"Return to its former glory" is an expression that I’d prefer to no longer hear, because it describes an enterprise doomed to failure. Not the failure to dig up and find nothing, but the much deeper and frustrating failure - to fail to understand the meaning of our profession and of our social role.
In its embarrassing banality this violent and conventional view hides a sense of romantic and mystical loss of something that no longer exists and promotes separation between what is ancient and what is modern ... as if our time is no longer capable of producing its own splendor.
The future of public archaeology needs a new concept of archaeology. Not as the study of antiquities but a discipline with a creative soul. We'll be very surprised then to find that modern archaeology is also looking for treasure. This treasure is nothing "beautiful" or hidden under the spot marked X, but rather the reconstruction of historical memory through many and almost unreadable traces.
to be continued ...