EFP Brief No. 7: Archaeology in Ireland 2020

Since the 1990s there has been explosive growth in the number of construction and public works related archaeological excavations carried out in Ireland. As a result archaeology has become a business activity. It operates in a competitive climate radically different from that of the traditional university research environment. Although the primary purpose of archaeology is to create knowledge about the past, systemic failures have emerged with the result that most of the knowledge created in the course of construction related digs will effectively be lost to science. The goal of this foresight exercise is to bring together all relevant stakeholders, develop a vision for the role of archaeology in Irish society in 2020, propose recommendations that will address systemic weaknesses that have emerged along with the rapid growth in the number of archaeological excavations and propose additional measures to ensure an appropriate management of this important aspect of Irish cultural heritage.

EFMN Brief No. 7 – Archaeology in Ireland 20201