Archaeologist for a Week: Voluntourism in Archaeology

  • Katharina MöllerEmail author


While many people are interested in archaeology, most opt for “something sensible” instead when choosing a career. In the UK, for example, these people have a wide range of volunteering options available that will allow them to get involved with archaeology in their spare time nonetheless. In other countries (e.g. Germany and Austria), volunteering options in archaeology are limited at best, if they exist at all. Therefore, some people are willing to pay to be able to spend their summer vacation on an archaeological excavation.

This combination of travel and volunteering is widely known as voluntourism. A large range of organisations offering voluntourism placements can be found online. However, while there is an abundance of ecological and humanitarian projects, supply for archaeological voluntourism is sparse, unless volunteers are willing to organise the trip themselves. As a recent study conducted by Bangor University shows, travel agents do not see a viable market in offering voluntourism at archaeological excavations. Our own experience with our excavation at Meillionydd, near Rhiw in North West Wales (UK), as well as a survey conducted among volunteers, gives us reason to believe that there is a market though.

This paper discussed the results of this study and looks at whether voluntourism in archaeology is feasible or not.


Archaeology Fieldwork Voluntourism Public participation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History and ArchaeologyPrifysgol Bangor UniversityBangorUK

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