Archaeology for the community and healing museums are the topics to which the Aglaia Foundation, together with Trinity College Dublin, is dedicating a session at the 29th European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting, which will be held in Belfast from 30 August to 2 September 2023.
Public, open and inclusive archaeology today represents one of the most important opportunities for the development of the discipline. Archaeology can provide various chances for creative engagement, entertainment, education; scientific evidence shows very clearly that this kind of involvement is good for health. Through interaction with citizens, participative activities adopting an archaeological approach can stimulate physical and psychological well-being, providing a service for the entire society.
Over the last decade, archaeological museums and parks have started creating and delivering programs targeting people suffering from mental illness and dementia, and their carers, introducing the concept of healing museum.
The most innovative projects are undoubtedly those involving interdisciplinary teams. These teams are composed of archaeologists, educators, associations and volunteers collaborate with psychiatrists, psychologists and health workers to develop programmes in which archaeology becomes a tool for dealing with problematic situations in the contemporary world, supporting mental health pathways and the treatment of overt discomforts. Under this perspective, archaeological museums appeal as potential resources for new welfare based on prevention and recovery and might become a structural asset for territorial healthcare.
The session #619, Happy Archaeology for Healing Museums, within the framework of the theme 3-Heritage Narratives and Representations of the EAA Annual Meeting, aims to explore the recent developments and challenges in this area, expanding the discussion of the following points:
- reflecting on archaeological museums as ‘healing spaces’
- presenting experiences of museum-based activities employing a creative archaeological approach
- identifying key themes and challenges in the involvement of vulnerable groups (e.g. Alzheimer, autism, dementia, Huntington’s disease, mental health disorders etc.)
- discussing methodologies and tools for impact assessment
- unlocking opportunities and challenges of a healing museum in the context of the territorial healthcare.
Papers focusing on the previous points and investigating the relationship between archaeological museums and wellbeing, with particular attention to case studies from around the world, will be welcomed.
The session is hybrid, contributions may be presented face-to-face or remotely, exclusively in English.
A maximum of two contributions can be presented as main author. The title may have max 20 words and abstract between 150 and 300 words.
The deadline for submitting abstract is 9th February 2023. The entire session will be published by Aglaia Foundation by the end of December 2023.
Call for paper: https://eaa.klinkhamergroup.com/eaa2023/