|T08. The Public, Heritage and Museums
Akira Matsuda and Alicia McGill
|WAC, since its inception, has always championed archaeology that closely engages with the public. The degree to which archaeology needs to concede its authority to the public in this engagement, however, has been a subject of debate. At one end of a spectrum there have been archaeologists who stick to the traditional practice of archaeology, while occasionally consulting the public for information that can be usefully used for their archaeological investigation. At the other end of the spectrum there have been archaeologists who encourage members of the public to set an agenda of investigation into the past by themselves, and seek to facilitate this process by offering specialist advice whenever necessary. Both groups of archaeologists engage with the public, with the authority of decision-making staying largely with the archaeologists in the former case, and being greatly conceded to the public in the latter. Acknowledging that the great majority of ‘public archaeology’ takes place somewhere between the two ends, we wish to ask where archaeology stands today – thirty years since the establishment of WAC – with regard to its public engagement.
The two keywords that need particular attention are: heritage and museums. Over the last few decades critics have successfully argued that heritage is a fluid concept bound up with people’s collective identities and it should therefore be considered as a process, politically charged, rather than a product. Accepting this, one might reasonably ask how archaeology, which too is a ‘process’ of understanding the past, should relate to heritage today. Our understanding of museums, where most of the objects unearthed from archaeological fieldwork end up, has also changed drastically over the last few decades. Once conceived as temples where valuable objects are stored, museums today are understood as fora, where people engage with objects not only for educational but also for social and political purposes. How should then archaeology relate to museums today?
Within this theme we also hope to diversify the discussion around heritage and museums to incorporate the interdisciplinary intersections that exist within the realm of archaeological practice and heritage studies today. Indeed, discussions about collaboration, sharing authority, and connections with various publics are central to fields such as public history, cultural resource management, museum studies in addition to archaeology so sessions that draw from such fields are encouraged.
Sessions organized under this theme are not just to describe ‘how things are’, but to actively discuss ‘how things should be’, in consideration of the changing social roles of archaeology, heritage and museums. As the various approaches to archaeological practice and engagement through heritage and museum work raise many questions about methodology, training, pedagogy, theory, and professional ethics, we welcome sessions that explore and address questions such as:
- What possibilities and challenges arise when heritage and museum practitioners work closely with various publics?
- How can and should future generations of heritage and museum scholars and practitioners be trained in - - research and collaborative methodology?
- How can interdisciplinary perspectives inform heritage and museum practices in archaeology today?
What can we learn from changes in heritage and museum work over the last thirty years?
Archaeology and heritage in changing societies – approaches to present and future disciplinary significance for citizens of the 21st century
Organiser(s): Christopher Prescott (University of Oslo / Norway), Anders Högberg (Linnaeus University / Sweden) and Guttormsen Torgrim Sneve (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research / Norway)
Virtually all contemporary societies display historical or on-going migration, and global migration is profoundly changing how people perceive their societies. This raises questions of how archaeology and heritage can be resources for all citizens of the 21st century. A consequence of migration is societies that are increasingly ethnically and culturally diverse. Traditional questions concerning diversity related to national minorities or traditional multi-ethnic societies are but one matter concerning ethnic diversity. Understandings shaped from an immigrant perspective raise a series of other, little explored issues. Diversity in ethnic nationalist terms is not the same as diversity assessed from a regionalist perspective. Questions that arise are: What is the role of archaeology, museums and heritage in a world of migration? How can archaeology and heritage studies contribute to how societies define themselves, now and in the future?
We invite speakers to explore how archaeology and heritage in contemporary societies is evolving in relation to the forces of migration, cultural diversity and diaspora cultures. Suggested topics may be how archaeology is related to transnational and transitional knowledge, the development of heritage in the future as a result of migration, contemporary migration in light of historical movements, neo-colonialism, global tourism, cosmopolitanism, and segmentation vs. dialogues between groups.
Keywords: Migration, multiculturalism, internationalism, public archaeology, world archaeology, archaeological theory
Alternative heritage futures
Organiser(s): Rodney Harrison (UCL Institute of Archaeology / UK), Cornelius Holtorf (Linnaeus University / Sweden), Sefryn Penrose (UCL Institute of Archaeology / UK) and Sarah May (UCL Institute of Archaeology / UK)
The aim of this Forum is to present and discuss visions for the future for heritage that differ from conventional approaches within the heritage sector which seek to preserve the fabric of the cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations, based on specific philosophical approaches such as those expressed in the Venice Charter (1964). These alternative approaches to the future of heritage may find their expressions in particular cultural meanings and practices that emphasize present-day values and/or uses that accept decay and change over time.
The Forum, stimulated by the comparative approaches of the 4 year research project, ‘Heritage Futures’, will curate a series of short presentations by indigenous people, archaeologists and others working with alternative heritage frameworks, followed by discussion between the presenters and with the audience.
Keywords: futures, heritage, comparative perspectives
Hybridity in Maritime Archaeology: New perspectives for the understanding, study and preservation of a common heritage through a cultural interaction approach
Organiser(s): Arturo Rey da Silva (UNESCO Headquatre / France) and Abhirada Komoot (Independent researcher / Thailand)
Due to the difficulty in understanding contextual meaning of maritime archaeological sites, whether from the approaches of materialism, colonialism, among others, the interpretation of such archaeological contexts –whether underwater or on land- has been casted in doubt. This has not only influenced the academic approaches towards the study of these archaeological sites but has also determined the different management frameworks through which they have been handled as well as the speeches used to present them to the society or to construct certain national identities.
This session will explore the concept of cultural hybridity as an important tool to understand the maritime traces of our past in a globalized and postcolonial reality, throughout a theoretical debate illustrated with practical examples. To bridge the gap between colonial and post-colonial discourses in the context of maritime archaeology, the hybridity approach could allow us to explore the degree of cultural continuity and reflect social identity. At the same time, using hybridity in the archaeological discourse could lead to enhance international cooperation for the study, interpretation and protection of underwater cultural heritage sites, as it is envisaged by international cultural organizations as, for instance, UNESCO.
Keywords: hybridity concept, maritime archaeology, underwater cultural heritage, past interactions
Heritage Bureaucracies and Cultural Elites: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives
Organiser(s): Claudia Liuzza (Stanford University / USA), Plets Gertjan (University of Helsinki / USA) and Maria F. Escallon (University of California Santa Barbara / USA)
This session aims at examining the role of heritage bureaucracies and their associated governmental elites in creating particular visions of the past. Specifically, we are interested in exploring the sociopolitical entanglements influencing technical decision-making processes in the field of heritage and archaeology. Papers in this session will explore how various bureaucratic technologies are employed to foster particular images of the past and specific management practices. We are also interested in contributions focusing on how the process of declaring heritage is intricately related with the creation of social hierarchies and cultural elites.
This session aims to further our understanding of the institutional dynamics, social hierarchies and power relations underlying the global governance of archaeology and cultural heritage. We explore the limits and potentials of intergovernmental cultural heritage policies and their impact of national bureaucracies. We welcome case studies providing a global overview and from the UNESCO cultural heritage conventions, European cultural frameworks, and cultural heritage NGOs and foundations worldwide.
We focus on contributions from archaeologists, ethnographers, heritage scholars and social scientists working on governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental cultural organizations to uncover the pervasiveness of bureaucratic regimes in the contemporary governance of cultural heritage and archaeology.
Keywords: Heritage Bureaucracies, Cultural Elites, Cultural IGO sand NGOs
Showing Better Archaeology, Doing Better Archaeology
Organiser(s): L. Meghan Dennis (University of York / UK) and Karen Martin-Stone (In Depth Archaeology Productions / Australia)
The audience for archaeological content through film, television, online content, and video games is large, and growing yearly. Despite the demand, however, there is often a divide between archaeology as presented and archaeology as practiced, causing a conflict between the consumers of media and the researchers and practitioners upon whose work the entertainment relies.
Through critical examinations of the role of archaeology in entertainment and modern media, papers in this session seek to isolate the reasons behind the differences in how archaeologists function and how archaeology is presented to the public. Examples from multiple forms of media illustrate issues of industry and issues of the academy, with emphasis on how positive interactions can be achieved.
This symposium is designed to partner with our other session proposal — Improving Archaeology in Popular Entertainment (Forum). The symposia would give archaeologists the opportunity to present their latest research about representations of archaeology and archaeologists to a public audience through traditional and online media. The companion forum will provide the opportunity for archaeologists to understand the market for archaeological content, and how to influence the current representation of archaeology in popular entertainment. The session co-chairs have experience and professional networks within television broadcasting (documentary and factual) and digital gaming, as well as within both academic and commercial archaeology.
Keywords: Media archaeology, public archaeology, popular archaeology
Improving Archaeology in Popular Entertainment
Organiser(s): Karen Martin-Stone (In Depth Archaeology Productions / Australia) and L. Meghan Dennis (Hays & Dennis LLC / USA)
Do you want to know why archaeology is portrayed stereotypically in mass media? This forum will hear from key decision makers representing major international broadcasters, online content leaders and factual TV production companies. It will include representation from archaeologists involved in both academia and popular media. The panelists will give their perspective on emerging trends in mass media, and provoke discussion about how best to engage the public with our profession.
Archaeology is a key drawcard in television, film, games, apps and online, attracting large audiences. The mass media market is facing rapid change, with audiences having unparalleled levels of choice and complexity. How can archaeologists engage with broadcasters, game publishers, TV producers and others in the mass media market to influence the portrayal of our profession? Are we on the cusp of an explosion of creativity and innovation that will improve the representation of archaeology in popular entertainment? The forum will explore the opportunities and threats to future archaeology media content.
This forum is designed to partner with our other session proposal – Showing Better Archaeology, Doing Better Archaeology (Symposium). The symposium would give archaeologists the opportunity to present their latest research about representations of archaeology and archaeologists to a public audience through traditional and online media. The companion forum will provide the opportunity for archaeologists to learn about the market for archaeological content, and how to influence the current representation of archaeology in popular entertainment. The session co-chairs have experience and professional networks within television broadcasting (documentary and factual) and digital gaming, as well as within both academic and commercial archaeology.
Keywords: Popular Entertainment, Multi-platform Content, Mass Media
Hidden treasures: innovative archaeological research on museum collections
Organiser(s): Robin Torrence (Australian Museum / Australia) and Mara Mulrooney (Bishop Museum / USA)
Through innovative studies of the extensive collections held in museums, archaeological research is re-invigorating these long neglected sources of information about the past. Assemblages from old excavations lying dormant in storage for decades and even longer are being explored and re-interpreted through new questions and methodologies. Museum collections of historic and ethnographic objects and photographs also provide rich resources for research into past histories, including such diverse topics as artifact functions, use of plants and medicines, cross-cultural negotiations, and the history and philosophy of archaeology. This session will bring together a broad range of case studies to form the basis for discussions about how archaeology can better make use of the hidden treasures embedded in museum collections.
Keywords: museum, archaeology, collections
Mind the gap! Building bridges between scientific approaches and public interests in the archaeology of art
Organiser(s): Danae Fiore (CONICET – AIA – UBA / Argentina) and Ines Domingo (University of Barcelona / Spain)
In the last decades archaeologists of art have explored multidisciplinary approaches (from archaeometric analyses to cutting-edge digital technologies) to advance scientific knowledge and to try repositioning archaeologies of art in the heart of archaeological research.
However, these new approaches are often not dealing with an important aspect of archaeological practice, such as public interests and public outreach (also known as community archaeology or public archaeology). By “public interests” we broadly mean the access to archaeological knowledge and products, the sustainable uses of artistic heritage (rock art sites, portable art objects, and their images), and the involvement of local communities and the general public in the further development of research questions, protection and use policies of diverse art forms created in the past and so forth. We are also interested in exploring different ways of adapting research results and products to stimulate social interest in any form of art relevant to archaeology. Thus, we invite colleagues to present case-studies in which they address these challenges and the manners through which they are dealing with them, in order to generate a stimulating discussion which can lead us to construct new ways of bridging these gaps between science and people.
Considering one of the core aims of WAC: the recognition of the historical and social role, and the political context, of archaeological enquiry, of archaeological organisations, and of archaeological interpretation, this session aims to go beyond more traditional studies of past and present forms of art to focus on how to engage the public in the study, preservation, current use and interpretation of this particular type of cultural heritage.
Keywords: Archaeologies of art, Rock art, public archaeology
Urban Heritage and Sustainability
Organiser(s): Siobhan Hart (Binghamton University / USA), Katherine Dillon (Binghamton University / USA), Valerie Higgins (The American University of Rome / ), James Dixon (Museum of London Archaeology / UK) and Kidong Bae (Hanyang University / Korea South)
In recent years global crises have compelled communities all over the world to reconsider shared priorities and resources. In the process, sustainability has emerged as a major conceptual paradigm, negotiating the collaborations and tensions between economic, environmental and social issues. Urban communities and landscapes have often been at the center of sustainability debates and offer productive settings to explore the intersections of heritage and sustainability.
Local, place-based heritage practices play an important role in the creation and maintenance of collective identities and memories rooted in shared pasts, but also inform present values and future aspirations. How do public understandings of urban histories inform public ideas of what is sustainable? How do theories of urban sustainability inform archaeological theory and practice? What role can heritage play in the struggle for social capital and cohesion? How can archaeology and heritage be marshaled to strengthen communities facing threats to sustainability, particularly in the contexts of displacement, deindustrialization, revitalization or gentrification?
Keywords: heritage, sustainability, urban archaeology
Heritage Dogma: Policy and Practice – Searching for Missing Links
Organiser(s): John Ugwuanyi (University of York / UK), Harald Fredheim (University of York / UK) and Steve Brown (University of Sydney / Australia)
The 1994 ICOMOS Nara Document on Authenticity, 2003 UNESCO Intangible Heritage Convention and 2005 Council of Europe ‘Faro’ Convention can all be considered ‘soft laws’ attempting to legitimise an expanded range of perspectives on heritage and archaeology. Nevertheless, these are doctrinal texts against the tide, against a dogma that promotes authorised modes of heritage creation and differentiates between ‘public’ heritage and archaeology proper. What are some of the perceived and problematic distinctions that academics and practitioners make between archaeology and heritage? What are the implications of such distinctions for engaging diverse publics? What are the benefits of working more closely with diverse publics in all forms of practice: framing research designs, excavating, sampling, conserving, publishing and preparing plans of management; in light of these benefits, when (if ever) should practice not be ‘public’?
Increasingly, theoretical justifications for diverse and inclusive approaches are recognised. Professionals who favour such approaches are nevertheless faced with a range of practical challenges: how can professionals and publics work most effectively together? Which new skills and technologies are required by alternative approaches? How can authority, once shared, be protected in order to prevent democratic exclusion? We encourage submissions that articulate and challenge the established dogma and critically engage with the practice of ‘public’ approaches towards heritage and archaeology in their many and various forms.
Keywords: Heritage Dogma, Public, Shared Authority
Global Perspectives on Underwater Cultural Heritage Management
Organiser(s): Yoshihiko Akashi (Fukuoka Prefectural Board of Education / Japan) and Martijn Manders (Cultural Heritage Agency, The Netherlands / Netherlands)
Despite the differences in legislation and management systems regarding underwater cultural heritage (UCH), it is becoming a norm, world across, that UCH management – and the archaeology that drives it – is undertaken in association with offshore construction works, mainly associated with energy development. Required archaeological surveys and excavations for offshore developments are executed within a legislative and regulatory framework, funded by commercial developers, and conducted by professional archaeologists. Papers will discuss the various national regulatory and legislative systems that provide the framework in which this management occurs, as well as the heritage tourism benefits that may result. Moreover, the symposium will address new approaches and proposed standards for underwater cultural heritage, and illustrate how partnerships among private and public entities are essential to effective and long-term identification and management of submerged archaeological resources. This symposium will be of interest to (1) countries that are contemplating offshore energy development regulations or legislation concerning underwater cultural heritage management and protections, and (2) underwater cultural heritage managers and marine archaeologists.
Keywords: Underwater archaeology, legislative and regulatory issues, offshore development
Management of burial mounds in the modern world
Organiser(s): Gen Miyoshi (Secretariat of the Conference Headquarters for the Promotion of Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun for World Heritage Inscription / Japan), Naima Benkari (Sultan Qaboos University / Oman), Kazuyuki Yano (Japan Cultural Heritage Consultancy / Japan) and Megumi Takimoto (Japan Cultural Heritage Consultancy / Japan)
It is a very common practice to honor tombs with earth- or stone-piled mounds, namely burial mounds. They have survived even under severe natural environment and/or inadequate care, and present the existence of many different shapes. Since the positions that burial mounds occupy in modern society may also vary, diverse management theories and methods will be relevant depending on the relationships between neighboring modern communities, the authorities who have jurisdiction over them, and the individuals buried in the tombs. In some cases, these burial mounds are the object of worship. In other cases they are subject to protection and management as cultural heritage of historical value. In addition, some play important economic roles as tourist attractions, so site improvement and utilization are promoted accordingly. The management of burial mounds in the contemporary world is a complex task, in which various factors interfere, including local identity, academic research, economics and even religion. This session will examine a range of cases where burial sites are perceived and managed differently. The aim is to explore the social status of burial mounds in modern societies, stakeholders, the actual situation of management, etc. to seek better management methodologies for this specific type of tombs.
Keywords: burial mounds, worship, cultural heritage, heritage tourism, heritage management, site management
Transforming Heritage Practice Contributions from Community Archaeology
Organiser(s): John H Jameson (Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage / USA) and Musteata Sergui (“Ion Creanga” State University / Moldova)
Contributions to this session go beyond “just” descriptions of outreach and public engagement to discuss (critically and reflexively) the processes involved in “doing” and thinking about community archaeology. We define “community archaeology” as any phase of archaeological work or any aspect of management or stewardship of heritage that focuses on the intersections between archaeology, heritage, and communities. Communities are defined in various ways: as local communities, communities of interest, online communities, displaced communities, professional communities, and others. How do archaeological, heritage, and community interests converge? What happens when they do – to people, to scholarship, to politics, to archaeology and heritage?
Papers address collaborative projects, empowered communities, roles of volunteer activists, and other aspects of work. They also incorporate multiple perspectives, discuss how they manage or resolve conflicts, how they understand community contexts and multiple points of view, the impact of archaeology and heritage work on the community, and vice versa. We address theory, philosophy, and practice, and creative ways to present or include voices of professionals, constituents, collaborators, or others. We include a wide continuum of methods and approaches as the best examples of community archaeology spring from the diverse contexts of global archaeology.
Keywords: Community archaeology, heritage, professional practice
Current trends in archaeological heritage preservation
Organiser(s): Musteata Sergui (“Ion Creanga” State University / Moldova) and Corina Borș ( National Museum / Romania)
Archaeological heritage helps to define the age and origins of a culture, the history and traditions of a people, a country or a certain ethno-cultural space in relation to other states or cultural spaces. Today, archaeological goods are treated as part of all humanity which needs to be correspondingly treated. The preservation of archaeological sites is strongly linked to the study, safeguarding and evaluation of unearthed archaeological deposits. At the same time, this field is faced with the need to salvage or restore sites, because archaeological heritage is under various dangerous threats (e.g. military conflicts, terrorist attacks, land privatisation, constructions, illegal excavations and trade). Hence, for preserving archaeological heritage we need efficient management frameworks with activities focused on preserving, research, conservation and restoration of cultural resources for future generations.
Heritage preservation is a very important topic and WAC-8 is a great environment to bring together diverse perspectives about and approaches to heritage preservation from international and interdisciplinary contexts. The main goal of this session is to discuss experiences and share best practices of archaeological heritage preservation policies from various countries around the world.
We expect scholars and practitioners (including professionals, government actors, and community actors) to participate in this session and debate the following specific aspects of heritage preservation:
• Legal frameworks – How efficient are the international conventions for building national preservation rules?
• Cooperation between State agencies, NGOs and the private sector in implementing archaeological heritage preservation policies
• Conflicts between preservation policies, community needs, research, and heritage values
• Private sector archaeology – Is this an alternative or a problem for archaeological heritage preservation?
Keywords: archaeological heritage management, trends, practices
The Trial of Heritage: Can the Past be Modern?
Organiser(s): Vladimir I. lonesov (Samara State Institute of Culture / Russia) and Rama Krishna Pisipaty (SCSVMV University, Kanchipuram / India)
What is the future of our past? Can the past be modern? This session focuses on the topic of using heritage artifacts in museum and educational practice as creative resources for crosscultural communication and social reconciliation. Additionally, this session challenges the view of museums’ artifacts only as stiffened traces of time, memory indexes, and memorial objects. It is important to move beyond standard interpretations of material culture, and presentations in this session will argue that exhibited artifacts can be useful to a society only when we manage to relate them to current life experience(s). Historical artifacts in museum exhibits and representations of bygone experiences (samples of the past) acquire their meaning and significance only in contact with the present, joining dialogue on the latest challenges humankind faces here and now. This session proposes considering museum artifacts as actual participants in current events from multiple angles of vision. Presentations in this session will demonstrate possibilities for transformations of culture through the promotion of creative practice based less on behavioral standards, but rather on principles of action and creative participation in museum contexts and through engagements with artifacts.
This session invites oral and poster presentations from any region.
Keywords: test of time, heritage artifacts, creative practices, social change
Cultural Heritage and Social Innovation
Organiser(s): Jesús Fernández (UCL / UK),Alexander Herrera (Universidad de los Andes / Colombia), Oscar Navajas Corral (La Ponte ecomuseum / Spain) and Carmen Pérez Maestro (La Ponte ecomuseum / Spain)
The main consequence of the current global economical and social crisis is a progressive erosion of the welfare state. In this context, ‘social innovation’ as a concept takes on increasing importance worldwide as it is fundamental to achieve a systematic and integral social amelioration. The aim of this session is to bring together practical experiences of socially innovative persons or organisations in order to introduce an academic debate on the importance that social innovation represents in the field of cultural heritage and also to measure its scope. In the field of cultural heritage, we use the term ‘social innovation’ when the following conditions are met:
1. New solutions – e.g. products, services, models, methodologies, processes – are created complying best with the objectives of cultural heritage management.
2. Certain social needs (e.g. access to education, knowledge, culture, quality employment, new technologies, participation and democracy, environmental conservation, sustainable development, social inclusion, integration and gender equality) are met.
3. New types of relationships and/or synergies are created between citizens or between citizens and institutions in relation to cultural heritage management.
The questions we propose for discussion are: Does cultural heritage contribute to create social innovations? Are the organisations in charge of cultural heritage management socially innovative? To which extent? How could they become more innovative? Who innovates and where?
Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Social Innovation, social needs and demands
Public Archaeology in Developing Countries
Organiser(s): Daniel Dante Saucedo Segami (National Museum of Ethnology / Japan) and Naotoshi Ichiki (Asociacion Academia de Cultura Japonesa / Peru)
Since its origins, Public Archaeology has become a very important field in developed countries, where archaeologists’ perspectives are challenged by those of the public. This field has opened new spaces where the discussion about archaeology and archaeological heritage is no longer solely a duty of archaeologists, but a duty for the society as a whole. In recent years, this field is becoming known in developing countries. However, it is still poorly known how social and economic differences influence the participation of the general public in discussions about archaeology. How are archaeologists dealing with this problem? Is it possible to overcome these differences and encourage the general public to actively participate in defining and utilizing archaeological heritage? Are archaeologists aware that archaeological heritage involves several interests and perspectives that should be negotiated in order to protect it? In this session, we welcome presentations from archaeologists and members of the public that would critically introduce experiences, problems and possible solutions on how to engage the public in developing countries around the world.
Keywords: Public Archaeology, Developing Countries, Archaeological Heritage
Considering Ethics in Relation to Cross-Cultural Conceptions of Heritage Management
Organiser(s): Alexis Bunten (Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage / USA) and Sergiu Musteata (Ion Creanga State University / Republic of Modova)
Organizations like UNESCO and ICOMOS offer guidelines for heritage management that are often perceived by professionals and visitors to heritage sites as de-facto “best practices” for protecting and promoting places, resources and material culture. Oftentimes, local opinions about how to best manage heritage sites are trumped by top-down, and hegemonic attitudes tied to incoming funding, research and developmental support. In recent years, established practices in heritage management have been increasingly criticized for their inability to consider local viewpoints, or even alternate epistemological frameworks for considering the value and usage of heritage sites for different kinds of people who interact with them. A site considered a “development opportunity” for one group, might be seen as something that must be protected from damage resulting from continued human interaction by another. Likewise, research and management activities considered unethical by some host communities or nations, are perfectly accepted, and even sought after by others. This session explores the hidden ethical issues implicit in standardized and widely accepted heritage management practices applied across global contexts. Papers present several examples of places where these practices have been challenged in light of more local ways of considering the meaning, knowledge, values and human interaction with heritage sites.
Keywords: Ethics, Heritage Management, Development
Archaeology and cultural heritage in modern South Asian countries
Organiser(s): Atsushi Noguchi (NPO Japanese Centre for South Asian Cultural Heritage / Japan), Muhammad Zahir (Hazara University / Pakistan) and Tomokatsu Uozu (Otemae University / Japan)
South Asia is a region in which diverse cultures have flourished with continuous interaction between various ethnic and religious groups over the centuries. Such cultural diversity is still prominent in the region today and is a source of cultural enrichment and dialogue in and across modern states. The same diversity, however, is also a source of social conflict with the rise of fundamentalism, ethno-centrism and extremism against the background of rapid modernization and globalization. In this context it is important to develop historical perspectives across the region in order to attain harmonious co-existence of different cultural groups in the post-colonial era. For this purpose, the session will examine the role that archaeology and cultural heritage can play in building social stability in South Asian countries by raising the awareness of their shared regional history. Relevant concepts, practices, and perspectives of archaeology and cultural heritage in South Asia will be presented and discussed.
Keywords: South Asia, cultural diversity, regional identity
The cultural politics of archaeological heritage in Eurasia
Organiser(s): Annie Chan (University of Pennsylvania / USA), Steve Renette (University of Pennsylvania / USA) and Alexander N. Popov (Far Eastern Federal University / Russia)
As rapid economic development across Eurasia exposes ancient monuments and archaeological sites to destruction and encroachment by industry, urban spread, and agricultural exploitation, the protection and recording of what is deemed “cultural heritage” has become acutely relevant. Archaeological “sites” assume a unique historical role in the creation of the modern cultural landscape as the remains of the past are entwined with the remembrance of the past in ever-changing dimensions. In this forum, we hear from archaeologists who are closely involved with policy-making and salvage operations on the ground in the contexts of urbanization, tourism growth and nation-building. Through regional case studies, we explore the educational role of cultural heritage and its immediate social, economic and political relevance. Furthermore, we consider the ethics of cultural resource management and salvage archaeology/conservation in an era where scientific research is able to provide better insights into the past, compelling us to force the issues of preservation and conservation.
Keywords: cultural heritage, Eurasia, economic development
The Challenges of Mural Paintings: Conservation and Utilization
Organiser(s): Toru TATEISHI (Agency for Cultural Affairs / Japan) and James Scott LYONS (University of California, Berkeley / USA)
While ancient sites with mural paintings are popular among the public and rich in archaeological information, managing murals is actually quite challenging because they are normally not supposed to be moved from their original location. Recently in Japan there were several cases in which in situ conservation of murals in a tumulus was not sustained and the painful choice of relocation was made. Some of these cases received considerable media coverage, which led to debate about pros and cons of relocation. As this example demonstrates, it is not easy to establish standardized methods for the conservation and utilization of mural paintings.
Murals exist in many regions of the world, and the ways in which their conservation and utilization are undertaken are diverse. This session aims to explore how to improve the management of mural paintings as public properties through comparison with both successful and difficult cases from different parts of the world. The session will start with one or a few paper(s) which highlight some generic difficulties of in situ conservation. There will then be discussion of various stands and perspectives on the management of murals. We call for papers which present multiple voices/ideas about the principles and techniques of managing mural paintings.
Keywords: mural, utilization, in situ conservation, principles and techniques
Organiser(s): Kola Adekola (University of Ibadan / Nigeria), Abidemi Babatunde Babalola (Rice University, Houston / USA) and Oluseyi Agbelusi (University College London / Qatar)
Globalization and the changing perspectives on heritage have significantly influenced the use and practice of heritage. As a result the questions of what constitute heritage and how they should be conceptualized, used, and treated have been debated. Therefore, the practicing of heritage has become a global concern with emphasis on local and diverse approaches. The aim of this session is to explore heritage practices across the globe in order to examine such questions as how should heritage be practiced, is there/can there be a global heritage practice, and what are the local and regional circumstances that positively or negatively influence practicing heritage among others. The session would consider these questions in relation to public engagement, respect for local community, heritage preservation and conservation and how they are connected to heritage practices. The session anchors on the belief that specific individual narratives of case studies may be of help in fashioning standard that could be adopted for practicing heritage elsewhere. This session welcomes research papers from scholars in archaeology, anthropology, heritage studies, conservation, and other disciplines to discuss local, regional or continental cases. We especially encourage legislatures, educators, and members of indigenous groups to be part of this session.
Keywords: Heritage, Preservation and Conservation, Local Community