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Forward with Reverse Archaeology: On a new method for utilizing the past in spatial planning

Author: Boudewijn Goudswaard, Jolanda Bos, Sigrid van Roode & Harry Pape
Date: 2012

Goudswaard, Boudewijn,  Jolanda Bos, Sigrid van Roode & Harry Pape. 2012. Forward with Reverse Archaeology: On a new method for utilizing the past in spatial planning. Heritage & Society 5(1): pp. 101-115.

Since the signing of the 1992 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Council of Europe) (henceforth the Valetta Convention), the Netherlands have been experimenting with the manner in which to implement its contents. The eventual choices that have been made came straight from an essential body of thought from the Valletta Convention: the archaeological record must be protected in situ as much as possible and should be an integrated and weighted part of spatial development (Willems, Kars, and Hallewas 1997). When the legislation (the revised Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act [Wet op de Archeologische Monumentenzorg]) was finally enacted in 2007, archaeological sites became legislatively protected in zoning plans. Before a building permit is issued, archaeological research needs to be conducted. This integration of archaeology in spatial planning creates tension between the quality and quantity of archaeological academic research and spatial quality, which is strived for in the spatial planning and design process. This desire to improve spatial quality in the spatial planning process implies that archaeology, which is considered by law to be a condition in this spatial planning process, is to be one of the providers of that quality.

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