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David Mattingly - Archaeology and Policy Making on the Protection and Valorization of Cultural Heritage

Archaeology and Policy Making on the Protection and Valorization of Cultural Heritage

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David Mattingly - Archaeology and Policy Making on the Protection and Valorization of Cultural Heritage

  1. 1. Archaeology and Policy Making on the Protection and Valorization of Cultural Heritage. Reflections from the field Professor David Mattingly Reinforcing Co-operation on Cultural Heritage in the EU Neighbourhood South CReW/British Council, London 22 October 2018
  2. 2. Outline of Presentation • Cultural heritage in crisis in the MENA region • Dimensions of crisis and stakeholders • The EAMENA project • Nature of the threats to heritage: conflict and modernity • Agendas and perceptions (colonial/post-colonial perspectives, role of foreign missions) • Resourcing of national heritage agencies & influencing policy makers • Training and capacity building • Public education
  3. 3. Cultural Heritage in Crisis in the MENA Region
  4. 4. Statue from Cyrene seized by HMRC in the UK declared as a statue from Turkey (M. Belzic) Statue from Cyrene seized in Switzerland, one of three (M. Belzic) Evidence for looting of a tomb in the Cyrene cemeteries Looting & Illicit Antiquities Trade Looted museum Libya Hole into Benghazi bank vault through which Benghazi treasure removed
  5. 5. Dimensions of Crisis and Stakeholders • Destruction and damage of heritage assets in conflict or following conflict • Weakened political authority in many MENA countries since 2011 has reduced control of development and accelerated destruction • Heritage neglected area in international peace-making efforts • Major heritage agencies like UNESCO, ICCROM etc ill-equipped for scale of emergency – much talk, but less effective action (resource issues) • Media and popular focus on violent and ideological destruction (ISIS etc) – but missing the menace of uncontrolled modernity • Lack of joined up discussion between diverse stake-holders – international and national heritage agencies, police and customs agencies, auction houses, academic experts, foreign missions, museum specialists, diplomats, policymakers • Reflections from the field – akin to climate scientist trying to convince sceptical audience that the glacier will be gone in a few years time…
  6. 6. The EAMENA Project FUNDING Arcadia Fund (2015-2020) – basic project British Council Cultural Protection Fund (2017-2020) – training and outreach DIRECTORS and UNIVERSITIES Dr Robert Bewley (Oxford), Prof. Andrew Wilson (Oxford), Prof. David Mattingly (Leicester), Prof. Graham Philip (Durham) Mauritania to … … Iran
  7. 7. EAMENA methodology • Image interpretation using trained interpreters • Database recording using standardised terminologies • Training courses to recruit additional skilled interpreters • Database and training materials translated into Arabic Endangered archaeology Aerial photographs Excavations Surveys DEMs Satellite images Multispectral image classifications Historical maps
  8. 8. Sample of c.200,000 sites now recorded in database
  9. 9. Nature of the Threats to Heritage: Conflict and Modernity Some examples of war damage and vandalism from Libya
  10. 10. Iconoclastic Attacks against Sufi and other Islamic Shrines in Libya 2011-2016 • Dataset of 656 shrines identified from an exhaustive search of satellite imagery • 490 (75 %) destroyed or badly damaged between 2011-2016 • Primarily Sufi shrines (marabout tombs) but also includes zawiyas, libraries and tombs of prominent figures 0% 50% 100% 0 200 400 600 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Numbers/Percentage of shrines damaged/destroyed by year Cumulative total
  11. 11. Distribution of Standing (L) & Damaged (R) Shrines
  12. 12. Zuwila –11th century Dynastic Tombs of the Banu Khattab
  13. 13. From: Rayne, L., Sheldrick, N., & Nikolaus, J. 2017. Endangered Archaeology in Libya: recording damage and destruction. Libyan Studies 48: 23-49.
  14. 14. From: Rayne, L., Sheldrick, N., & Nikolaus, J. 2017. Endangered Archaeology in Libya: recording damage and destruction. Libyan Studies 48: 23-49.
  15. 15. Settlement and field-systems near Waddan damaged by bulldozing. WorldView image 25 December 2009. (c) DigitalGlobe, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. Growth of agricultural land in Jufra oasis Libya, 1970s-present
  17. 17. From: Rayne, L., Sheldrick, N., & Nikolaus, J. 2017. Endangered Archaeology in Libya: recording damage and destruction. Libyan Studies 48: 23-49. Murzuq 2003 2013 2016
  18. 18. Main Causes of Damage to Heritage in the MENA Region: Quarter degree grid squares with data recorded by EAMENA and sites damaged by agriculture. Classifications of vegetation (MODIS NDVI) and areas of human activity/urbanism (VIIRs night-time). • Agricultural expansion • Urban expansion • Lack of planning regulation • Looting and vandalism • Conflict
  19. 19. Main issues causing damage: • Agricultural expansion • Urban expansion • Mining/infrastructure projects • Lack of planning regulation • Looting and vandalism • Conflict Conflict or Modernity? Secondary issues causing damage: • Chronic underfunding of heritage agencies • Poor enforcement of antiquities laws • Lack of engagement of policymakers • Public apathy or antagonism to cultural heritage Mitigation strategies: • Recording of archaeological sites before they are gone • Improve condition/threat monitoring of heritage assets • Training of heritage professionals Mitigation strategies: • Enhancement of funding and competence of heritage agencies • Influence policy makers • Strengthen legal sanctions • Invest in public heritage education
  20. 20. Agendas and Perceptions (colonial/post-colonial perspectives, role of foreign missions) • ‘The past is a foreign country’ – Islam & cultural heritage • Contested heritage or respected heritage • Valuing heritage – social and economic assets • European colonial agendas and continuing legacy • Disjuncture between colonialist and post-colonial perspectives of cultural heritage • Continuing importance of foreign missions in archaeological research: benefits and resentments (and impact of 2011)
  21. 21. Map of Roman Empire& Modern Colonialism
  22. 22. Resourcing of National Heritage Agencies & Influencing Policy Makers • Heritage not a priority area of government spending in most MENA countries • Maintenance of basic service and staffing levels at expense of training and capacity building • Poor internet connectivity limits use of new technology • Many MENA countries do not have a fully functioning digital database of heritage assets • MENA country division between archaeology & historic buildings • Sometimes a focus on the World Heritage or honey-pot sites at expense of wider archaeological management • Some over-reliance in past on foreign mission funding for research excavations
  23. 23. Reaching out to Policy Makers: the Protecting the Past conferences www.protectingthepast.com
  24. 24. Training and Capacity Building EAMENA and the Cultural Protection Fund Training programmes for Tunisia, Libya, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt (plus Yemen and Saudi) Using the EAMENA methodology and database to: • Discover and catalogue previously unknown cultural heritage sites • Monitor the current condition of known cultural heritage sites • Identify the causes of damage to cultural heritage sites, and possible future threats to their ongoing preservation • Taught skills of image interpretation, mapping, database entry and data management, GIS, GPS, threat & damage monitoring
  25. 25. Regional representation and gender balance of trainees are priorities – example of Tunisia
  26. 26. Understanding Caring Enjoying Valuing The Heritage Cycle
  27. 27. Public Education and Exhibitions
  28. 28. eamena.org www.facebook.com/EAMENAproject @eamena123 Thank you

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