Dr Adrian Olivier is now enjoying a very active and rewarding ‘retirement’. He retired from the post of Heritage Protection Director and Head of Profession for Archaeology after 19 years at English Heritage. Previously he was Director of the Lancaster University Archaeology Unit following extensive experience as an active field archaeologist in northern England.
Adrian was the founding President of the European Archaeological Council – Europae Archaeologiae Concilium (the network of state heritage agencies in Europe). In this capacity he had a long-term involvement as a lead expert for the Council of Europe, developing an observatory function for the CoE family of heritage conventions: Granada (architecture), Valletta (archaeology), Florence (landscape), and Faro (cultural heritage), and is an Honorary Member of the HEREIN network. He continues to publish on heritage management issues and provide strategic and professional advice about heritage management to organisations and agencies across Europe. He is the Chair of the National Trust Historic Environment Advisory Group and is an honorary Professor of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
Adrian is particularly interested in a values-led approach to heritage management: the relationship between the function of international instruments and conventions as internationally agreed standards on the one hand, and the translation and implementation of those standards in practice in different national political, legislative, economic, and social contexts – focusing in particular on the need to incorporate and articulate public and community values in archaeological research in order to deliver real and lasting public benefit.
Adrian has a strong interest in the relationship between nature conservation and heritage management in the context of wider landscape management practice and how this can be used to achieve both greater active public participation in understanding and caring for the natural and historic environments, and to overcome the inherent tensions between conservation and protection on the one hand, and access and engagement on the other. He has a long involvement in wetlands archaeology and maritime archaeology and is a member of the Honor Frost Foundation Steering Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage and is a past Chair of the Nautical Archaeological Society.
Since retiring Adrian has also returned to his earlier academic interest in Roman frontiers and the early Roman military occupation of North West England. He is currently carrying out research on the nature of Roman military production and supply in northern Britain focusing in particular on the character and function of a range of less well-understood sites (including some of the so-called civil settlements – vici) that may be military establishments or installations with a much more direct relationship with the Roman military infrastructure than has been assumed hitherto.