologists and community members. The discussed case studies illustrate two shared methods for accomplishing this. The paper argues that collaborative approaches are necessary for advancing archaeological practice.

La arqueología colaborativa es un área de estudio que se ha desarrollado dentro de esta disciplina, no obstante los limitados análisis que existen en torno a ella. Aunque los enfoques en colaboración son variados y diversos, sostenemos que en su conjunto pueden compartir un mismo marco metodológico. Además, se sugiere que los proyectos de arqueología colaborativa pueden ser evaluados para determinar la variedad que existe entre ellos y determinar en qué consiste una investigación con compromiso. Presentamos dos estudios de caso que se enfocan en la evaluación de proyectos: (1) una inter evaluación de un proyecto con compromiso comunitario en la arqueología de British Columbia y (2) una intra evaluación de proyectos de manejo compartido en Western Australia. Los dos estudios de caso destacan que es posible evaluar los proyectos y que una misma metodología puede evaluar diferentes tipos de proyectos. La arqueología colaborativa requiere analizarse y evaluarse para determinar qué es lo que facilita el compromiso para impulsar a la disciplina y crear mejores relaciones entre los arqueólogos y los miembros de la comunidad. Los estudios de caso analizados comparten dos métodos que hacen esto posible. Este artículo sostiene que las estrategias de colaboración son necesarias para impulsar la práctica arqueológica.

Hide All
Aldenderfer, Mark 1993 Working Together: Exploring Avenues for Cooperation between Archaeologists and Native American Peoples. Bulletin for the Society of American Archaeology 11(4):2.
Allen, Harry 1998 History Matters: A Commentary on Divergent Interpretations of Australian History. Australian Aboriginal Studies 2:7989.
Apland, Brian 1993 The Roles of the Provincial Government in British Columbia. BC Studies 99:724.
Armitage, D. R., Plummer, R., Berkes, F., Arthur, R. I., Davidson-Hunt, I. J., Diduck, A., Doubleday, N. C., Johnson, D. S., Marschke, M., McConney, P., Pinkerton, E. W., and Wollenberg, E. K. 2009 Adaptive Co–management for Social–Ecological Complexity. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6:95102.
Arnstein, Sherry R. 1969 A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35(4):216224.
Atalay, Sonya 2006 Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice. The American Indian Quarterly 30(3):280310.
Atalay, Sonya 2012 Community-Based Archaeology: Research with, by, and for Indigenous and Local Communities. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Atalay, Sonya, Clauss, Lee Rains, McGuire, Randall H, and Welch , John R 2014 Transforming Archaeology. In Transforming Archaeology, edited by Sonya, Atalay,Clauss, Lee Rains, McGuire, Randall H, and Welch, John R, pp. 728. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.
Austin, Diane E. 2004 Partnerships, Not Projects! Improving the Environment through Collaborative Research and Action. Human Organization 63(4):419430.
Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) 2012 Code of Ethics. Electronic document,, accessed March 6, 2014.
Bernard, H. Russell 2006 Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 4th ed. AltaMira Press, Lanham.
Bishop, Fiona 2005 Restoring Wagin, Reviving Mount Barker. Report on the Mount Barker Community Tour to the Wagin Native Reserve and the Weit-JenLakes Noongar Heritage Trail. A Restoring Connections Project (South Coast Natural Resource Management, Inc.), Albany.
British Columbia Association of Professional Archaeologists (BCAPA) 2011 RISC Training. Electronic document, accessed December 3, 2013.
Budhwa, Rick 2005 An Alternate Model for First Nations Involvement Resource Management Archaeology. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 29(1):2045.
Burke, H., and Smith, C. 2010 Vestiges of Colonialism: Manifestations of the Culture/nature Divide in Australian Heritage Management. In Cultural Heritage Management: A Global Perspective, edited by Messenger, P.M. and Smith, G.S., pp.2137. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Burley, David 1994 A Never Ending Story: Historical Developments in Canadian Archaeology and the Quest for Federal Heritage Legislation. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 18:7798.
Byrne, D., Brayshaw, H., and Ireland, T. 2003 Social Significance: A Discussion Paper. Research Unit, Cultural Heritage Division, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hurstville.
Canadian Archaeological Association(CAA) 1997 Statement of Principles for Ethical Conduct Pertaining to Aboriginal Peoples. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 21(1):5–6.
Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) 2014a About the CAA: Objectives. Electronic document,, accessed March 5, 2014.
Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) 2014b Principles of Ethical Conduct. Electronic document,, accessed April 13, 2013.
Chapin, Stuart F., Kofinas, Gary P., and Folke, Carl 2009 Principles of Ecosystem Stewardship: Resilience-Based Natural Resource Management in a Changing World. Springer, New York.
Charmaz, K. 2000 Grounded theory: Objectivist and Constructivist Methods. In Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd ed., edited by Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S., pp. 509536. Sage Publications, London.
Clarke, Anne 2001 The Ideal and the Real: Cultural and Personal Transformations of Archaeological Research on Groote Eylandt, Northern Australia. World Archaeology 34(2):249264.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip, and Ferguson, T.J. 2004 Virtue Ethics and the Practice of History: Native Americans and Archaeologists along the San Pedro Valley of Arizona. Journal of Social Archaeology 4(1):527.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip, and Ferguson, T.J. 2008 The Collaborative Continuum. In Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities, edited by Chip, Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson, T.J., pp. 134. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip, and Ferguson, T.J. (editors) 2008 Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities. AltaMira Press, Lanham.
Corbin, Juliet, and Strauss, Anselm 2008 Basics of Qualitative Research. 3rd ed. Sage Publications, Los Angeles.
Dalley, Cameo 2004 Control and Power in Australian Community Archaeology: Case Studies from Waanyi Country, Northwest Queensland. Unpublished Bachelor’s (Honors) thesis, School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
David, B., and McNiven, Ian J. 2004 Western Torres Strait Cultural History Project: Research Design and Initial Results. In Torres Strait Archaeology and Material Culture, Vol. 3, edited by McNiven, Ian J. and Quinnell, Michael, pp. 199208. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum Cultural Heritage Series, Brisbane.
Davis, Hester A. 2010 Heritage Resource Management in the United States. In Cultural Heritage Management: A Global Perspective, edited by Messenger, Phyllis Mauch and Smith, George S., pp. 188198. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Dortch, J., and Guilfoyle, David R. 2007 Cultural Values Assessment of Cherininup. Unpublished report prepared for Bush Heritage Australia. Copies available from Bush Heritage Australia, Melbourne.
Ferguson, T.J. 1996 Native Americans and the Practice of Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology 25: 6379.
Ferguson, T.J., and Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip 2006 History Is in the Land: Multivocal Tribal Traditions in Arizona’s San Pedro Valley. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Ferris, Neal 2003 Between Colonial and Indigenous Archaeologies: Legal and Extra-Legal Ownership of the Archaeological Past in North America. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 27(2):154190.
Folke, Carl, Hahn, Thomas, Olsson, Per, and Norberg, Jon 2005 Adaptive Governance of Social–Ecological Systems. The Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30:441473.
Friend, Marilyn, and Cook, Lynne 2003 Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals, 4th ed. Allyn and Bacon, Boston.
Glaser, Barney G., and Strauss , Anselm L. 1967 The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Aldine Publishing Company, Chicago.
Greer, Shelley, Harrison, Rodney, and McIntyre-Tamwoy, Susan 2002 Community-Based Archaeology in Australia. World Archaeology 34(2):265287.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2007a Gnowangerup Cultural NRM Project. Unpublished report, Resting Connections Project, South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2007b Tambellup Flooded Graves Community NRM Project. Unpublished report, Resting Connections Project, South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2010a Cultural Heritage Assessment of Monjebup North, Pallinup Catchment, Great Southern, Western Australia. Unpublished report for Bush Heritage Australia. Applied Archaeology Australia, Albany. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2010b Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan of Kwoorabup Beelia (Denamrk River). Unpublished report for the Shire of Denmark, Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation, and Department of Aboriginal Affairs (Western Australia). Applied Archaeology Australia, Albany. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2010c Archaeological Heritage Management Plan, Ellensbrook Catchment. Unpublished report prepared by Applied Archaeology Australia for the National Trust of Australia and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2011a Cultural Mapping and Heritage Conservation of the Bibbulmun-Wadandi Cultural Landscape. Unpublished report prepared for the Indigenous Heritage Program and the national Trust of Australia (W.A.). Applied Archaeology Australia. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R. 2011b Report of a Cultural Heritage Assessment of the Quaranup (Vancouver) Peninsula, Albany, Western Australia. Unpublished report prepared for the Albany Heritage Reference Groups Aboriginal Corporation. Applied Archaeology Australia. Copies available at South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc., Albany, Western Australia.
Guilfoyle, David R., Bennell, Bill, Webb, Wayne, Gilles, Vernice, and Strickland, Jen 2009 Integrating Natural Resource Management and Indigenous Cultural Heritage: A Model and Case Study from Southwestern Australia. Heritage Management 2(2):149176.
Guilfoyle, David R., Guilfoyle, Andrew, and Reynolds, Doc 2009 Participatory Action Research in Cultural Heritage Management for Indigenous Cultural Heritage: The Gabbie Kylie Foundation, Esperance, Western Australia. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations 9(6):95118.
Guilfoyle, David R., and Mitchell, Myles 2015 Compliance-Based Archaeological Heritage Management and Place-Based Participatory Mapping for Negotiated Outcomes, Australian Archaeology 80, in press.
Guilfoyle, David, Mitchell, Myles, Morgan, Cat, Coyne, Harley, and Gillies, Vernice 2013 Exploring the Role of Archaeology within Indigenous Natural Resource Management: A Case Study from Western Australia. In Transcending the Culture-Nature Divide in Cultural Heritage: Views from the Asia-Pacific Region, edited by O’Connor, Sally, Brockwell, Sue and Byrne, Denis, pp. 101116. Terra Australis No. 36. ANU EPress, Canberra.
Guilfoyle, David R., Webb, W., Webb, T. and Mitchell, Myles 2011 A Structure and Process for “Working beyond the Site” in a Commercial Context: A Case Study from Dunsborough, Southwest Western Australia. Australian Archaeology 73:2532.
Hammond, Joanne 2009 Archaeology without Reserve: Indigenous Stewardship in British Columbia. Unpublished Master’s thesis, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.
Hemming, Steve, and Rigney, Daryle 2010 Decentering the New Protectors: Transforming Aboriginal Heritage in South Australia. International Journal of Heritage Studies 16(1–2):90106.
Hogg, Erin A. 2014 Community Engagement in British Columbia Archaeology. Unpublished Master’s thesis, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.
Klassen, Michael A 2013 Indigenous Heritage Stewardship and the Transformation of Archaeological Practice: Two Case Studies from the Mid-Fraser Region of British Columbia. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University Burnaby, B.C.
Lassiter, Luke Eric 2008 Moving Past Public Anthropology and Doing Collaborative Research. Napa Bulletin 29:7086.
Layton, Robert (editor) 1994 Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions. Routledge,London and New York.
Lilley, Ian 2000 Native Title and the Transformation of Archaeology in the Postcolonial World. Sydney, Oceania.
Little, Barbara J. 2007 Archaeology and Civic Engagement. In Archaeology as a Tool of Civic Engagement, edited by Barbara, J. Little and Shackel, Paul A., pp. pp. 122. Altamira Press, Lanham.
Little, Barbara J., and Shackel, Paul A. (editors) 2007 Archaeology as a Tool of Civic Engagement. AltaMira Press, Lanham.
Lu Holt, Flora 2005 The Catch-22 of Conservation: Indigenous Peoples, Biologists, and Cultural Change Human Ecology 33(2):199215.
Lyons, Natasha 2013 Where the Wind Blows Us: Practicing Critical Community Archaeology in the Canadian North. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
McDavid, Carol 2014 Community Archaeology. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, edited by Smith, Claire, pp. 15911598. Springer Reference, New York.
McGuire, Randall H. 2008 Archaeology as Political Action. University of California Press, Berkeley.
McNiven, Ian J., and Russell, Lynette 2005 Appropriated Pasts: Indigenous Peoples and the Colonial Culture of Archaeology. Altamira Press, Lanham.
Marshall, Yvonne (editor) 2002 Community Archaeology. Special Issue, World Archaeology 34(2).
Miles, Matthew B., and Huberman, A. Michael 1994 Qualitative Data Analysis. 2nd ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
Mitchell, Myles, Guilfoyle, David R., Reynolds, Ron Doc, and Morgan, Cat 2013 Towards Sustainable Community Heritage Management and the Role of Archaeology: A Case Study from Western Australia. Heritage & Society 6(1):2445.
Moser, Stephanie, Glazier, Darren, Phillips, James E., Nemr, Lamya N., Mousa, Mohammed S., and Aiesh, Rascha N., Richardson, Susan, Conner, Andrew, and Seymour, Michael 2002 Transforming Archaeology through Practice: Strategies for Collaborative Archaeology and the Community Archaeology Project at Quseir, Egypt. World Archaeology 34(2):220248.
Nicholas, George P. 2000 Indigenous Land Rights, Education, and Archaeology in Canada: Postmodern/ Postcolonial Perspectives by a Non-Canadian White Guy. In Native Title and the Transformation of Archaeology in the Postcolonial World, edited by Lilley, I., pp. 121137, Oceania Monographs 50. Oceania Publications, Sydney.
Nicholas, George P. 2008 Native Peoples and Archaeology. In Encyclopedia of Archaeology, edited by Pearsall, D.M., pp. 16601669. Academic Press, New York.
Nicholas, George P. (editor) 2010 Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.
Nicholas, George P., and Andrews, T. D. 1997 At a Crossroads: Archaeology and First Peoples in Canada. Archaeology Press, Dept. of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.
Nicholas, George P., Welch, John R., and Yellowhorn, Eldon C. 2008 Collaborative Encounters. In Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities, edited by Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Chip and Ferguson, T.J., pp. 273298. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek.
Plummer, Ryan 2009 The Adaptive Co-Management Process: An Initial Synthesis of Representative Models and Influential Variables. Ecology and Society 14(2):24.
Plummer, Ryan, and Hashimoto, Atsuko 2011 Adaptive Co-Management and the Need for Situated Thinking in Collaborative Conservation. Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management 16:222235.
Plummer, Ryan, Crona, Beatrice, Armitage, Derek R., Per, Olsson, Tengö, Maria, and Yudina, Olga 2012 Adaptive Co-management: A Systematic Review and Analysis. Ecology and Society 17(3):11.
Pokotylo, David, and Mason, Andrew R. 2010 Archaeological Heritage Resource Protection in Canada: The Legislative Basis. In Cultural Heritage Management: A Global Perspective, edited by Messenger, Phyllis Mauch and Smith, George S., pp. 4869. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
Rizvi, Fazal, and Lingard, Bob 2013 Globalizing Education Policy. New York, Routledge.
Rowley, Susan 2002 Inuit Participation in the Archaeological of Nunavut: A Historical Overview. In Honoring Our Elders: A History of Eastern Arctic Archaeology, edited by Fitzhugh, William W., Loring, Stephen, and Odess, Daniel Circumpolar Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Samuels, Stephen, and Daugherty , Richard 1991 Introduction to the Ozette Archaeological Project. In Ozette Archaeological Project Research Reports: Vol. 1. House Structure and Floor Midden, edited by Samuels, Stephen, pp. 127. Washington State University, Pullman.
Silliman, Stephen W. 2008 Collaborative Indigenous Archaeology: Troweling at the Edges, Eyeing the Center. In Collaborating at the Trowel’s Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology, edited by Silliman, Stephen W., pp 121. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Simon, Nina 2010 The Participatory Museum. Museum 2.0.
Smith, Claire, and Wobst, H. Martin (editors) 2005 Indigenous Archaeologies: Decolonizing Theory and Practice. Routledge: New York.
Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 1996 Principles of Archaeological Ethics. Electronic document,, accessed December 3, 2013.
Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 2013 The Future of Archaeology: Engagement with Descendant Communities. President’s Forum at the 78th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Spector, Janet D. 1993 What This Awl Means: Feminist Archaeology at a Wahpeton Dakota Village. Minnesota Historical Society Press, Minneapolis.
Stottman, M. Jay 2010 Archaeologists as Activists: Can Archaeologists Change the World? Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press.
Thomas, Nicholas 1994 Colonialism’s Culture: Anthropology, Travel, and Government. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Electronic document,, accessed December 3 2013.
Welch, John R. 2000 The White Mountain Apache Tribe Heritage Program: Origins, Operations, and Challenges. In Working Together: Native Americans and Archaeologists, edited by Dongoske, Kurt, Aldenderfer, Mark, and Doehner, Karen, pp. 6783. Society for American Archaeology, Washington, D.C.
Welch, John R., Altaha, Mark, Hoerig, Karl, and Riley, Ramon 2009 Best Cultural Heritage Stewardship Practices by and for the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 11(2):48160.
Welch, John R., and Ferguson, T.J. 2007 Putting Patria into Repatriation: Cultural Affiliations of White Mountain Apache Tribe Lands. Journal of Social Archaeology 7:171198.
Welch, John R., and Ferris, Neal 2014 “We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us”: Transforming Archaeology through Sustainable Design. In Transforming Archaeology, edited by Atalay, Sonya, Clauss, Lee Rains, McGuire, Randall H., and Welch, John R., pp. 91114. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.
Welch, John R., Lepofsky, Dana, and Washington, Michelle 2011 Assessing Collaboration with the Sliammon First Nation in a Community-Based Heritage Research and Stewardship Program. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 26(2):171190.
Wondolleck, Julia M. and Yaffee, Steven Lewis 2000 Making Collaboration Work: Lessons from Innovation in Natural Resource Management. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Advances in Archaeological Practice
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2326-3768
  • URL: /core/journals/advances-in-archaeological-practice
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed