Overview on Current Practice of Public Archeology in Malaysian Museums

Norhidayahti Mohamad Muztaza, Goh Hsiao Mei, Mokhtar Saidin

Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Archaeology plays a vital role in many aspects of contemporary society such as nation-building, economic development (museum and archaeo-tourism) and education (support critical thinking) to name a few. Therefore, as a practice in archaeology, public archaeology strives to involve people in the interpretation of our ancestor’s past through archaeological communication, engagement, and administration of archaeological resources. However, the discipline of public archaeology in Malaysia is still under research. The application of public archaeology practice can be seen through many mediums and one of them is the museum. Since their establishment, museums have been recognised as a significant and powerful institution for public construction of the past and involvement in archaeology. In Malaysia, almost all museums in every state have a dedicated space for archaeological exhibition. The involvement of public in the interpretation and research of archaeology in the museum sector, however, is still relatively limited to date. This paper aims to investigate how the concept of public archaeology is being adopted in the development of archaeological presentation and communication by Malaysian museums.