While the academic world has benefitted considerably from archaeological and heritage studies, archaeology and cultural heritage also have a great deal of community and economic value. Community strength, cultural identity and economic growth can also be enhanced through contact with the historic environment, particularly through development of nearby archaeological resources and the implementation of cultural resource management practices.
ArchaeoLink is guided by the active participation of all heritage stakeholders to assist communities in obtaining sustainable educational, social and economic benefits from their archaeology and heritage whilst offering sustainable stewardship of their local archaeological resources. We partner with both the archaeological researchers and their research communities to facilitate the development of site-specific knowledge, skills and networks which enable stakeholder communities to leverage their archaeological resources as a mechanism for revitalising their community, to increase social well-being, identity and provide economic opportunity.
Involving communities in the management of their archaeological resources has transitioned local people from being passive partners to being active participants in the development and protection of their own heritage. This has conferred an alternative dimension on conventional archaeology and heritage management, empowering previously powerless peoples, particularly the indigenous and local communities that have been alienated from, or lost rights to their heritage through local politics or colonialism.
Community involvement is steadily gaining importance as archaeologists and heritage researchers endeavour to increase the social, educational and economic impact of their research. In particular, those communities that have an interest or potential interest in their nearby archaeology and the research being conducted within them. Engaging with local and indigenous communities nurtures future heritage stakeholders, ensures stewardship and protection of heritage and archaeological resources, as well as has the potential to contribute and shape local economic sustainability.