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To be or not to be? Public archaeology as a tool of public opinion and the dilemma of intellectuality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 June 2013


Stating the value of archaeology for contemporary society is a very difficult task hardly undertaken by archaeologists. Work with a contemporary record directly linked to local communities, and the approach of public archaeology, have helped to bring society and archaeology closer together. However, the role of a public intellectual goes beyond archaeology, delving into current social worries. Is it possible to play this game from archaeology? The multiple and complex relations between archaeology and society open the door to participation in public debates, but we stand to lose our essence. We face a Shakespearean dilemma, a choice between having an influential voice in the present, or just an expert opinion.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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