In the background of the continuing financial crisis and the cuts to public funding it has become pivotal to better perform ‘communicating archaeology’ to the public (Biehl 2005: 240; see also Hamilakis 2001:5). The best way to popularise archaeology – [with] popularization as a key strategy to engage with the public via media (Biehl 2005:244-247; Daum 1998:25; especially Brittain and Clack:30-31) – is via multimedia. It’s easy to learn, inexpensive, efficient, powerful and fast. The best way to start such an endeavour in archaeology is to study the theory and practice of how to use multimedia in the classroom as well as in the field. The students have to get acquainted with the process of transferring their acquired knowledge to archaeologists/heritage managers and to the public. They have to understand the potentials the new tools provide for popularising archaeology, though they also have to be aware of the dangers embedded in these processes.
The use of multimedia in museums and heritage management services is currently taken for granted. Therefore, the procurement of an overall media competence in future archaeologists should already have been achieved during academic studies and ideally already during undergraduate studies.
The practical example/case study will demonstrate how a multimedia training programme can teach students to use modern multimedia technologies to document, analyse, visualise and popularise archaeological research or heritage management. This is done by working on an archaeological excavation and working with archaeological data and the use of multimedia tools that can enhance the learning of innovative ways to connect theory and practice in archaeology and modern heritage management, as well as to popularise archaeology and to communicate it to the public.