Archaeology 2025 Logo Archaeology 2025: Strategic Pathways for Archaeology in Ireland

Archaeology 2025 is a long-term strategy which will inform the journey for Irish archaeology into the future. This is an initiative of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). The development of the strategy from 2015 - 2017 has been facilitated by the Discovery Programme.


Vision: The promotion of archaeology in understanding the past and as a valuable resource shared by all.

This process began as a response to the shifting social, economic and political sands of the previous decade. In 2015, the RIA Standing Committee on Archaeology recognised the need to review the infrastructure and profession of archaeology in Ireland to ensure that its unique status as a cultural, scientific and social resource plays a part in Ireland’s future.

In creating a realistic strategy, engagement within the profession and with external stakeholders who interact with archaeology was recognised as crucial. Archaeology could not move forward in isolation from society.

The Archaeology 2025 Discussion Document was drawn together to stimulate conversation and act as a framework for feedback. An eight month extensive consultation process took place from October 2015 – May 2016. The key strength of the Archaeology 2025 is that it engaged with a wide range of stakeholders at local, national and EU levels. This process initiated new relationships between a range of organisations and disciplines which will be fostered during the implementation of Archaeology 2025. After online surveys, online public feedback on document drafts, rigorous peer reviewing and policy oversight checks Archaeology 2025 developed into a solid and consensus based document.


Archaeology 2025 offers a sustainable, strategic pathway towards understanding, enjoying and protecting the benefits of archaeology.  These aims can be achieved by investing to support excellence in archaeology at all levels, by valuing research, and by engaging communities.

So how will Archaeology 2025 work?

The strategy will be put into action by the RIA Standing Committee on Archaeology (RIA SCA) through oversight groups assigned to recommendations made.  Monitoring of progress will be made by annual reports to the RIA President.  Events to encourage discussion and awareness on progress will also be worked on.

It will work as:

• an advocacy document to inform decision-making processes regarding archaeology and cultural heritage in its integration in society
• a key reference point for policy-making
• a consensus-based framework to guide stakeholders into the next decade
• a key statement from the archaeological profession through the RIA, in advance of, and to inform, the emerging National Heritage Plan, and as a key contribution to the Culture 2025 national cultural policy (2016) and to the Creative Ireland initiative (2017–22).

The Archaeology 2025 strategy will be launched by the Minster for Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys on 2nd May 2017 in the Royal Irish Academy. The strategy and a summary document will be available after the launch for all to download on:

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Mary Teehan, Strategy Coordinator, Archaeology 2025
The Discovery Programme, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland.

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