ùClassical archaeology has its origins in the antiquaria, such as art history, which it has long been identified with. From this origins, archaeology has acquired a site-centric attitude toward the territory which still survives despite the discipline recognises the stratigraphic, topographic and typological analysis among its methodological cornerstones making use of advanced and ‘hyper-specialized’ technologies for the reconstruction of the site context, namely the territory. The main challenge for the contemporary archaeology is, therefore, in looking at ‘people beyond things‘, as summarised in the famous words of Sir Mortimer Wheeler: “the archaeological excavator is not digging up things, he is digging up people”. To which we should add the way the traces of past people are interpreted by today’s people, who attribute those ‘things’ different meanings and values. The paper addresses this issue with a focus on the protection system for cultural heritage and landscape in Italy, where a new holistic political vision of heritage has led to the reform of the peripheral ministerial offices and to the creation of “Unified superintendences”. Offices where the archaeologists will be asked to work closely with other specialists going beyond any restricted or discipline-based attitude toward cultural heritage and landscape management.