Between 2012 and 2014 representatives from 23 organisations in 21 European countries worked together in the Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe 2014 project to gain insight into the profile of the archaeological profession and labour market in those countries. The results can be compared with those of a predecessor Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe project, undertaken in 2006-08.
Across the 21 participating states, it is calculated that a total of over €1 billion is spent on professional archaeology every year, with the majority of that expenditure being on the salary costs of the estimated 24,740 people who work as archaeologists in these countries.
My work in this area was triggered by the effects of the Great Recession that begain in 2008 on professional archaeology.
Who works as a professional archaeologist, what do they do and who do they work for?
This is the first comprehensive review of applied archaeology as a profession in the UK in the twenty-first century, using case studies of organisations and particular archaeological projects to present a contemporary history of professional archaeology that looks at who employs archaeologists, who their clients are and why those clients want archaeological work done.