Endangered Cultural History: Global Mapping of Protected and Heritage Sites

Author(s): Kathryn Fay; George Calfas

Year: 2017


Through its many global missions, the United States Army has had an unfortunate history of failing to recognize and allocate sufficient resources to protect cultural heritage sites in active military zones. This pattern has begun to change, especially as a result of incidents that have occurred during the War on Terror. The Engineer Research and Development Center of the US Army Corps of Engineers is currently designing an interactive map program providing information on possible locations for future military movement and camp sites. As part of this project, and in light of the historical friction between military actions and cultural heritage preservation, both cultural anthropologists and archaeologists have contributed information about the locations of sacred sites, heritage landscapes, archaeological remains, and locations of cultural and religious importance. These locations are then noted within the mapping program as areas that are culturally unsuitable for military movement or settlement, similar to areas that would be logistically or environmentally unsuitable. This paper discusses the project and its plans for implementation, in hopes to decouple the historical link between military action and unintentional damaging or destruction of cultural heritage sites, and expand the knowledge base on these issues in the military community.

Cite this Record

Endangered Cultural History: Global Mapping of Protected and Heritage Sites. Kathryn Fay, George Calfas. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429692)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17296