Community engagement is a central component of archaeology. Whether it is initiated through local, state, or national regulatory frameworks or as part of academic research, working with stakeholders is often structurally incorporated into project plans. However, what defines a community, and how this conception impacts archaeological practice is frequently not problematized. This conversation discusses the practice of archaeology as it engages with communities, and some of the difficulties encountered. If archaeology is going to be a holistically engaged discipline it must take seriously the complexities of communities and the impacts of its practice.
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