We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Dr Gemma Tully

Tully, G. & Allen, M.J. (2017). Participatory Augering: A methodology for challenging perceptions of archaeology and landscape change. Public Archaeology 16(3-4): 191-213.

Author(s) from Durham


Public engagement is a significant feature of twenty-first-century archaeological practice. While more diverse audiences are connecting with the discipline in a multitude of ways, public perceptions of archaeology are still marred by stereotypes. Community excavations of ‘sites’ to discover ‘treasures’ which tell us about the ‘past’ overshadow other forms of public research output and hinder the potential of the discipline to contribute to contemporary society more widely. This paper proposes participatory augering as an active public engagement method that challenges assumptions about the nature of archaeological practice by focusing on interpretation at a landscape-scale. Through exploration of recent participatory augering research by the REFIT Project and Environmental Archaeologist Mike Allen, this paper demonstrates how the public can contribute to active archaeological research by exploring narratives of landscape change. Evaluation of the existing case studies reflects the potential of the approach to engage audiences with new archaeological methods and narratives which have the potential to transform perceptions of the discipline and, through knowledge exchange, drive community-led contributions to contemporary landscape management.