ATU STORY: an introduction
The ATU Story will be an essential report on the evolution, aims, character and identity, successes and failures of the ATU project- the project’s ‘story’. The Story will be developed over the life of the project and will include selected and edited recordings, concrete examples, reflections, statements, accounts, interviews, assessments and documents.
Our aim is to make the workings of ATU available for the public and to reflect on its impact, successes and failures; to look frankly at the issues that confront us and at some of the unexpected events and outcomes that arise. The Story will be available at the end of the project as a printed document and CD and will also be regularly updated on the web.
We hope that the ATU Story will be an opportunity to look at the inside workings of a large project such as A Town Unearthed. We hope to reflect on the project and its impact through the experiences and perspectives of those who have taken part in the project as volunteers, audiences or professionals.
We also hope that the ATU Story will have a wider significance and will address some of the broader issues around the importance of heritage and history within our communities. Indeed, one of the central aims of the a town unearthed project is to understand the different ways that people have of relating to the ancient heritage around them and why it matters to them. The ATU Story will have an important part in addressing these questions by capturing the responses and involvement of people to their ancient heritage and also reflecting on what it is important about the ancient past, whether through archaeology, history, museums, the landscape or beliefs and stories.
We also want to share our experiences as a ‘community archaeology’ project so that others doing similar work in the future can learn from our successes and mistakes. Community archaeology is a growing field and the ATU project is innovative in taking a very broad approach to the ancient landscape that includes art, interpretation, memories and stories as well as archaeology and history.