Reflections

Archaeology plays a lead role in the opportunities for debate on the conditions of protection and enjoyment. Its strength also derives by the emphasized territorial dimension it has. It faces up the human pressure on the landscape. That makes it subject to heavy transformation processes, even dealing with the urgency of choices laden with consequences both for the socio-economic as well as for the cultural features of society.

There is a dual function of landscape balance: to manage transformation processes (protection) and to direct them towards cultural values ​​(enhancement), providing information and key interpretations of landscape history.

Museums and archaeological sites are part of a local scale system peculiar to the role of archeology in society. The archaeological sites are even portions of landscape that man’s cultural sensitiveness has bounded to preserve what present in them, causing a landscape which results represented, if not symbolic.

Contemporary society, and more in a country like Italy where the traces of ancient cultures are huge, perceives the protection of archaeological heritage with a mixed feeling of pride and satisfaction, often induced. But therefore, it is futile because felt as related to additional realities, not very important, and it is valid until the consequences are not perceived with annoyance, as colliding with the fulfillment of the needs of society, especially with one’s own. The appreciation of the charm of ancient remains ends abruptly when their presence prevents the desired work. The protection of amazing finds is still understood, while all those saved by the Superintendences are even believed too many.

Instead, archeology would consider landscape as important to be understood and protected, despite the effects of time,  in its complex and dynamic wholeness of overall product of the actions of nature and culture (or cultures) of man, so that any contingent change can be made with full awareness.

The above described approach was also born of a scarce and not convinced heritage education.

Providing educational instruments does not aim to comprehensive protection. It aims to raise awareness of the problems arising from the transformations and to make abilities develop, more diffusely, to understand and run a historical perspective where the present looks at the past as a guide to project into the future. The educational activities carried out by territorial Institutions are intense and also this website has begun to give proper documentation.

With this in mind, the conscious enjoyment is a privileged opportunity of knowledge and education, especially when supported and properly inserted into networks of long-term partnership between the various actors involved: the ministerial bodies, families, schools (education must begin from the youngest, but not limited to them), local authorities, private. That let heritage safeguard and development of local communities be combined together.

Because when knowing the importance of a thing and the value obtainable from its enjoyment, one is motivated to protect it.

It is therefore a diffused enjoyment, widespread as well as in the nature of the archaeological heritage, which is indeed everywhere, close to every citizen.

Since long ago the Directorate-General is pursuing this goal, as evidenced, for example, by the “round table” on Training to the ancient: towards the widespread enjoyment (Paestum, November 20, 2004) or the book Guida ai musei e ai siti archeologici statali (Rome 2007). This latter wanted to include, in addition to museums and sites with regulated opening, even those usable in the other, articulated modes (with free access, on request, by appointment, through caretaker or safe keeper, etc ...) typical of an heritage so scattered in the territory: in this way, the number of presented places increased of 75%.

Of course, the actions to be carried out to educate to the archaeological heritage must take into account the specific subjectivity that it presents. This is also a point on which the Directorate- General has questioned since the very beginning of its history, as evidenced by the conference on Practice of archaeological heritage didactics: does a specificity exist? (Rome, May 8, 2003).

This specificity can be briefly recognized to exist as follows.

Peculiarity of the text of the communication: conservation that is independent from aesthetics, strong interaction between objects and spatio-temporal contexts; need for documentation of contexts.
Features of archaeological science: classifications, taxonomies, etc., who turn to constitute indicator of extinct realities; experimental methods; affinity to "Earth Sciences"; museological solutions with use of non-original materials.

Geography: landscape dimension; role in territorial systems from local to global; identity-maker function.
Ethno-anthropological interactions: concrete reference to material culture; offer of comparison between eras, civilization and geographical contexts; social role of documentation of historic and cultural landscape; possibility of cognitive approaches with a strong anthropological connotation.
Use of contexts: need for mental reconstruction of past externalities; transition from analog to relevant contexts; exploitation of meta-cognitive processes.