Archaeology for all - Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters

CBA Strategic Objectives 2016–19

Our vision is Archaeology for all: by 2020 everyone will know how they can enjoy, understand and care for the historic environment – and why it matters.

Making Archaeology Matter

At the Council for British Archaeology we believe passionately that what archaeology can do is fundamental to society. We are dedicated to Making Archaeology Matter.

Archaeology matters, because most of human history has no written record, only physical remains.

Archaeology matters, because appreciating this legacy contributes to our sense of who we are in our communities and as a nation.

Archaeology matters, because it benefits the economy through tourism and heritage-related regeneration.

And archaeology matters, because it enriches our lives: millions of people enjoy discovering the past. Archaeology is exciting and fun.


The practice of archaeology is now stretched to maintain its achievements as never before – in responding to development, in universities, museums and in local and national government. Yet public interest in archaeology has never been stronger. And historic remains continue to need care and reveal new stories.

With a large public membership and an unrivalled network of national and regional groups across the UK, the CBA is the one organisation that can enable people to protect and celebrate their archaeological heritage.

Strategic Plan 2016–19

Our Strategic Plan 2016–19 presents objectives to take us towards 2020 – Archaeology for all.


Enhancing the protection and stewardship of the UK’s archaeological heritage

  • Supporting the role of local historic environment advisory services, including seeking a statutory duty for planning authorities to have access to a professionally supported and maintained Historic Environment Record advisory service
  • Promoting the maintenance – and where appropriate enhancement – of levels of protection of the archaeological heritage on land and under the sea through the planning systems and other legislation/policies, and developing our role as a consultee in relation to listed buildings in England and Wales, working with local partners, to promote buildings archaeology
  • Promoting the protection and appreciation of the UK’s archaeological heritage on land and under the sea to politicians and key decision makers across the UK and abroad
  • Promoting the enhancement of appropriate levels of curation for archaeological material in museum collections and elsewhere with appropriate public access to encourage use
  • Facilitating and empowering more local engagement with advocacy associated with the protection and stewardship of the UK’s archaeological heritage

Increasing the range and diversity of public participation in archaeology

  • Supporting innovative projects to enable wider public participation in activities linked with the understanding and stewardship of the UK’s archaeological heritage
  • Supporting greater involvement with young people throughout archaeology, especially via branches of the Young Archaeologists’ Club
  • Expanding the range of number of events in the Festival of Archaeology whilst encouraging increased participation from a more diverse audience
  • Championing community archaeology and the diversification of public engagement with archaeology across the UK
  • Increasing the number of people with skills to work with volunteers and young people in order to facilitate their active involvement in archaeology

Increasing public awareness and knowledge of the UK’s archaeological heritage

  • Developing and enhancing the resources available to engage young people with archaeology, including supporting the teaching of archaeology in schools and colleges
  • Expanding the range of publications aimed at a general public audience, including the enhancement of the CBA’s British Archaeology magazine and CBA’s online resources
  • Utilising forward-looking digital solutions to facilitate the development of skills and knowledge relating to the UK’s archaeological heritage and encourage wider participation
  • Supporting ambitions to encourage all finders to act responsibly when they discover archaeological material and encouraging greater public understanding of the value of portable antiquities to our growing knowledge of the UK’s archaeological heritage
  • Facilitating and empowering enhanced public stewardship of the UK’s archaeological heritage based on increased local understanding of the historic environment

These objectives will be taken forward in a sustainable way, whilst building the capacity of the CBA and the archaeological sector to increase resilience and empower greater engagement.

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