Archaeology at Home

Lisa Westcott Wilkins

Founder and Co-CEO, DigVentures


5 Witham Studios, Hall Street Barnard Castle DL12 8JB United Kingdom

Heritage in Motion / Website Award 2021



DigVentures and the ‘Archaeology at Home’ Project



In early March 2020, the world went into lockdown. Our project, ‘Archaeology at Home’ was launched as an instant response; with field activities almost impossible, we remodeled ourselves, using a digital platform as a means of expansion when most others were confined to working on screens in isolation.

‘Archaeology at Home’ comprised three activity streams: light-hearted videos including virtual site tours and workshops; an online Virtual Fieldschool; and the two-day virtual DigNation archaeology festival.



We welcomed over 11,000 people from 90 countries across the three streams of the project, and watched as our international colleagues and community made personal connections through the medium of a shared passion for archaeology, across language barriers and time zones, celebrating achievement, expressing fear, and helping each other cope with circumstances. The international dimension was particularly apparent in the festival open call, resulting in 34 presentations from archaeological teams in 26 countries.

Not only was this an entirely new audience for DigVentures, but a high percentage of participants were new to archaeology in general. ‘Archaeology at Home’ is potentially the largest and most comprehensively evaluated digital archaeology initiative so far undertaken in Europe, and the long-term impact is the creation of a highly resilient and inclusive model that could mark a new chapter in European heritage practice.

‘Archaeology at Home’ demonstrates a way forward for others willing to make similar commitments to their audiences and communities, adopting people-powered creative and inventive strategies to keep citizens at the very heart of cultural activities.




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