Increasingly archaeological sites and artefacts are becoming ideological and opportunist targets for destruction and damage during conflicts. In what ways should archaeologists respond to these challenges to the archaeological record? The purpose of this session is to explore the minefield that is conflict-damaged archaeology: a subject which demands an effective response from archaeologists, but which can potentially place archaeologists themselves in conflict with concerned interest groups. Political and moral issues are always entangled in any response and emotions intensified, however such issues need to be faced, discussed and debated by archaeologists. Equally, questions around 'ownership' of archaeology and moral imperatives require reflection. What is clear however, is that archaeologists who work in areas where sites have been, or are being, damaged by conflict need to consider what their strategies and responsibilities are, and most importantly, how they can obtain information from these sites. The key issues this session aims to address are how might conflict-damaged sites be investigated, documented and safeguarded from further damage? We would like to encourage papers which seek to explore post-conflict archaeology; and particularly how archaeological material targeted and damaged in conflict situations can be assessed and how archaeologists can gather meaningful information from such sites.
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The archaeology of conflict damaged sites: Hosn Niha in the Biqaʾ Valley, Lebanon. (2015)
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When faced with the destruction of archaeological sites through conflict, and the accompanying loss of knowledge, what can archaeologists do? Archaeologists, politicians, and many others recognise that damage to heritage is irreversible and has very serious, lasting consequences. The impact of war on archaeological sites is rightly an area of great significance and concern to archaeologists and other heritage professionals, and is increasingly an area of research and debate, both within and...
Pre-Conflict Planning for Cultural Property Protection in the Event of Armed Conflict (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only
One way to limit the amount of damage done to cultural property during armed conflict is to work within the international framework developed by the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This international treaty requires its signatories to develop processes to protect cultural properties including significant archaeological sites and monuments. One way to lessen the likelihood of damage to cultural properties is to have the discussions...