Public archaeology and community engagement constitute growing fields of heritage activity internationally. A common limitation of public archaeology programs is that local communities tend to be seen as secondary stakeholders, and engagement with them is usually only short-term. In Greece, where the ancient past has played such an important role in the development of the modern state, the close association between archaeology, politics and national identity has added to challenges of involving local communities in the management of archaeological sites. It was evident to us from the outset that none of the existing approaches of public archaeology would be sufficient for the achievement the specific aims of our project - which were firstly to inform our research on Philioremos peak sanctuary, and secondly to engage and empower the local community of the village of Gonies to become long-term guardians of their heritage. We did not aim merely at the participation of members of the local community; rather our ambition was to create an ever-growing community, comprising all those who care about the Philioremos peak sanctuary site. We wanted to protect the site, but also to render it an ever-flourishing source of inspiration, education, culture and local pride. Of course, by achieving the latter, we would also achieve the former. These concerns led us to develop an approach to public archaeology with two key characteristics: firstly the recognition of the prime importance of heritage values for heritage management, and secondly a concern with community empowerment through heritage.