Benjamin DUCKE, Germany | Ann DEGRAEVE, Belgium | May 30, 2018 | 10 am

Armed conflicts and natural disasters continue to endanger our shared cultural heritage. In 2018, climate change and population pressure are bound to make their impacts felt more strongly than ever. At the same time, armed conflicts in volatile regions such as Yemen and Syria threaten to destroy the built heritage of entire geographic regions. In 2017, CHNT featured a round table discussion on the latter topic and this year we would like to extend on it with a dedicated session.

As a profession and as a passion, Archaeology has to muster its resources to lessen the effects of catastrophic events on sites and monuments, and digital technology will play a key role in these efforts.

Granted, digital models are no adequate replacements for their real-world counterparts, and there is no compensation for the loss of ancient wonders such as the Temple of Bel in Palmyra.

But current technology provides us with the tools to survey, document and model cultural heritage with more detail and realism than ever before. And more than that, the community of people using these new tools will, no doubt, come up with clever and creative ways of making the most of them.

The history of archaeology is, after all, a history of creative thought, passionate commitment and a do-it-yourself attitude in the face of meagre resources and tough environments.

It is in this spirit that we wish to invite you to join our session on “Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas”, a topic that we have extended to include the effects of climate change and environmental disasters.

Find out more here:

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra, Syria has recently seen a string of destructive event. (© B. Ducke)

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