CALL for PAPERS
Chair: Benjamin DUCKE, German Archaeological Institute, Germany
Description of the session: Numerous World Heritage Sites, archaeological areas and monuments of all kinds, are under acute risk from the destructive effects of natural disasters and armed conflicts. The wars in Syria and Yemen are stark reminders of the volatility of our shared cultural heritage, as are the recent earthquake in Nepal and the deteriorative effects of global climate change.
There are many agents of impact and destruction, both natural and man-made, that can be hard to assess and impossible to control. Frequently, the discussion of who profits from the destruction of monuments or the redevelopment of destroyed historic town centres defies simple attempts of directing blame to specific groups or individuals. Looting can be a result of economic hardship, as much as that of an insatiable hunger for decorative antiquities by foreign elites. Legitimate military activities, the installation of camps and training grounds, as well as collateral damage can affect archaeological sites as much as intentional destructions by religious radicals. And the manifold impacts of climate change on land-use practices and site preservation are just beginning to become visible.
Furthermore, post-war/post-disaster rebuilding can be extremely and permanently destructive to what remains of historic urban fabric. Many European towns and cities have learned this lesson after the Second World War. Nevertheless, it seems unavoidable that restoration and improvement of civil infrastructure take precedence. Such complex contexts and processes call for a renewed assessment of the possibilities and capabilities of current archaeology and heritage management in conflict and disaster areas.
This session invites case studies, project reports and other contributions that highlight the volatile nature of cultural heritage, both material and immaterial, and inspire productive discourse about the aspects mentioned above and further, related topics. We especially encourage contribution and attendance from researchers, heritage professionals and other stakeholders with ties to current and past conflict and disaster areas.
Target group: We especially encourage contribution and attendance from researchers, heritage professionals and other stakeholders with ties to current and past conflict and desaster areas.
Submit your abstract via online form!