nearchimgOver the last 25 years, archaeology and cultural heritage management have undergone significant scientific and professional developments.

Coordinated by the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), the NEARCH project, supported by the European Commission for 5 years (2013-2018) in the framework of the “Culture” programme, is a European-wide cooperation network of 14 partners from 11 countries (research centres, universities and art centres…) willing to analyze and assess these changes and their consequences.

Building on the encouraging results of the previous multiannual cooperation project “Archaeology in Contemporary Europe” (2007-2012), NEARCH aims to explore the various dimensions of public participation in contemporary archaeology and bring to the field, which is strongly influenced by economic and social developments in society, new ways of working and collaborating.

More precisely, NEARCH’s main objectives are:

• To emphasize the societal component of archaeology.
• To cultivate archaeology as a means to socially involve citizens and develop a sense of European citizenship.
• To explore and amplify the relationship between archaeology and artistic creation.
• To re-think and develop the ways to communicate and mediate archaeology towards the various audiences.
• To shape a new economic model for a sustainable practice of archaeology and heritage management.
• To promote new ways of teaching archaeological knowledge and practices to young professionals and encourage their transnational mobility inside and outside Europe.
• To examine the public relevance of European archaeology in a wider geographical and cultural perspective.

These objectives will be carried-out through a large-scale action plan structured around five main themes, each with a corresponding set of activities, as it follows:

Archaeology for the community: informing and involving people
Archaeology and the imaginary: crossroads between science and art
Archaeology and the knowledge: teaching and sharing information
Archaeology in a changing economy: towards sustainability
European archaeology and the world: dependencies and mutual development

Culture Lab has contributed in the project’s conception and design, and provides its assistance as a co-organiser in the project’s overall management, administrative and financial follow-up and public outreach activities. Culture Lab is also actively involved in implementing the action B “Archaeology and the imaginary: crossroads between science and art” bringing together archaeologists and contemporary artists in a joint collaboration resulting in various exhibitions, performances, workshops and publications.

The NEARCH project has been selected by the EU with 15 other European projects, to represent the “good practices” related to the management and valorisation of cultural heritage, during the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

See EU’s brochure on the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018: eych_brochure_web2

Go to NEARCH website


June 2013 ► May 2018


INRAP Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives [FR], + 9 EU partners


2.500.000 €


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