History resonates in Northern Ireland. Our connection with the past is both strong and fluid, and our understanding of it is based on the landscapes around us today, and the historic sites and environments from different periods in the past.

Archaeology is defined as the study of people and societies of the past through examination of the material remains they left behind. We believe that archaeology is for everyone; that it offers a range of opportunities to participate, enjoy and learn about our heritage. Archaeology can help to underpin our understanding of our people and communities; it can help create unique places; it contributes to our economy and well-being.

The narratives of our past are important and worth telling, and it is clear that people from Northern Ireland and around the world want to hear about our heritage, visit our important sites and get actively involved in preserving, enjoying and benefitting from our archaeological assets. This document therefore sets out a strategic approach and recommendations as to how we, as a society, develop our engagement with,and understanding of, our archaeology.

Archaeology 2030: A Strategic Approach for Northern Ireland was drafted in 2019, and predates the emergence of COVID-19. We recognise that, as well as the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus at the time of publishing in 2020, there are likely to be longerlasting and wide-ranging effects which will need to be taken into consideration as the recommendations of this document are taken forward. Having a strategic vision provides us with a strong basis for the future, and it is more important now than ever that we work together to achieve our vision: We want archaeology to be accessed and valued by as many people as possible, led by a sector which is healthy, resilient and connected.

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