Communicating not just the data and results, but also the energy and fascination of archaeology is essential.
Archaeologists need good communication skills if they are to succeed in making the past accessible to everyone.
Traditional forms of communication in archaeology include academic publication in journals, monographs and books,
or lectures in museums and colleges and public talks at monuments or excavation sites. These have been a part of
modern archaeology since its beginnings in the 19th century, and are still essential. Magazines such as Current
Archaeology and British Archaeology offer an up-to-date round up of current projects with features and opinion
columns. Organisations such as the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) act as a central information resource.
Radio and television archaeology began in the 1950s when Sir Mortimer Wheeler became the first media celebrity
archaeologist. The early TV panel game Animal, Vegetable, Mineral starred Wheeler but also occasionally featured
other great archaeologists of the time, such as V. Gordon Childe. In the 1960s and 1970s, the best known UK
programme was the BBC's documentary series Chronicle. The 1990s and 2000s saw a resurgence in archaeological TV
programmes, to the extent that archaeology now appears on several channels almost every evening. There are many
good examples (and some not so good!), but most people would probably agree that Channel 4's Time Team has been the
most effective at bringing the excitements (and sometimes the frustrations) of archaeology to the wider public.
The internet has become increasingly important in communicating archaeology. Many excavation projects now have
their own web site which is updated each day or week. The main organisations in archaeology have web sites, and it
is now possible to do much advanced research on the internet. There is even an academic journal called internet
archaeology. The only rule of internet use in archaeology is - be careful to check that the information you are
accessing is legitimate! There is a lot of disinformation about, especially about such subjects as the Pyramids,
the Celts, the Vikings and King Arthur.
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