|WAC July 2010 eNewsletter - Volume 33|
|Thursday, 08 July 2010 18:15|
Executive News, News from WAC Members, News Items, Excerpts from Other Archaeological Associations' Newsletters
Volume 33 July 2010
Editors: Shoshaunna Parks and Marisol Rodriguez Miranda
1. Executive News
Though it is only halfway through 2010, WAC has already undertaken a number of important activities, most notably a highly successful WAC Inter-Congress in Vienna, Austria, an international celebration of the 96th birthday of one of WAC founding members, Thurstan Shaw, and a four-day meeting of the WAC Executive.
Meeting of the WAC Executive
The WAC Executive and regional Council members from Northern Europe was held in Vienna, coinciding with the Inter-Congress on Archaeology and Conflict. Issues discussed include the Global Libraries Project, a report from the Archaeologist’s and War Taskforce, actions to be taken on the basis of resolutions from the Ramallah Inter-Congress on Structural Violence, the development of a new section on the WAC website for members to post news and activities from their region, the publication of a special volume for WAC’s upcoming 25th Anniversary, membership fees, future Inter-Congresses and plans to hold WAC-7 in Jordan, in 2012. The report from this meeting of the WAC Executive will be posted on the members section of the WAC website in the near future.
Archaeology and Conflict Inter-Congress in Vienna, Austria
The WAC Executive would like to thank Friedrich T. Schipper, of the University of Vienna, and Magnus T. Bernhardsson, of the University of Iceland & Williams College, for their extraordinary efforts in organising the WAC Inter-Congress on Archaeology in Conflict, in Vienna, Austria, 6-10 April, 2010. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield, especially through President Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, and hosting by Michael F. Pfeifer on behalf of the United Nations Youth and Student Association, Austria.
A highlight of the Inter-Congress was an address in the Austrian Parliament House by H.E., the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization, Ban Ki-moon.
Photos of the Inter-Congress are available on the WAC website at: http://www.archaeologyinconflict.org/gallery.html
This Inter-Congress hosted the Next Generation project, an online conversation among the next generation of archaeologists and cultural heritage research specialists through Facebook. The project managers are Kristin Butler and Ashley Sands, and the project website can be accessed at: http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/religion/arc/nextgen
Upcoming WAC Inter-Congresses
WAC will be hosting two Inter-Congresses in 2011. The Heritage Management in East and South East Asia Inter-Congress will be held at the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China, in June, 2011, while the Indigenous Peoples and Museums: Unravelling the Tensions will be hosted by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, in May/June, 2011. Information on these Inter-Congresses is available on the WAC website, and more detailed information will be given in the August 2010 issue of the WAC newsletter.
WAC Booth at the Society for American Archaeology Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia
The Executive thanks all the people who provided their time so that WAC could have a functioning booth at the recent Society for American Archaeology meetings in St. Louis, Missouri. Especially we would like to thank Larry Zimmerman, Stephen Loring and Dru McGill who were principally responsible for overseeing the booth and for promoting WAC agendas and projects. We would also like to thank the following WAC members for helping staff the booth: Darren Modzelewski, George Nicholas, and Ashley Sands and to all who stopped by.
Dru McGill's class in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), kindly designed posters for the booth featuring both the WAC International Library program and an announcement of the July 2011 WAC-intercession on Indigenous Peoples and Museums that Larry Zimmerman is organizing. We also thank Left Coast Press, for display copies of One World Archaeology and Springer for the sample copies of Archaeologies we were able to distribute.
Celebration of Thurstan Shaw’s 96th birthday
A birthday party for one of WAC founding members, Thurstan Shaw, was held on the 27th June at the Sorrento Hotel, Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge. The birthday party was attended by WAC members from throughout the UK, as well as from overseas, augmented by phone calls from other parts of the world. The party was organised by Thurstan Shaw’s partner, Pamela Smith, and WAC Vice-President Adebayo Folorunso, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria officiated.
If you would like to send a belated birthday message, this can be done on the WAC website:
WAC recently wrote to the Durban Municipality, in South Africa, expressing concern about the potential impact of plans to build low-cost housing in front of the archaeological site of Sibudu and on the top of the hill on which Sibudu is located. We urged the Durban Municiplaity to draw on the appropriate management strategies to prevent any interference with the site during and after the developing process, and pointed out that strategies should include both short-term and long-term plans for preventing any possible damage or looting at the site and its immediate surroundings.
All the best,
Claire Smith, for the Executive
2. News Items
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF INDIAN ARCHAEOLOGY COMPILED
After the S.P. Gupta volume, Prof. V.N. Misra and Alok Kanungo have compiled a voluminous work on 'Bibliography of Indian Archaeology'. The volume consists of 12000 entries running to 510 pages (A4 12 Times New Roman) and index of the same in another 120 pages. They have taken about 100 edited volumes, 500 journals and thousands of books into consideration for the work. This is indexed to country, state, region, culture, subject and many other attributes.
CREAN COMISIÓN DE ARQUEOLOGÍA PARA DEFENDER PATRIMONIO CULTURAL DE REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Su misión de fortalecer la protección y conservación del patrimonio cultural arqueológico, terrestre y subacuático del país al recomendar, sancionar o aprobar planes, programas y proyectos que le sean sometidos, con sentido de responsabilidad y respeto.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMMISSION TO DEFEND CULTURAL HERITAGE CREATED IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The commission’s mission is to fortify the protection and conservation of the nation’s archaeological heritage – both terrestrial and sub-acuatic – as well as recommend, sanction, or approve plans, programs, and submitted projects with responsibility and respect.
THE NEXT GENERATION PROJECT
The Next Generation Project was created for younger and emerging professionals in the field of archaeology in order to foster an open dialogue that encourages universal participation and which allows space for all of our distinct and diverse voices to be heard. We would like to
EL PROYECTO NUEVA GENERACIÓN
GLOBAL LIBRARIES PROGRAM NOW ON FACEBOOK
WAC's own Global Libraries Program is now on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sands.ashley#!/pages/Global-Libraries-Program/115655871787167?ref=ts
EL PROGRAMA DE BIBLIOTECAS GLOBALES AHORA EN FACEBOOK
Visita y marca “me gusta” para mantenerse al día sobre los acontecimientos del programa (incluyendo las recientes donaciones y las necesidades específicas de las bibliotecas participantes).
NEW RESEARCH ABOUT COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE UK REVEALS HUGE SCALE OF VOLUNTARY ACTION
The Council for British Archaeology has recently completed research into the current scale, location and nature of voluntary action archaeology in the United Kingdom. The resulting report is available at www.britarch.ac.uk/research/community. Some of the key findings of this report include that:
- There are at least 2,030 voluntary groups and societies in the UK interacting with archaeological heritage in a variety of ways. This represents approximately 215,000 individuals.
- The dramatic decline in the UK of university and college continuing education departments, and the closure or down-sizing of many archaeological organisations due to the recent economic crisis, continues to have an impact.
- Sustainability is a key issue. More research is needed into the means by which bottom-up, community-led archaeology projects may work to ensure sustainability.
- Any training programmes for volunteers must be tailored to specific regions or groups, and must have an emphasis on practical rather than passive sessions. Increased use of online learning models enables learners to choose material appropriate to their needs. However, online provision cannot substitute for face-to-face interaction, which is still considered to be of most value.
For further information contact Dr Suzie Thomas at the CBA: email@example.com
UNA NUEVA INVESTIGACIÓN SOBRE LA ARQUEOLOGÍA DE LA COMUNIDAD EN EL REINO UNIDO REVELA LA ENORME ESCALA DE LA ACCIÓN
El Consejo Británico de Arqueología, ha completado recientemente la investigación sobre la escala, ubicación y la naturaleza de la arqueología de acción voluntaria en el Reino Unido. El informe resultante está disponible en www.britarch.ac.uk/research/community. Algunas de las principales conclusiones de este informe incluyen que:
- Hay por lo menos 2.030 grupos de voluntarios interactuando con el patrimonio arqueologico de varias maneras. Esto representa aproximadamente 215.000 personas.
INTEGRATED HISTORY AND FUTURE OF PEOPLE ON EARTH (IHOPE)
What were the strategies that distinguished the fates of three Southwest US Native American societies in the great drought of circa AD 1300? Did industrial pollution and deforestation, beginning early in the first millennium BC, contribute to the warm episode that propelled Roman civilization into Northwest Europe? What accounts for the 9th-10th century AD collapse of southern Maya elite centers but not those in the north?
Recent, widely recognized changes in the Earth system are, in effect, changes in the coupled human-environment system. It is of utmost importance to understand these changes holistically and system-wide, and to carry the best ideas forward from the past into the future. The integration of human history with that of the Earth system is a timely and important task.
But the resolution of global environmental change research is mostly at scales that cannot catch temporal and spatial variation in human activity. This leaves many field sciences (e.g., archaeology, ecology), the social sciences, and the humanities with reduced opportunities to contribute to the study of coupled human-Earth systems. A bridge across scales is essential for understanding factors that contribute to global environmental change and for developing future strategies that draw on the laboratory of the human past.
This presents a remarkable opportunity for archaeologists to become involved. Our discipline has a long tradition of collaboration, with both biophysical and humanities colleagues, to understand past human activity in environments everywhere on the planet. The history of archaeology is one of increasingly broad spatial scales: artefacts, then sites, then exploitation zones (catchments) around sites and, most recently, ancient landscapes. The Integrated History and Future of the People on Earth (IHOPE) is a global network of researchers and research projects that aims to take the next step, and begin integration at regional, continental, and global scales.
IHOPE will facilitate the integration of perspectives, theories, tools, information, and knowledge from past societies and from a variety of disciplines. Beginning at the scales where human activity is most easily understood (e.g., landscape, region) and stretching beyond to variables that operate at continental and larger scales (el Niño/la Niña, the Indian subcontinental monsoon) and over long periods (salinization), the IHOPE goal is to study the suite of variables that induce resilience, stress, or ruin in institutions and societies.
The IHOPE endeavor entails enormous intellectual, technical, legal, and other challenges, but it also offers the opportunity to pursue intriguing questions with colleagues who share archaeologists’ commitment to collaboration and a belief that the past can illustrate both the folly and the remarkable ingenuity of our species. Inasmuch as we face similar challenges today (e.g., sustainable food production, prudent resource management, effective governance) we can retrieve enduring lessons.
If you are interested in learning more about regional projects already underway, finding colleagues with similar interests, or contributing a description of your own project, please visit the new IHOPE website: www.stockholmresilience.org/ihope
The IHOPE International Program Office is based at the Stockholm Resilience Center, Sweden.
HISTORIA INTEGRADOS Y FUTURO DE LAS PERSONAS EN LA TIERRA (IHOPE)
LAUNCH OF http://www.mud-brick.com/
http://www.mud-brick.com/, a multi- authored, general issue archaeology blog aimed at starting a
LANZAMIENTO DE http://www.mud-brick.com/
Anunciamos el lanzamiento de http://www.mud-brick.com/, un blog multi-autor, sobre cuestiones generales en arqueología destinado a iniciar una conversación con el público en general. Fue desarrollado por estudiantes graduados de arqueología de universidades en Nueva York. La mision del blog es proporcionar a las personas que estén interesados en la arqueología con perspectivas informadas de arqueólogos profesionales, facilitando un debate sobre temas de actualidad arqueológica. Échale un vistazo!
Si estás interesado en participar, contacta a:firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE ROCK ART RESEARCH CENTRE (RARC) OPENS AT AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
By Sally K. May
In November 2009, The Australian National University started the Rock Art Research Centre (RARC). Australia has more rock art sites and images than any other country in the world but, despite having a successful rock art research association (AURA) and a lively community of rock art researchers, until now there has been no specialised university-based research centre devoted to the study and promotion of rock art. The RARC aims to promote excellence in rock art research in Australia and the Pacific, and further afield into south and east Asia. Raising national and international awareness of the importance of rock art is a central goal. The RARC looks forward to developing further links with rock art centres from around the world.
If you would like further information on the RARC please visit the website: http://rsh.anu.edu.au/rockart/.
ABRE El CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIÓN (RARC) DE ARTE RUPESTRE EN LA UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE AUSTRALIA
Por Sally K. May
PICTOGRAPH DATING FIELD METHOD TO INCLUDE PETROGLYPHS
Bryan Gordon and his research group are updating their pictograph dating field method:
to include petroglyphs, which should appear over the summer after field testing. Both methods rely on pigment or rock particles that have fallen to the artist’s feet and become buried along with AMS-datable natural or cultural leaves, twigs, charcoal or wood, bone or shell fragments.
SE ACTUALIZA EL MÉTODO DE DATACIÓN PICTOGRAFIAS PARA INCLUIR PETROGLIFOS
DONG SON BRACELETS REMOVED FROM SALE ONLINE
WAC and the Australian Archaeological Association (AAA) are pleased to announce that both EBay and an Australian gallery site (BC Galleries) have removed Dong Son bracelets for sale containing human arm bones that were discussed in a joint press release from WAC and the AAA last week. This is a good result for all involved, and hopefully these dealers/sellers will not repeat the same behaviour in future. Australian authorities are also following up with the parties involved.
Thank you to everyone who was involved in developing the press releases, and to those members who were involved in the follow up.
SE SUSPENDE LA VENTA EN LINEA
MACHI – MAYA AREA CULTURAL HERITAGE INITIATIVE – JOINS THE SOCIAL NETWORK
The Maya Area Cultural Heritage Initiative, MACHI, now has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. MACHI battles the rapid loss of ancient and living Maya heritage in southern Mexico and Central America by creating educational and conservation programs via grassroots alliances with local non-profit organizations. The program provides attempts to provide the tools to empower indigenous Maya communities to define, interpret, and manage their world renowned ancestral past and to promote language, leadership, and cultural survival.
Join us on Facebook with the “LIKE” button or follow us on Twitter to keep up with MACHI’s projects in Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala and help us to advance conversations about indigenous archaeology in the Maya region. MACHI is also in search of archaeological projects, communities, and local organizations with which to form future partnerships. Please contact us if you are interested via our website (http://www.machiproject.org/) or email: email@example.com.
MACHI is directed by Drs. Patricia A. McAnany and Shoshaunna Parks of the Research Labs of Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
MACHI – MAYA AREA CULTURAL HERITAGE INITIATIVE – SE UNE A LAS REDES SOCIALES
MACHI (Maya Area Cultural Heritage Initiative), ahora está presente en Facebook y Twitter. MACHI está luchando en contra de la pérdida del patrimonio cultural Maya viviente y del pasado en el sur de México y centro América. Esta lucha se está realizando por medio de programas educacionales y de conservación vía asociaciones comunitarias con organizaciones no gubernamentales locales.
El programa proporciona herramientas para empoderar a las comunidades indígenas mayas, así como definir, interpretar y administrar su renombrado pasado ancestral, promover su lenguaje, liderazgo y supervivencia cultural.
Únete a nosotros en Facebook presionando el botón “ME GUSTA” o síguenos en Twitter para estar al día con los proyectos de MACHI en México, Belice y Guatemala, así como ayudarnos a avanzar en las conversaciones sobre la arqueología indígena en la región maya. MACHI también está en busca de proyectos arqueológicos y comunidades con las cuales formar futuras asociaciones. Por favor contáctenos si estás interesado por medio de nuestra página de internet (www.machiproject.org) o correo electrónico: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MACHI es dirigido por las Drs. Patricia A. McAnany y Shoshaunna Parks de los Research Labs of Archaeology en la University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
3. New publications by WAC members
ARCHAEOLOGY IN SITU: SITES, ARCHAEOLOGY, AND COMMUNITIES IN GREECE
Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies Series Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Series editor Gregory Nagy).
NEW FROM LEFT COAST PRESS, INC.
Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists
What does being an archaeologist mean to Indigenous persons? How and why do some become archaeologists? What has led them down a path to what some in their communities have labeled a colonialist venture? What were are the challenges they have faced, and the motivations that have allowed them to succeed? How have they managed to balance traditional values and worldview with Western modes of inquiry? And how are their contributions broadening the scope of archaeology? Indigenous archaeologists have the often awkward role of trying to serves as spokespeople both for their home community and for the scientific community of archaeologists. This volume tells the stories—in their own words-- of 37 indigenous archaeologists from six continents, how they became archaeologists, and how their dual role affects their relationships with their community and their professional colleagues.
Now Available in Paperback:
Archaeologies of Placemaking: Monuments, Memories, and Engagement in Native North America
Landscapes of Clearance: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives
Managing Archaeological Resources: Global Context, National Programs, Local Actions
Living Under the Shadow: Cultural Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions
Coming soon (and available for preorder!):
Bridging the Divide: Indigenous Communities and Archaeology into the 21st Century
The collected essays in this volume address contemporary issues regarding the relationship between Indigenous groups and archaeologists, including the challenges of dialogue, colonialism, the difficulties of working within legislative and institutional frameworks, and NAGPRA and similar legislation. The disciplines of archaeology and cultural heritage management are international in scope and many countries continue to experience the impact of colonialism. In response to these common experiences, both archaeology and indigenous political movements involve international networks through which information quickly moves around the globe. This volume reflects these dynamic dialectics between the past and the present and between the international and the local, demonstrating that archaeology is a historical science always linked to contemporary cultural concerns.
Indigenous Archaeologies: A Reader on Decolonization
Relationships with indigenous peoples have become a key issue in the practice of archaeology worldwide. Collaborative projects, or projects directed and conducted by indigenous peoples themselves have become a standard feature of the archaeological landscape, community concerns are routinely addressed, oral histories incorporated into research. This reader of original and reprinted articles—many by indigenous authors-- is designed to display the array of writings around this subject from around the globe, many difficult to access in standard academic settings. Cases range from Australia to Arctic Russia, from Africa to North America. Editorial introductions to each piece serve to contextualize these works in the intersection of archaeology and indigenous studies. An ideal course text in both subjects.
Handbook of Postcolonial Archaeology
This essential handbook explores the relationship between the postcolonial critique and the field of archaeology, a discipline that developed historically in conjunction with European colonialism and imperialism. In aiding the movement to decolonize the profession, the contributors to this volume—themselves from six continents and many representing indigenous and minority communities and disadvantaged countries—suggest strategies to strip archaeological theory and practice of its colonial heritage and create a discipline sensitive to its inherent inequalities. Summary articles review the emergence of the discipline of archaeology in conjunction with colonialism, critique the colonial legacy evident in continuing archaeological practice around the world, identify current trends, and chart future directions in postcolonial archaeological research. Contributors provide a synthesis of research, thought, and practice on their topic. The articles embrace multiple voices and case study approaches, and have consciously aimed to recognize the utility of comparative work and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the past. This is a benchmark volume for the study of the contemporary politics, practice, and ethics of archaeology.
This is a sampling of WAC-sponsored titles. To order or for more information on additional WAC-sponsored titles, visit our website at:
Join Left Coast Press online at:
ITINERARIUM HUNGARICUM II: PREHISTORIC MONUMENTS AND COLLECTIONS IN HUNGARY
The current volume of the popular Itinerarium Hungaricum series presents the prehistoric sites and collections of Hungary. The sites and museums presented here are organised into seven regions, which have been set up not according to modern administrative boundaries, but rather with a view to practical considerations.
Region I Budapest and north-eastern Transdanubia
The maps of the regions accompanying the guide-book are colour-coded for easier use. The order in which the sites are described in each chapter follow a recommended route, offering also an option for the more detailed exploration of a particular area. The icons in the bar above each site were designed to aid planning excursions. Each site is introduced by directions on accessing the site. Seeing that most of these are archaeological sites, directions are provided in relation to the nearest settlement(s). An exact address is given in the case of museums and open-air museums, together with the opening hours and a telephone number through which more detailed information can be requested.
Descriptions of each site and the research conducted at it are provided. They vary according to the extent to which a site has been researched and, also, to what extent the site appears in books intended for a broader audience. The description is followed by a bibliography, offering a selection of the studies dealing with the site. With a few exceptions, each site is accompanied by one or more illustrations, ranging from aerial photos and views of the site to survey drawings, reconstructions and drawings or photos of various finds brought to light during excavations or surveys.
B’IR MINAYH, REPORT ON THE SURVEY 1998-2004
This publication is the first complete documentation of a single site situated in the middle of the Etbai district. The results of our survey at Bi’r Minayh from 1998 to 2004 are presented in Volume III of the series Studia Aegyptiaca Series Maior. The epigraphic investigation shows the culmination of the inscriptions during the Old and Middle Kingdom. The petroglyphs emphasize their Egyptian concerns with a glimpse on the research outside the Egyptian territory. Most of the petroglyphs join the Nubian group, but there are also specific Egyptian items. On the barren ridges and in shelters above the bottom of Wadi Minayh, Palaeolithic and Neolithic implements were found. The material can partly be dated to the Nubian Middle Palaeolithic, forming the oldest find-group of Bi’r Minayh, dating partly from the Neolithic, thus connecting to the early petroglyphs. The available official map of the site is precise enough to find the path along the wadis. Two geodesists measured the area and calculated the position of the individual find-spots. The Egyptians exploited the quartz veins for gold. In Chapter 2 the geologists provide precise knowledge of the remote site within the Eastern Desert of Egypt. The second major find-group contains the ruins of huts and houses. This is the first time that all details of the settlement have been published with accurate ground plans and ample comments. The cemetery is presented according to the architectural feature and the classification of the burials. The small finds comprising the pottery, the beads and special finds that could not be subsumed under another category. All pottery dates to the Late Antiquity, with the exemption of the Clayton rings and disks that are vaguely dated to the fourth millennium BC. The volume is richly provided with figures. Each inscription and each petroglyph is documented by a final drawing, based on the field copies and photos. Indices and the compiled bibliography to all chapters complete the publication the issue of which is due to the team-work over long years.
THE TRUE AND EXACT DRESSES AND FASHION: ARCHAEOLOGICAL CLOTHING REMAINS AND THEIR SOCIAL CONTEXTS IN SIXTEENTH- AND SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY HUNGARY
Archaeolingua & BAR Central European Series
The author’s main aim in this study is to look at how and within what framework the elements of costume from Ottoman period burials in Hungary have been treated by previous research, and to suggest some new directions of interpretation. The information on the ethnic and geographical origins of the population interred in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cemeteries in Hungary, as provided by historical sources, has determined the questions formulated within previous archaeological scholarship: the analysis of burial customs and finds, mostly remains of clothing, has focused on an ethnic interpretation. This study has two main aims. First, to look for factors other than ethnicity which could contribute to the formation of clothing and of the way it appears in the archaeological record, taking a closer look at the archaeological and various aspects of the social and cultural context of certain objects. Second, to see how historical archaeology can modify our understanding of clothing in the past: the way it was treated by contemporary peoples, and the social and cultural structures that produced it.
Keywords: clothing, ethnicity, historical archaeology, Ottoman period, burials, Hungary
NEOLITHIC COMMUNITIES IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
4. Conferences and Opportunities
ONLINE COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE UMASS AMHERST CENTER FOR HERITAGE AND SOCIETY
Engaging Communities in Local Heritage Management
This course will introduce participants to practical and tested frameworks for facilitating community consultation, recommended or required by many heritage development projects. It will also stress local benefits for community-based activities, as a source of community rejuvenation, with practical skill sets for achieving local development.
For more information please visit the website: http://www.umass.edu/chs/anth597ec.html
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP IN HERITAGE STUDIES
For more information, see http://www.science.gu.se/english/research/Heritage_Studies
EQUITY, JUSTICE, DEVELOPMENT: PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT IN LATIN AMERICA IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
In an effort to continue to focus on the conditions of people of African descent, the United Nations has declared the year 2011 as the “International Year for people of African descent.” Coincidentally, 2011 will also mark the bicentennial of independence for Cartagena, Colombia. Cartagena’s bicentennial follows on the celebration of 200 years of independence in other “Bolivarian States” in 2010. With these important commemorative moments in mind, SEPHIS, in collaboration with the Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Cartagena will host a 3-day Conference on “Equity, Justice, Development: People of African Descent in Latin America in Comparative Perspective” from March 24-26, 2011. The Conference will also coincide with the UN declared “International Day for Remembering the Victims of the Slave Trade” on 25th March.
The Conference will provide an opportunity to assess the progress of people of African descent in Latin America over the last 200 years, especially in multi-ethnic societies where they still form an ethnic minority. There are approximately 150 million people of African descent in Latin America, representing about one-third of the total population. This means that there are almost four times as many people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean than indigenous people, who number about 40 million. In a region characterized by great disparities between wealth and poverty, a disproportionate number of African descendants suffer a lack of infrastructure and utilities and are exposed to structural discrimination. Indeed, it has been estimated that Afro-descendants make up over 40 per cent of the poor in Latin America while being only a third of the population.
While focused on Latin America, the Conference will provide a space for comparative analysis with other countries in the Global South where people of African descent experience structural and other forms of discrimination; where ethnic difference is used as a tool for regulating and marking groups as ‘distinct’; and where the long struggle over identity, cultural production and against textual and visual representations, continue. More importantly, the Conference will engage with the long history of the production of cultural difference and the ways in which cultural difference is produced through deploying the language of ethnicity. The Conference will explore these issues through a wide range of sub-themes as indicated below:
- People of African descent in the decolonization movement and in the construction of the
Those interested in participating are invited to submit a one-page abstract
SEPHIS will offer a limited number of grants to assist successful applicants living outside of
Applications should be sent to the persons listed below:
DISCIPLINARY MEASURES? HISTORIES OF EGYPTOLOGY IN MULTI-DISCIPLINARY CONTEXT
HERITAGE RECORDING AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN THE DIGITAL AGE (SMARTdoc)
CONSTELLATIONS OF OBJECTS: INTERACTIVE MATERIAL WORLDS
First call for papers
The affective properties of objects in the singular has attracted much discussion; we wish to build upon this work by considering how objects act together as a group. ♦What is the role of objects in the creation of aesthetic environments? ♦Are aesthetic environments created through object interrelations and what role does intentionality and serendipity play in the process? ♦Are the affective properties of assemblages natural – and thus enduring – or socially contingent? ♦In which case, are the decisions that governed the creation of assemblages in the past recoverable in the material record as it is manifested in the present? ♦What is our role in the re-imagining of ancient assemblages? ♦Can there be a phenomenology of aesthetic sensibility that is valid and rigorous?
We invite papers that explore these themes in any time and in any place.
The organisers expect to publish presented papers in a peer-reviewed proceedings volume.
Send abstracts, by 31/01/10 to:
2010 AUSTRALASIAN SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY CONFERENCE
The 2010 Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology Conference will be held over three days from 30 September to 2 October in Brisbane, Queensland at the Mercure Hotel located on North Quay in the CBD.
Abstracts and details of session organisers is available on the conference website at http://socialscience.uq.edu.au/asha-2010-provisional-sessions
Papers will be 15 to 20 minutes long depending upon the number of paper proposals received. Please provide abstracts for papers of no more than 250 words to the relevant session organiser specified on the website. The deadline for abstracts to be sent to the session organiser is 8 July 2010.
CODESRIA-SEPHIS EXTENDED WORKSHOP ON SOCIAL HISTORY
Call for Applications
Theme and Content of the Workshop
Accommodation and Excursions
Applications and requests for more information should be sent to:
CHAT 2010: ‘NORTH’ NORTHERN WORLDS IN CONTEMPORARY & HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
November 12-14, 2010, The University of Aberdeen, Scotland
V REUNIÓN DE TEORÍA ARQUEOLÓGICA EN AMÉRICA DEL SUR (TAAS)
Fecha y hora de inicio: El Lunes, 21 de junio a las 8:00
V MEETING OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL THEORY IN SOUTH AMERICA (TAAS)
Beginning at: Monday, 21 of June at 8:00
SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY QUEBEC CITY AWARD
Deadline : June 30, 2010
To be considered for the prize, candidates must be a standing member of the SHA, be registered in a French-language university and preparing a thesis or a dissertation in French and they must present a substantive or theoretical paper at the annual meeting.
To apply, submit a letter including a confidential letter of reference from your research director, a copy of your pre-registration at the annual meeting, a 500-word abstract of the proposed paper and a copy of your resume to the Quebec City Award Secretary by June 30. Further information is available from the Quebec City Award Secretary at the following address: William Moss, Archéologue principal, Hôtel de Ville, C.P. 700 Haute-Ville, Québec (Québec), Canada G1R 4S9. Telephone: 418.641.6411 ext, 2149; Fax 418.641.6455; email: email@example.com.
SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY BOURSE DE QUÉBEC
Date limite : 30 juin 2010
Pour être éligible, le candidat doit être membre en règle de la SHA, être inscrit dans une université francophone et y préparer une thèse ou un mémoire en français. Enfin, il doit présenter, dans le cadre du colloque annuel de la SHA, une communication substantielle ou théorique.
Pour poser votre candidature, faites parvenir une lettre au secrétaire du comité de la Bourse de Québec. Cette lettre doit être accompagnée des documents suivants : une lettre de recommandation confidentielle de votre directeur de recherche, une preuve d'inscription à l'université, une copie de votre inscription préliminaire au colloque annuel, un résumé de votre communication (maximum de 500 mots) et une copie de votre curriculum vitae. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter le secrétaire du comité de la Bourse de Québec à l'adresse suivante : William Moss, Archéologue principal, Hôtel de Ville, C.P. 700 Haute-Ville, Québec (Québec), Canada G1R 4S9. Téléphone: 418.641.6411, poste 2149; Télécopie 418.641.6455; courriel: firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MUSEUMS INTER-CONGRESS RESCHEDULED
The WAC Inter-Congress on Indigenous Peoples and Museums: Unraveling the Tensions, which had been scheduled for late June, 2010, has been rescheduled for 22-25 June 2011, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Please accept the organizers’ apologies for any inconvenience this change may cause. Information about the meeting can be found at the Inter-Congress website at http://wacmuseums.info/.
Although registration is not yet available, themes, sessions, papers, posters, and workshops may now be submitted using the form on the website. Additional information will be available soon, and will be announced on the WAC listserv and in this newsletter. You may also wish to join the Facebook group “Indigenous People and Museums: Unraveling the Tensions,” which already has more than 450 members, where you can follow discussion about the topic.
SE REPROGRAMA INTER-CONGRESO DE PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS Y MUSEOS
El Inter-Congreso de WAC sobre Pueblos Indígenas y Museos: Desentrañando las Tensiones, que había sido programada para finales de junio de 2010, ha sido reprogramado para el 22 a 25 junio, 2011, en Indianápolis, Indiana, EE.UU. Por favor, acepten las disculpas de los organizadores por cualquier inconveniente que este cambio pueda ocasionar. Información sobre la reunión pueden ser consultada en el sitio del Inter-Congreso en http://wacmuseums.info/.
Aunque el registro todavía no está aun disponible, ahora se podrán presentar los temas, las sesiones, documentos, carteles y talleres, utilizando el formulario en la página web. Información adicional estará disponible pronto, y será anunciada en la lista de distribución WAC y en este boletín. También es posible que deseen adherirse al grupo de Facebook "Las poblaciones indígenas y de los Museos: Desentrañando lasTensiones", que ya cuenta con más de 450 miembros, donde se puede seguir la discusión sobre el tema.
AUSTRALIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2010
The Australian National University is pleased to be hosting the 2010 Australian Archaeological Association Conference. With a beautiful beachside setting and a strong line up of conference sessions and papers we anticipate a memorable event. Please join us from December 9 to 13 at the Coach House Marina Resort for 4 days of academic exchange, internationally renowned keynote speakers, unique musical performances, and more.
Theme: Challenges for archaeology in understanding cultural and natural landscapes
For further information please visit the conference website: http://arts.anu.edu.au/AandA/archaeology/aaaconference/
IMAGINES II – SEDUCTION AND POWER
IMAGINES II - Seduction and Power is the second in a series of major international and interdisciplinary conferences focusing on the reception of Antiquity in the performing and visual arts. They are designed and organised between the Universities of Bristol, Heidelberg, Lampeter, and La Rioja.
It will explore the tensions and relations of gender, sexuality, and power in reception, associated with concepts like domination, magnetism and attraction. Such themes dominated the plots and characters of myth and drama, but also served to portray historical personages.
The focus of our attention will be the stereotyping of empowered women as violent, over-sexed and dangerous (e.g. Semiramis, Dido, Cleopatra) or the vilifying of 'weak' men for falling prey to the seducers (e.g. Marc Anthony). Alongside these stand the typecasting of 'strong' men as heroes (e.g. Spartacus) and of the weakening influence of love on them (e.g. Antinous on Hadrian) as well as the tantalising in-between, the hermaphrodite.
This edition features speakers from all over Europe and the USA, and includes public events, such as a silent film screening and an exhibition and talk by multiple Eisner award-winning graphic novelist Eric Shanower with his 'Age of Bronze' series (http://age-of-bronze.com/).
FIVE-WEEK ONLINE SUMMER COURSE
DEVELOPING FOUNDATION MEDIA SKILLS COURSE
Past Preservers is delighted to announce the details of our premiere course, which will be held from Friday 21st May until Sunday 23rd May in the beautiful surroundings of the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal, Cumbria, in the heart of the English Lake District.
The course will be Developing Foundation Media Skills 1: Presentation Skills and the Showreel and the instructors will include well-known broadcaster and author, Fiona Armstrong, and Jim Mower, a producer of the extremely popular TV series Time Team. Fiona, in addition to her work in television, is an experienced heritage professional who runs her own company, 'Border Heritage' and has been involved as a director and manager of heritage projects. She recently joined BBC News 24 as a news anchor. Jim has worked on numerous historical and archaeological documentaries for international broadcasters and is also an experienced field and research archaeologist. Now a senior producer on Time Team, Jim’s work includes programme development, production and directing.
During this intensive training course, designed with the historian and archaeologist in mind, participants will have the opportunity to:
5. Excerpts from the newsletters of other archaeological associations (used with permission)
5 (a) SALON
Salon 235: 14 June 2010
World’s ‘earliest illustrated Christian manuscript’ found in Ethiopia
Radiocarbon dating carried out in Oxford University’s research laboratory for archaeology has established that the Garima Gospels, from a remote monastery in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, date not from AD 1100, as was previously believed, but from between AD 330 and 650. In its report on the dating, the Art Newspaper for June 2010 quotes Salon Fellow Michelle Brown as saying that the discovery throws new light on the spread of Christianity to sub-Saharan Africa, and on the sources and models for Ethiopia’s vibrant early Christian art.
The Garima Gospels are in two volumes of 348 and 322 pages, and the illuminated pages include canon tables, depictions of the Evangelists and of the Temple in Jerusalem. Ethiopian monastic tradition has it that the monastery’s founder, Father Garima, copied the Gospels himself and took a single day to complete the task (aided by God who delayed sunset until the work was done). Jacques Mercier, the specialist in Ethiopian art, says that the images are similar to Syrian art of the sixth century, and might be the work of an Ethiopian artist working in a Middle Eastern studio, or a Middle Eastern artist working in Ethiopia.
The Gospels have never left the remote monastery, and dating was carried out on two small samples that had broken from the brittle parchment: one gave a date range of AD 330 to 540 and the other of AD 430 to 650, with a likely date of AD 487/8, some decades older than the earliest surviving illustrated Christian manuscript, the Rabbula Gospels of AD 586. The new date links the manuscript to the time of the founding of the monastery in AD 494.
Salon Fellow Nicholas Pickwoad is quoted as saying that he has visited the monastery, and studied the copper-gilt and wood binding of the first of the two volumes, which he believes could be contemporary with the contents, making this the world’s oldest bookbinding still attached to its original text.
The state of the Gospels is causing concern to bodies such as the London-based Ethiopian Heritage Fund, which paid for conservators to visit the monastery in 2006 and assess the condition and make recommendations. Pending further work, a church on the edge of the monastery complex is being converted to provide secure storage that will be protected by armed guards.
The Art Newspaper Group’s Editorial Director, our Fellow Anna Somers Cocks, has called on the members of Venice City Council to stop selling off its historic palazzi to the highest bidder and to consider more appropriate uses. In her capacity as Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund, she has described the city council’s sale of property assets as ‘an ad hoc strategy driven by panic … like auctioning the family silver instead of sorting out your estate’.
The city council is selling property as a response to a sharp fall in its income at the same time as the Moses flood prevention barrier, designed to save the city from rising sea levels, is eating up funds. Revenue from the city’s casino, which provided a quarter of the city’s annual income in the past, is significantly down. As the population of Venice has fallen, banks, post offices and government offices have relocated to mainland Mestre, where the majority of Venetians now live, leaving the city with empty buildings, like the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the former post office, or the Palazzo Sagredo, that are now being put up for sale. Hotel groups have snapped up the buildings: more than forty new hotels have opened in Venice in the last five years, leading to an over-supply of accommodation.
‘We think it would be much better to offer some of the palazzi to research institutes’ says Anna. ‘That would bring in a much wider variety of people. Otherwise you end up with a dislocated city, devoted only to tourism.’ Francesca Bortolotto-Possati, proprietor of the Hotel Bauer, agrees with Venice in Peril: ‘In just nine years, the number of hotel beds in Venice has increased from 14,000 to 26,000,’ he says. ‘It's ridiculous: occupancy rates are down to about 50 per cent and some hotels are close to bankruptcy because they can't fill their rooms. Rather than having more hotels, we should encourage companies and cultural foundations to use these old palazzi as their headquarters.’
Salon 233: 10 May 2010
Did Neanderthals and humans interbreed?
Until last week there was much scepticism about claims that Homo neanderthalensis and H sapiens mated and produced offspring. Now a paper published in the journal Science, written by Dr Ed Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and fifty other members of an international team of research colleagues, has undermined such certainties in a pioneering study showing that there was a ‘flow of genetic material’ between early Homo sapiens and our extinct cousins.
The evidence is compelling: Dr Green is not saying that Neanderthals and humans have genes in common; all hominids do. What he has found is that the bits that we share with Neanderthals are absent from sub-Saharan African genes, but present in all non-Africans, even in a person from Papua New Guinea, where Neanderthals have never lived.
This suggests that the interbreeding occurred soon after H sapiens first migrated out of Africa whenever that was (estimates vary from between 120,000 and 60,000 years ago). This first migration might have involved a handful of people; but somewhere in North Africa, Arabia or the Middle East, the migrants encountered Neanderthals, or perhaps some other species that had Neanderthal genes, and interbred. As modern humans continued to spread round the globe, successive offspring of the human/Neanderthal child took with them a little bit of Neanderthal DNA. ‘The proportion of Neanderthal ancestry in non-Africans today is between 1 and 4 per cent so it’s a small but very real proportion of ancestry in non-Africans today’, Dr Green said.
The findings also suggest that the gene flow was only in one direction: from Neanderthal to human, and not in the opposite direction. The best explanation for this might be that a male Neanderthal bred with a female human; the authors wisely do not speculate about the precise social and cultural nature of this sexual interaction.
Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said the findings had surprised him; he previously believed it more probable that Neanderthals and humans were separate species and that interbreeding could not occur. Chris Stringer, Research Leader in Human Origins at the Natural History Museum, said that this was ‘an intriguing twist to our evolutionary tale; these surprising results are probably only the first of many, as the emerging science of fossil genomics builds up momentum.’
To auction or not to auction: antiquities of doubtful provenance
Several articles have appeared in the press in the last four weeks throwing the spotlight on the continuing trade in looted antiquities. Dalya Alberge, in The Observer, on 11 April 2010, for example, quoted Fellow Colin Renfrew who accused the UK Government of complicity in the illegal antiquities trade: liquidators acting for the Government plan to sell ‘looted’ Italian artefacts to recover tax owed by the bankrupt antiquities dealer Robin Symes. They include an ancient Etruscan bronze mask of Acheloos that is among one thousand antiquities allegedly stolen from Italy, where Symes is under investigation for antiquities theft and smuggling. Professor Renfrew described their proposed sale as a ‘scandal’ that would further confirm London’s reputation as a ‘clearing house for looted antiquities’.
That reputation was reinforced by the planned sale on 28 April 2010 of a collection of Roman sculptures, including a first- or second-century AD marble figure of a youth and three funerary busts. Bonhams auction house was pressured into removing the sculptures from the sale at the last minute when Fellow David Gill, Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at Swansea University, and Christos Tsirogiannis, a researcher at Cambridge University and formerly an archaeologist with the Greek ministry of culture, provided evidence that the marble figure had been illegally trafficked by the antiquities dealer Giacomo Medici and that the busts were once part of the collection of Robin Symes. The style of the Roman busts suggests they are of eastern Mediterranean origin and were possibly dug up in Syria or northern Greece. The marble statue probably originates from Italy.
In theory, selling illicitly acquired antiquities is punishable by up to seven years in prison, but antiquities dealers in effect killed the legislation (originating in a private member’s bill introduced in 2003 by the former Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan) when they demanded that the Government create a register of looted or stolen antiquities against which they could check objects submitted for sale. Counteracting the trade depends on the vigilance of campaigners such as Fellow David Gill, who is a long-standing opponent of the trade in ‘tainted cultural objects’.
Profiled in the Western Mail recently as Indiana Jones in reverse, because instead of ‘plucking priceless artefacts from ancient tombs, Dr Gill does the process in reverse — and sends the relics back to where they came from’, Dr Gill is quoted as saying that ‘the looting of human history has become a full-scale industry’. Writing on his blog, called ‘Looting Matters', David explains how police raids on the warehouses of antiquities smugglers in Geneva and in Basle have yielded thousands of photographs and bundles of receipts that have helped investigators and archaeologists identify antiquities in public and private collections that have been excavated, smuggled and traded illegally. The scale of the problem is measured not in tens or hundreds of artefacts, but in terms of the ‘three truckloads, some 4,400 items’, returned to Italy in November 2008 as the result of one police raid.
Salon 231: 12 April 2010
There have been so many finds of new human-like species recently, that it would have been easy enough to slip another one in on 1 April. The debate over whether Homo floresiensis (aka ‘The Hobbit’) is or is not a new species has been raging for six years now, and the consensus that has emerged in recent weeks is that the little folk of Flores are not only a distinct species, and not deformed modern humans, they might even have been the first hominids to migrate from the African savannah three million years ago.
In late March this year, we were introduced to another new human relation who lived until as recently as 30,000 years ago in the Deisova cave in the Atlai mountains of southern Siberia. This hitherto undocumented hominin species was identified largely on the basis of fossil DNA extracted from fragments of a finger bone, which was probably that of a five- to seven-year-old child. Though the sex of the child is unknown, the new species has been dubbed ‘X-woman’, because DNA material from the mitochondria (passed exclusively from mother to child) was used to obtain the genetic profile. The precise place of this ‘long-lost cousin’ on the hominin family tree has yet to be worked out, but it is now clear that there were at least three early human species living in central and eastern Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago — this one, plus Neanderthals and our own species.
Dr Johannes Krause and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig who analysed the genetic material from ‘X-woman’ commented that ‘hominin lineages probably co-existed for long periods of time in Eurasia’, and Chris Stringer, Head of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum in London, said: ‘This new DNA work provides an entirely new way of looking at the still poorly understood evolution of humans in central and eastern Asia.’
Just over a week later, on 5 April, a South African team then announced that they had found the much more complete fossilised skeleton of a previously unknown hominid which the media immediately dubbed ‘the missing link’ because this new two-million-year-old species could represent an intermediate stage in the evolution of modern humans from ape-like hominids. Such an idea was encouraged by the finders of the remains: they have named the new species Australopithecus sediba, from the Sotho-language word sediba, meaning ‘spring’ or water source.
The remains, consisting of the near complete skeleton of a child and the bones of several adults, were found by Lee Berger and his colleagues from the University of the Witwatersrand while exploring the Malapa cave network at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in the Sterkfontein area, 40km outside Johannesburg.
Australopithecus sediba has long arms, like other members of the southern ape genus, the Australopithecine family, but they also have the long legs and a pelvis of bipedal early humans of the genus Homo; they also have the small teeth and facial characteristics of early human ancestors, though with brains about a third the size of a modern human.
Professor Berger said: ‘These fossils give us an extraordinarily detailed look into a new chapter of human evolution, and provide a window into a critical period when hominids made the committed change from dependency on life in the trees to life on the ground’. Controversy already surrounds the find, however: Donald Johanson at Arizona State University in Tempe believes that the remains have been misclassified and that they really belong to the genus Homo. Extracting DNA from the remains should help to resolve the issue. Of this find, Chris Stringer said: ‘The fact that experts differ over whether to classify these specimens as Australopithecine or human indicates the mixed features that they display, and the fossils provide valuable clues to the evolutionary changes that led to the first members of the human genus.’
Tres Especies Nuevas
Recientemente ha habido tantos descubrimientos de nuevas especies humanas, que habría sido bastante fácil introducir otro el 1 de abril ( April Fool’s Day, día en que tradicionalmente en Estados Unidos se hacen bromas). El debate sobre si el Homo floresiensis (alias 'El Hobbit') es o no una nueva especie ha durado seis años, y el consenso que ha surgido en las últimas semanas es que la gente menuda de Flores no sólo son una especie distinta, y no deforme los humanos modernos, si no que podrían incluso haber sido los primeros homínidos en emigrar de la sabana africana hace tres millones de años. A finales de mayo se nos introdujo a otra relación humana que vivió hasta tan recientemente como 30,000 anos en la cueva de Deisova en las montanas de Atlai en el sur de de Siberia. Solo una semana después, el 5 de abril, un equipo Sudafricano anuncio que encontraron el esqueleto fosilizado más completo de un hominido previamente desconocido a lo que los medios de comunicación denominaron “el eslabón perdido” porque esta nueva especie de dos millones de anos puede representar un estado intermedio en la evolución de los hominidos a los humanos modernos.
An international study has found that the dingo and its relation, the rare New Guinea singing dog, bear the closest genetic similarity to wolves. Geneticists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and at Cornell University and UCLA in the US, tested 48,000 different sites of DNA from the dog genome on 1,000 dogs from eighty-five different breeds, as well as hundreds of wolves. They surmise that dingoes represent an early stage in the domestication of the dog from its wild wolf ancestry, and that dingo DNA has been held in a time capsule because of their physical isolation.
Another strand of more ancient breeds originated in the Middle East and Asia; these include the chow-chow, basenji, akita, Chinese shar-pei, Siberian husky and Alaskan malamute. Modern breeds of domesticated dogs, including bulldogs, spaniels, hound, retrievers and terriers, originate from the early nineteenth century in Europe. Most dingoes are themselves now of mixed breed; the pure-bred dingo population is confined to conservation areas within Australia and Fraser Island.
Ancient tribal meeting ground found in Tasmania
What is being claimed as ‘the world’s southernmost site of early human life’, a 40,000-year-old tribal meeting ground, has been found as a result of an archaeological survey carried out ahead of roadworks near Tasmania’s Derwent River.
Up to three million artefacts have been found at the 600m by 60m riverbank site, including stone tools, shellfish fragments and food scraps. The director of the excavation, Rob Paton, said that the site appeared to have been a meeting ground for three local tribes. Optically stimulated luminescence dating was used to establish that the upper layers of the site are 28,000 years old and the base layers at least 10,000 years older. ‘This is almost unheard of from an open-air site, anywhere in the world’, he said. ‘Most events of this kind come from cave deposits that often reflect only a very small and specialised part of the lives of people. Our work so far certainly indicates this is a scientifically important and exciting site. It will be an important place for interpreting the deep history of Tasmania, but also of archaeology on a worldwide scale.’
Aboriginal groups in Australia called for the site to be preserved: ‘The Tasmanian government must immediately declare it a protected site, not just for Aboriginal people but for peoples of the world’, said Michael Mansell, of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. Fiona Newson from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council says: ‘We’re talking about a worldwide significant site in regards to the scientific values and heritage values. It would be a total waste and not a good look on Tasmania if they were going to destroy it.’
The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources had been planning to construct a bridge over the river valley; Department Secretary Norm McIlfatrick said the Government will ‘do all it can to protect the significant site’.
Sitio antiguo de reunión tribal en Tasmania
Human remains will stay at Avebury museum
An important stage in the debate about the study and display of human remains was reached on 6 April when English Heritage and the National Trust announced that ‘the public overwhelmingly supports the retention and display of prehistoric human remains in museums’. The announcement was based on the results of extensive public consultation on the issue after a group of modern Druids made a formal request in June 2006 that the human remains on display in the Avebury museum should be given to them for reburial. The Bronze Age remains are legally owned by English Heritage on behalf of the nation and the National Trust, which owns the museum, has curatorial responsibility for the management of the collection.
In responding to the Druids’ request, English Heritage undertook opinion research and a public consultation, both of which found that 90 per cent of respondents were happy that prehistoric human remains should be kept, studied and displayed in museums. The principles set out in the Guidance for the Care of Human Remains in Museums published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2005 were also applied in arriving at the decision. This guidance recommends that claims for remains over 500 years old are unlikely to be successful except where very close and continuous links can be demonstrated.
Fellow Dr Sebastian Payne, Chief Scientist at English Heritage, said: ‘We respect the beliefs that have led to this request, and we have taken the request seriously. These remains are important for our understanding of the past. We found that the public overwhelmingly support the retention and display of prehistoric human remains in museums, and that there is no clear evidence for genetic, cultural or religious continuity of a kind that would justify preferential status to be given to the beliefs of the group which requested reburial. While every case is different and must be determined on its merits, we feel that the general considerations given to this case are likely to apply to most prehistoric human remains in this country. We hope that other museums considering such requests in future will benefit from the evidence we have assembled and made accessible, saving them time and expense in reaching their decisions.’
Fellow Dr David Thackray, Head of Archaeology for the National Trust, said: ‘Some of the remains are an important part of the Museum’s exhibits, and the Museum survey shows that most visitors value this. Many of those who responded to the consultation also commented on the importance of public access and education.’
Fellow Professor Ronald Hutton, of Bristol University, author of works on the history of Druidism, said: ‘This decision represents the resolution of a question of great moral importance and with major practical implications, by reference to government guidelines, expert opinion, and general public opinion. All three have supported the same outcome.’
A summary report on the case and the findings of the public consultation and the opinion poll are available on the English Heritage website.
Decapitated bodies in Dorset revealed to be those of Vikings
A good example of public support for human remains research comes from Dorset where, as reported in Salon last year, a mass grave was discovered by Oxford Archaeology staff working on the route of the Weymouth relief road. Huge crowds gathered last month to learn more about the discoveries when the remains went on display in the town’s Pavilion Ocean Room. Steve Wallis, Dorset County Council’s Senior Archaeologist said: ‘We had over 1,000 people in the first two hours; we were counting on a good turn out because we know people round here are interested in archaeology, but we weren’t expecting anything like this.’
Public interest was stimulated by the results of analysis that suggested the remains were those of Viking males who might have been publicly executed 1,000 years ago. Radio-carbon dating has placed the remains in the period between AD 910 and AD 1030. Isotope analysis indicated that the fifty-one men found with their heads hacked off and their torsos tossed into a pit, came from a variety of places in Scandinavia. All were well-built young men in their late teens and early twenties, and at least one of them had lived much of his life inside the Arctic Circle.
All died a brutal death: Ceri Boston, who studied the remains, said they were all hacked around the head and jaw, and cuts on their upper torso, hand and arm bones show they tried to defend themselves. ‘It doesn’t look like they were very willing or the executioners very skilled’, she said. It is possible that the men were from a captured raiding party.
Cuerpos decapitados en Dorset revelan ser de los vikingos
Salon 230: 28 March 2010
Tax credits of 10 per cent are available in the US on the costs incurred in restoring any building constructed before 1936, and for designated buildings the credit rises to 20 per cent. This Historic Tax Credit, as it is known, was introduced in 1976, and economists at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, have been monitoring the scheme for the last fifteen years. Their newly published report says that the Historic Tax Credit is an efficient job creator, responsible for generating 1.8 million new jobs since 1976 and 58,800 in 2008 alone.
The study also shows that historic restoration projects require more highly skilled workers, generate better-paying jobs and return more economic benefits to local communities than other stimulus strategies such as highway construction, that it does so more efficiently than other stimulus options and that the economic activity leveraged by Historic Tax Credit returns more in tax revenue to the US Treasury than the scheme costs: ‘the federal Historic Tax Credit is a strategic investment for the nation’, the report says, ‘evidenced by the fact that the total federal cost of the HTC — US$16.6 billion in 2008 inflation-adjusted dollars — is more than offset by the US$21 billion in additional federal taxes paid as a result of HTC project activity to date. In addition, the US$16.6 billion investment has leveraged a five times greater amount of historic rehabilitation costs — a total of US$85 billion’.
Heritage advocates in the US say the report vindicates their view that the Historic Tax Credit program ‘not only protects our past, but secures our future by creating more jobs and encouraging revitalization’ and that the preservation of historic buildings ‘aligns with many of our nation’s most important needs during these tough economic times’.
Un estudio de quince años demuestra que el impuesto fiscal patrimonialmente amigable crea 1,8m puestos de trabajo
5 (b) Prehistoric Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ)
Archaeologists find 5000 year-old skeletons in Morocco
Archaeologists in Morocco uncovered an ancient burial ground in a cave east of the capital Rabat, digging up human skeletons dating back 5000 years, they told AFP. It is the first time that human skeletons dating from the end of the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age have been discovered in Morocco, Youssef Bokbot said, leading the team carrying out the digs. "Seven skeletons and four graves will allow us to identify very precisely the funeral rites of the Beaker culture, a first", Bokbot said of the discovery in a cave near Khemisset, 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Rabat.
"The copper objects that we found confirmed humanity's evolution, the passage from stone to metal, a real transformation", the archaeologist added. The digs, which began in 2006, were in a cave 18 kilometres from Khemisset.
Turkey orders probe after 'discovery' of Noah's Ark
Turkey's culture minister has ordered a probe into how pieces of wood, claimed to be remains of Noah's Ark, were taken from Turkey to China by evangelical explorers, media reports said Friday. "How did these objects get there?... I am having this investigated," Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said in remarks published in the Milliyet newspaper.
A team of evangelical Chinese explorers reportedly displayed the wooden pieces at a recent press conference in Hong Kong, claiming they recovered them from Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. "It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it," Yeung Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong documentary film-maker and member of the 15-strong team from Noah's Ark Ministries International told AFP. The team said they recovered wooden specimens from a structure that carbon dating proved was 4,800 years old, around the same time the ark is said to have been afloat.
The biblical story of Noah's Ark says God decided to flood the earth after seeing how corrupt it had become, and told Noah to build an ark and fill it with two of every animal species. After the flood waters receded, the Bible says, the ark came to rest on a mountain. Many believe that Mount Ararat, the highest point in the region, is where the ark and its inhabitants came aground.
Gunay also said the inquiry aimed to shed light on the presence of Turkish officials at the press conference in Hong Kong, without Ankara's permission. The minister stressed he supported research on Noah's Ark in Turkey, hailing it as a "bonus" for the country's tourism sector, according to Milliyet.
5 (c) Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)
GOLDASTA MOSQUE INAUGURATION
After more than a year of conserva-tion, Goldasta mosque in the Tan-doorsazi quarter was inaugurated on 4th May 2010, in the presence of HE Sayyed Makdoom Raheen, Minister for Information and Cul-ture, US Ambassador Karl Eiken-berry, other government officials and community representatives.
Damaged during factional fighting in the old city during 1993/4, the con-servation of the Goldasta mosque entailed painstaking repairs to some of finest moulded plaster decoration to survive in the old city. The works have also enabled the safeguarding of unusual painted marble panels which date from the Mughal era.
Next Issue: June 2010
|Last Updated on Monday, 22 November 2010 20:08|