International Journal of Archaeology

Special Issue

Wellbeing Through Archaeology and the Historic Environment

  • Submission Deadline: 31 March 2024
  • Status: Submission Closed
  • Lead Guest Editor: Linda Monckton
About This Special Issue
In 2018 Historic England produced a report on wellbeing and the historic environment which proposed a framework for considering how wellbeing interacted with the historic environment including heritage engagement, archaeology and creativity. This framework suggested 6 ways in which the historic environment most obviously has the power to contribute towards wellbeing. These include: Process (volunteering), Participation (visiting), Mechanism (sharing/bringing people together), Healing (therapeutic effects), Place (belonging and identity), Environment (connecting to nature and the outdoors). Since this framework was published, a plethora of new studies and projects have developed, which may help to shed new light on these different pathways to wellbeing and future directions for this field of study.
This special issue would consider the ways wellbeing is currently being provided in relation to this framework and beyond, through a series of projects, pilot studies and research. Collectively these would enable a focus for the volume of the current ways the archaeological and heritage sector is attempting to support individual and community wellbeing. It particular it will enable an exploration of how archaeology and heritage can be mobilized to address health and wellbeing inequalities.
The key aims of the issue would be three-fold: to present evidence on what works for archaeology and heritage supporting wellbeing; identify challenges in delivery and barriers to participation; consider the opportunities for systemic change within the sector to address health and wellbeing inequalities.
Five cross-cutting themes will run through the volume and be picked up in the introductory as follows: protective and therapeutic approaches to mental health support; archaeology and heritage in health and justice systems; addressing inequality and challenges to making a real difference; providing a future for the archaeological and heritage resource with and by its communities; enjoyment and the power of place.


  1. Wellbeing Approaches
  2. Addressing Inequality
  3. Mental Health Ssupport
  4. Community Resilience
  5. Power of Place
  6. Archaeological Interventions
  7. Development, Health and Justice Systems
  8. Values-based Approaches
Lead Guest Editor
  • Linda Monckton

    National Strategy Team, Historic England, Swindon and London, United Kingdom

Guest Editors
  • Joanna Sofaer

    Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

  • Sadie Watson

    Department of Research and Engagement, Museum of London Archaeology, London, United Kingdom

  • Claire Corkhill

    Department of Development, Council for British Archaeology, York, United Kingdom

  • Carenza Lewis

    Lincoln School of Humanities and Heritage, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, United Kingdom

  • Clare Nolan

    Department of Archaeology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

  • Desi Gradinarova

    National Strategy team, Historic England, Swindon and London, United Kingdom