Project: Resituating Europe's first towns: A case study in enhancing knowledge transfer and developing sustainable managementof cultural landscapes

Acronym REFIT
Duration 01/07/2015
Project Topic Through research focusing on some of the most significant monuments in European history (Late Iron Age oppida: c.200BC–AD60), this project explores how communities (including farmers, small-medium enterprises (SMEs), wildlife organisations and residents) understand and experience cultural landscapes. Despite their significance (arguably representing Temperate Europe’s first urbanism), oppida are poorly recognised and underdeveloped as foci for cultural and economic sustainability whilst their large size ensures they are a challenge to manage. The REFIT project therefore maximises existing expertise on oppida through cooperation between its project partners and recognizes that the ecology, heritage and wildlife of these landscapes cannot be divorced from each other to their economic value One of the purpose is therefore to develop a broader understanding of the perceptions and needs of stakeholders whilst integrating them into archaeological research. A range of engagement strategies and resources are used, including digital open-access field guides; workshops; participatory fieldwork events) for 4 case study sites: Bibracte (France); Ulaca (Spain) and Bagendon & Salmonsbury in the UK. Through this, the REFIT project aims to enhance knowledge transfer and develop the sustainable management of these cultural landscapes by addressing the following research questions
Project Results
(after finalisation)
An in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of stakeholders interactions in the four case study landscapes, followed by an additional analysis of 3 landscapes without oppida in England, and involving interviews, questionnaires, mind- mapping exercises and small focus groups. These included 985 respondents to the questionnaire and 192 in-depth interviews, and resulted in a publication24. • Creation of guides to these cultural landscapes to complement the stakeholder engagement. They include information, not only on heritage, but also on ecology, agriculture and integrate stakeholder perspectives through interviews. These guide come in two formats: downloadable field guides .pdf to be used on-site; digital interactive field guides with enhanced content for remote access. • Creation of exhibitions accessible to the wider audience: a travelling exhibition, transferred to a digital one on the project website, and to a permanent exhibition at Salmonsbury, where the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust developed a visitor centre, including information on the archaeology, ecology and farming, with digital engagement resources, and where REFIT and JPI are specifically mentioned. • A final monograph describing the process published by the Bibracte monograph series in 2018/2019.
Website visit project website
Call JPI Cultural Heritage and Global Change

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Durham University Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Bibracte EPCC Partner France
3 Universidad Complutense de Madrid Partner Spain
4 Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Observer United Kingdom
5 Costwold archeo Observer United Kingdom
6 Reseau des Grands Sites de France Observer France
7 Parc naturel regional du Morvan Observer France
8 Diputacion Provincial Avila Observer Spain