Communicating archaeology to non-expert audiences can convey the role and value of the discipline, implant respect for heritage, and connect descendant communities to their past. A challenge facing archaeology communicators is to translate complex ideas while retaining their richness and maximizing audience engagement. This article discusses how archaeologists can effectively communicate with non-experts using narrative and visual tools. We provide a communication strategy and three case studies from North America. The examples include the packaging of archaeological theory in the shape of mystery novels for student consumption; the use of artwork to anchor archaeological narratives in public outreach; and, the use of historical fiction to reformat archaeological content for Indigenous communities. We conclude with a discussion of outreach capacities and some of the risks and rewards of professional interactions with non-archaeologists.
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There are no conflicts of interest or copyright issues. The paper contains images that appear in other publications but permissions for reproduction have all been secured.
Kristensen, Todd J.; Henry, Meigan; Brownlee, Kevin; Praetzellis, Adrian; and Sitchon, Myra
2020 GRAND CHALLENGE No. 5: COMMUNICATING ARCHAEOLOGY Outreach and Narratives in Professional Practice. Journal of Archaeology and Education 4
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/jae/vol4/iss3/6