1st Edition

Archaeology, Heritage, and Wellbeing Authentic, Powerful, and Therapeutic Engagement with the Past

Edited By Paul Everill, Karen Burnell Copyright 2022
    302 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Archaeology, Heritage, and Wellbeing fills an important gap in academic literature, bringing together experts from archaeology/ historic environment and mental health research to provide an interdisciplinary overview of this emerging subject area.

    The book, uniquely, provides archaeologists and heritage professionals with an introduction to the ways in which mental health researchers view and measure wellbeing, helping archaeologists and other heritage professionals to move beyond the anecdotal when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of such initiatives. Importantly, this book also serves to highlight to mental health researchers the many ways in which archaeology and heritage can be, and are being, harnessed to support non-medical therapeutic interventions to improve wellbeing. Authentic engagement with the historic environment can also provide powerful tools for community health and wellbeing, and this book offers examples of the diverse communities that have benefited from its capacity to promote wellbeing and wellness.

    Archaeology, Heritage, and Wellbeing is for students and researchers of archaeology and psychology interested in wellbeing, as well as researchers and professionals involved in health and social care, social prescribing, mental health and wellbeing, leisure, tourism, and heritage management.


    Paul Everill and Karen Burnell

    Part 1 Context

    1 What is Wellbeing and How Do We Measure and Evaluate It?

    Louise Baxter and Karen Burnell

    2 Introduction to Archaeology: A Personal Perspective

    Paul Everill

    3 Heritage Interventions to Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing: Developing a Programme Theory through a Realist-Informed Review

    Karen Burnell and Giles Woodhouse

    Part 2 Museums, Healing, and Wellbeing

    4 Heritage, Creativity, and Wellbeing: Approaches for Evaluating the Impact of Cultural Participation Using the UCL Museum Wellbeing Measures

    Linda J. Thomson and Helen J. Chatterjee

    5 Exhibitions, Healing and Sharing the Stories of Australian Veterans

    Steven Cooke

    6 Wellbeing and Greening Sites of Heritage: A Liverpool Lens

    Richard Benjamin

    Part 3 Connecting with the Land

    7 Using Archaeology to Strengthen Indigenous Social, Emotional, and Economic Wellbeing

    Claire Smith, Vincent Copley Senior, Kylie Lower, Josephine, Ania Kotaba, and Gary Jackson

    8 Archaeology as "Self-Therapy": Case Studies of Metal Detecting Communities in Britain and Denmark

    Andres S. Dobat, Armin S. Dobat, and Sören Schmidt

    9 Wellbeing and Brotherhood on the Colchian Plain: Engagement with Multinational Veterans through Archaeological Excavation at Nokalakevi, Georgia

    Paul Everill, Nikoloz Murgulia, and Davit Lomitashvili

    Part 4 Archaeology as Therapeutic Tool

    10 From Nisarouin to Hougoumont: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Two Veteran-Focused Archaeological Initiatives on the Mental Wellbeing of Military Personnel and Veterans

    David Ulke

    11 How Do Interventions Using Heritage-Based Activities, Impact on Mental Health and Wellbeing? An Analysis of Breaking Ground Heritage and Operation Nightingale Outcomes

    Richard Bennett

    12 American Veterans Archaeological Recovery: A Strengths-Based Approach

    Treva Waters-Barham and Stephen Humphreys

    Part 5 Engaging with Wellbeing

    13 Assembling Wellbeing in Archaeological Teaching and Learning

    Hannah Cobb and Karina Croucher

    14 Wellbeing and the Historic Environment: A Strategic Approach

    Linda Monckton

    15 Having a Wander through Whitechapel: Towards a Methodological Framework for a Therapeutic Urban Psychography

    Niall Finneran and Christina Welch


    Paul Everill is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Winchester, UK, and Co-Director of the Anglo-Georgian Expedition to Nokalakevi.

    Karen Burnell is Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at Solent University and a Chartered Psychologist by research.

    "This is a highly original topic and the book will be a leading addition to a growing body of work on archaeology and well-being. There is much here of interest and significance to international researchers including new methods and approaches that will shape this emerging field." – Sarah Semple, Durham University

    "Overall this is an extremely valuable volume of original work that could and hopefully will have a powerful impact on the two fields of wellbeing and archaeology." - Gabriel Moshenska, UCL

    "Looking across the book as a whole, archaeology and heritage are clearly contributing much to the enhancement of wellbeing for many communities, albeit in many different ways and through a variety of approaches. Talking to each other within our own community of practice is important, but the next stage is to communicate these positive results to politicians, policy makers and those setting the agenda for the next upcoming reorganisation of healthcare provision." - Timothy Darvill, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology