A group of people surround a MOLA archaeologist who is showing them some fragments of pottery

Archaeology Audience Network - Training Session #1


This event has now been delivered. Resources created for the training session, including slides and PDFs of Padlet discussion boards, can be downloaded here.

A recording of the first half of the session is available on MOLA's Youtube Channel.



Thursday 11 November 2021, on Zoom (including 3 screen breaks per session)

Join us either at 16.00 - 18.00 GMT - Book tickets here

Or at 18.00 - 20.00 GMT - Book tickets here

The value of archaeology derives, in large part, from the meaning that different people give to it. But who are archaeology’s audiences? How and why do they get involved? And what meanings are they attributing to the archaeological record and the work of archaeologists?

This free online Zoom event will introduce you to the aims and ambitions of the DCMS and National Lottery Heritage Fund funded Archaeology Audience Network (AAN). The AAN is a collaboration between archaeological organisations in England working to bring together, learn from, and improve our use of data about audiences in order to achieve greater impact. Note: We are running the event twice on 11 November to accommodate demand.

In the first part of each session we will look at the availability of audience data for archaeology within and beyond England, how it’s being collected and analysed, and what these data currently tell us about interested communities.

The second half of each session will be more interactive, considering the ways that different approaches to working with individuals can pose barriers to participation in archaeology. We will explore design strategies that can maximise inclusion and access for specific demographics.

The first part of each session will be recorded for those who wish to watch it again or who may not be able to join on the day.

Who is this event for?

This session will be of interest to anyone working with the public around archaeological sites or topics, as well as those who are interested in working with different people in the future.

You might be part of a community group seeking to design and fund a new local heritage programme with an expectation of involving different volunteers and evaluating impacts on them. You might be looking to attract new members to your archaeological or historical society, bringing in different experiences and people to your activities and campaigns. You might be a student looking to develop skills in audience analysis. You might be a professional working in archaeology wanting to make your finds as inclusive and accessible to others. Or you might just have an interest in archaeology and how it is presented to people in general.

Who is hosting?

Magnus Copps (Head of Programming and Partnerships) and Sara Perry (Director of Research and Engagement) at MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) will be leading this event for the AAN. The Network is a partnership between MOLAthe Archaeology Data Servicethe Council for British ArchaeologyDigVenturesOxford ArchaeologyWessex Archaeology, and York Archaeological Trust.

The AAN is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery through The Heritage Fund's Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.

Join for all or part of this event, which is the first in a two-year series of AAN training sessions (details on future sessions to come). Follow along with the activities of the AAN via our mailing list (aan@mola.org.uk) or our hashtag #archaeoAN.

The DCMS, Heritage Fund, and Digital Skills for Heritage logos

Need more information?

Archaeology has traditionally relied on a small pool of larger-scale audience research (e.g. Heritage CountsNEARCHMORI 2000), as well as many small-scale, bespoke audience studies, to understand the nature of its interested public. Surveys and analytics produced about community archaeology audiences (Frearson 2018), archaeology TV watchers (Piccini 2007Bonacchi 2013), archaeology web and social media users (Richardson 2014), archaeology news readers (Maldonado 2016), professional attitudes to public participation in archaeology (Benetti, Möller & Ripanti) amongst many others, provide valuable insights into our communities, but the lack of comparability of these data – indeed lack of access to most data in the first place – make it virtually impossible to scale up our understandings or to genuinely develop our capacity to respond to audience needs and gaps. The importance of building skills and expertise with audience data is further highlighted in recent research which suggests that amongst the most popular future career choices for archaeology students are jobs with a public-facing dimension (for example, at a cultural attraction, museum or in public archaeology) (Profiling the Profession 2021).