There is no one accepted definition for community archaeology and the term can encompass building, geophysical, landscape and topographic surveys; oral history and school based projects; graveyard restoration; archive research; heritage trails and signage; citizen scientist projects, field schools and summer camps in addition to archaeological excavation.
Community archaeology is a partnership between community members and professional archaeologists. It can also contribute to an environmentally-friendly, socially inclusive, sustainable future. See the Fingal Community Archaeology Strategy 2019-2023.
It is important to note that archaeological excavation, geophysical survey and the use of a metal detector require a licence issued (to those eligible) through the National Monuments Service and and National Museum of Ireland.
Fingal County Council has recognised the value of community archaeology for a number of years and alongside the Heritage Council has supported various community archaeology initiatives in Fingal. These have allowed hundreds of people realise their ambition to take part in digs, learn new skills alongside professional archaeologists, and connect with their local archaeological sites and monuments. You can follow our ongoing projects on Fingal Heritage Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fingalculturalheritage/
Who does community archaeology?
The short answer is everyone. Participants have been aged from 18 to 90 and have included locals, people from the wider Fingal area; people who have travelled from different parts of Ireland; tourists; members of the new communities; family groups; Fingal County Council staff members; members of other community archaeology groups, heritage professionals and students. If you have an idea for a project or your community group requires support, please contact Fingal's Heritage Officer.
Adopt a Monument Manual https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/content/files/Guidance_for_community_archaeology_projects.pdf