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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Publication details for Dr Karen Milek

Milek, Karen (2018). Transdisciplinary archaeology and the future of archaeological practice: Citizen science, portable science, ethical science. Norwegian Archaeological Review 51(1-2): 36-47.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper presents a vision and a pathway for the future of archaeological practice, in which several fields that are currently considered distinct, including community-based collaborative archaeology, indigenous archaeology, and applied archaeology, could become the norm. Inspired by personal encounters with some exceptionally open and collaborative archaeology projects, as well as by recent advances in archaeological science, which are starting to make it more portable, this paper sets out an agenda for a more open approach to archaeological practice. It advocates a method of producing knowledge about the past that does not privilege one investigator over another, but gives everyone who is interested and wants to participate an opportunity to do. Specific methodological challenges that are discussed include the need to ‘flip’ the public outreach element of research designs, to embed open participation from the outset by nurturing relationships of mutual respect and trust, and to take advantage of, and improve, the portability of archaeological science, so that it can be done in and by local communities. It is argued here that the opening of archaeological research, including the archaeological sciences, to a wider range of participants, is the most ethical approach to archaeological practice in a pan-disciplinary research environment.