Our Five Aims

Aim 1:

Archaeology on the ground

Standards, guidance and procedures that enable good archaeological practice.

Objectives:
  • Archaeological work is conducted in line with internationally recognised standards and guidance;
  • The development management/ planning system recognises the importance of heritage assets and consistently applies policies and procedures to ensure their protection
  • Licensing and consenting policies and procedures ensure good practice and quality results
  • Procedures and systems meet the needs of archaeological work being carried out now and in the future
  • Archaeological work is well-designed and enables the long-term research value and public benefits to be realised

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Archaeological Excavation at Dunluce historic settlement complex Co. Antrim, showing exposed house foundation and cobbled surface (17th century).

Archaeological Excavation at Dunluce historic settlement complex Co. Antrim, showing exposed house foundation and cobbled surface (17th century).

Aim 2:

Understanding the Past

Making knowledge and understanding more accessible

Objectives:
  • Broaden and deepen our understanding of the past;
  • Build on the analysis of previous research to identify key issues and good practice approaches, to gain maximum knowledge from new work
  • Fully realise the research value of development-led excavations
  • Provide knowledge that is widely accessible and engaging to a range of audiences
  • Provide information that assists in the effective management and protection of the historic environment
  • Publication and dissemination of information is a fundamental priority in all archaeological projects and is built into every project design.

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An aerial view of a airfield dispersal site at Bishops Court defence heritage site, Co. Down (WW2).

An aerial view of a airfield dispersal site at Bishops Court defence heritage site, Co. Down (WW2).

Aim 3:

Sustaining the historic environment

The historic environment is managed, protected and actively cared
for

Objectives:
  • The legislation and related policies are up to date, relevant and fit for purpose;
  • The Historic Environment Record
    of Northern Ireland (HERoNI) is managed and augmented to provide a comprehensive and up to date record which informs appropriate decision- making
  • Archaeological artefacts and their associated records are appropriately stored, curated and made accessible
  • Government bodies and local authorities recognise, understand and articulate the importance of the heritage assets within their responsibility and policy remits
  • Owners and communities are encouraged and facilitated in active management, maintenance and care of their heritage assets

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Wooden shipwrecks at Whiteabbey Bay, Co. Antrim. The well preserved remains of partially buried wooden vessels are visible at low tide (19th century).

Wooden shipwrecks at Whiteabbey Bay, Co. Antrim. The well preserved remains of partially buried wooden vessels are visible at low tide (19th century).

Aim 4:

Engaging and enriching people’s lives

Communicating the benefits of archaeology to as many people as possible

Objectives:
  • The value of heritage, and the associated archives and records, is articulated effectively, understood and appreciated at all levels and ages of society;
  • To advocate for the value and benefits of archaeology to the widest possible audience
  • To reach out by creating new partnerships, opportunities for participation and events aimed at the widest possible cross section of society
  • The sector in Northern Ireland is proactive, collaborative, and focused on delivering archaeology which contributes to society and maximizes the potential of the sector and archaeology
  • The lead archaeology bodies
    in Northern Ireland are clearly identifiable and outward-facing, connecting with our neighbouring regions and internationally, and providing accessible, user-friendly and dynamic online resources

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A family visiting Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim.

A family visiting Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim.

Aim 5:

Innovation, understanding and skills

Developing learning and skills to equip current and future generations

Objectives:
  • A sector which recognises the full range of skills necessary to deliver the best results for the heritage assets of Northern Ireland;
  • Appropriate specialist training is available to ensure the necessary skills are available within the sector
  • Improved opportunities are available to develop and progress within a career path
  • People are supported to undertake training and CPD to develop their knowledge and skills and to achieve accreditation
  • The sector plans for the future and identifies gaps, shortages and innovations
  • Greater collaboration between employers and learning organisations

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Isometric 3D model of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, produced from a laser scan.

Isometric 3D model of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, produced from a laser scan.

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