Volume 19 December 2007
1. Executive News
The last couple of months have been busy, as ever. WAC continues to grow, and this means there are more calls upon our time, and more possibilities for interacting with others, and for making a difference, both locally and globally.
WAC issued a press release on 16th December, 2007 concerning the proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Interior that will help to clarify terms defined when the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed in 1990. Our position is that although NAGPRA has worked reasonably well and is supported by many tribes, archaeologists, and museums, “cultural affiliation” has forced a definition onto Native American people that comes mostly from anthropologists and archaeologists. Affiliation in the sense of being linked by genetic or archaeological evidence often is difficult to prove with non-scientific evidence such as oral traditions used more commonly by Indigenous peoples.
This media release supports the draft regulations, published by the Department of the Interior on October 16, 2007, make some changes in the law. Instead of affiliation, “cultural relationship” will become a key principle for decisions about returning culturally sensitive items. This simple change allows greater flexibility in decision-making and removes what many Native Americans have seen as a word with strictly scientific meaning that often stands in the way of repatriation. Whilst not all members of WAC may agree with us on this particular matter, this media release is consistent with our Statutes, our Codes of Ethics, and our previous actions. The release emerged from extended and thoughtful discussion among the WAC Executive and Council, and critical input from our Ethics Committee, especially the Co-Chair of that Committee, Julie Hollowell.
I am also grateful to the Ethics Committee for assistance in shaping the Executive’s response to the Time magazine story, “Antiquities: the Hottest Investment.” We have written to the editor of Time magazine expressing our disappointment that this story was published without providing a more balanced account of the myriad consequences associated with the trade in antiquities. We have called upon Time to retract its apparent advocacy of a practice that is so clearly detrimental to our understanding of our own human past and to make amends by informing its readers of the broader implications underpinning this article.
Congratulations to George Nicholas, Julie Hollowell, Kelly Bannister and Anouk Tryon on their successful application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada for a global study of intellectual property issues in cultural heritage. They have been developing this project over a number of years, and their success here is certainly going to change how these issues are viewed on a global scale.
We are also fortunate to have Michael Ashley, Timo Bishop and their team looking after our web interests. They will be prioritising the development of the members-only section of the WAC web site in the New Year. I’d like to thank them for all the work they put into this for us, year after year.
The members-only section of the web site is going to be important to us all over the next six months, as there are a number of issues that will need member input prior to WAC-6. These include proposed changes in the WAC Statutes, the nomination and election of Council members, and calls for nominations for the Officer positions on the Executive (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer). This is a good time for people to begin to consider whether they wish to stand for any of these positions.
Finally, Suzanne Nugent and Sean Ulm have produced this issue of the newsletter. We would like to thank them both for taking on this task.
I trust you all had a good time during the Christmas holiday period.
All the best for 2008.
Claire Smith, for the Executive
2 WAC-6 News
We are at a important stage in the preparations for WAC-6! Look online at www.ucd.ie/wac-6 to see the exciting thematic programme that has taken shape. Thanks to the involvement and hard work of theme and session organisers there are close to 200 sessions to which participants can contribute. The deadline for submission of papers and posters is 22nd February 2008. Please use the electronic form on the Submit Proposals page of the website to make a paper or poster submission. We encourage participants to submit proposals as soon as possible.
Registration fees and forms are also now on the website. We are very pleased to offer support in the form of free registration, accommodation and travel support to WAC members from economically disadvantaged countries and archaeologists from indigenous communities. Please use the travel support application form under the grants tab on the website.
There will be a number of exhibitions and demonstrations during the congress, including ‘Abhar agus Meon, Material and Mentalities’, a major exhibition exploring and celebrating the relationship between art and archaeology. On Wednesday the 2nd July there will be mid-congress tours providing participants the opportunity to enjoy Ireland’s rich archaeological heritage. There will also be three post-Congress archaeological tours for interested participants. We are also planning a full social programme!
We very much look forward to seeing you in Dublin!
Gabriel Cooney, Academic Secretary, on behalf of the WAC-6 organising committee.
3. News from WAC Members
Doreen Kartinyeri 1937-2007
Auntie Dodo, Dr Doreen Kartinyeri, was a Ngarrindjeri leader, an intellectual, an historian and an Indigenous Elder whose courageous life will be remembered and recognised nationally and internationally. She was a community leader, a family woman and a freedom fighter. Her tireless historical and genealogical work for Indigenous people in South Australia and nationally gave joy and comfort to thousands of Indigenous people.
The Aboriginal Family History project that she established in the 1980s brought her research and the extensive records, photographs and resources held in South Australian archives and museum collections into the reach of all Indigenous Australians. Most of all she always had the courage and conviction to stand up to injustice and when her Ngarrindjeri traditions, lands and waters were under threat. She put herself in the firing line. She was a stickler for the truth. She was an erudite scholar and she was wrongfully, and disgracefully accused of fabricating her cultural traditions. Auntie Dodo set high standards and she was uncompromising when it came to doing things properly.
She will be sadly missed,
Dr. Ajay Pratap, PhD, Reader, Department of History, FSS, Banaras Hiundu University, Varanasi, India has published ten research papers in various national and international journals in addition to his book “Indigenous Archaeology in India: Prospects of an Archaeology of the Subaltern” (B.A.R. Archaeopress, Oxford). This year he has been elected Fellow of The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, U.K., Member, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and, as well, become a Member of The Society For American Archaeology.
He has also made a thirty minute long DVD film on The Paharia Shifting Culti
vators with whom he has worked over the past 20 years. His other film, “The Rock-Art of Chambal Valley” by Ajay Pratap, is in the archives of the Indira Gandhi Nat. Centre for the Arts, Jan
Path, New Delhi.
Dr. Pratap’s Blog.
Jennifer Rodrigues, PhD Candidate, University of Western Australia,Assistant Curator, Western Australian Museum―Shipwreck Galleries, has forwarded the following abstract on her research:
Finders-keepers: An examination of maritime collecting behaviour in Australia
By the mid 1980s, looting of Australia’s shipwreck sites, particularly in the 1950s and 60s, was seen as a significant problem through which information on Australia’s maritime heritage had been lost into private hands. Archaeologists had long suspected that wrecks were being looted but could never ascertain what was removed and how much information was lost as a consequence. In 1993, a nation-wide amnesty was declared in Australia calling for members of the public, who were in possession of historic shipwreck relics, to declare their collections without fear of prosecution. The amnesty was declared in response to an amendment in the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, which provided automatic blanket protection for all shipwrecks in Commonwealth waters that were at least 75 years old, whether or not located. This significantly increased the number of historic shipwrecks and, thus, the number of associated historic shipwreck relics. In response, thousands of artefacts were declared and around 30 ‘new’ shipwrecks were reported by divers.
This doctoral research, due for completion in 2008, involves an examination of the nature of maritime collecting behaviour; assessment of the degree of this human impact on shipwreck sites; the significance of the amnesty collections; and the implications and consequences of such a process.
4. New Publications
New From Left Coast Press, Inc.
WAC members receive a 20% discount on hardcovers and a 30% discount on paperbacks (insert discount code L187 at checkout)
From the One Word Archaeology Series sponsored by the World Archaeological Congress
Rethinking Agriculture: Archaeological and Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives
Timothy P. Denham, Jose Iriarte, Luc Vrydaghs, eds JUST RELEASED! Published November 2007, 468 pages, $99.00 Hardcover
Although the need to study agriculture in different parts of the world on its ‘own terms’ has long-been recognized and re-affirmed, a tendency persists to evaluate agriculture across the globe using concepts, lines of evidence and methods derived from Eurasian research. This volume highlights new archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research on early agriculture in understudied non-Eurasian regions, including Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Africa, to present a more balanced view of the origins and development of agricultural practices around the globe.
Archaeology and Capitalism: From Ethics to Politics
Yannis Hamilakis and Philip Duke, eds.
JUST RELEASED! Published November 2007, 304 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
The editors and contributors to this volume focus on the inherent political nature of archaeology and its impact on the practice of the discipline. The discipline is not about an abstract “archaeological record” but about living individuals and communities, whose lives and heritage suffer from the abuse of power relationships with states and their agents. Only by recognizing this power disparity, and adopting a political ethic for the discipline, can archaeology justify its activities. A direct challenge to the discipline, this volume will provoke discussion, disagreement, and inspiration for many in the field.
Envisioning Landscape: Perspectives and Politics in Archaeology and Heritage
Dan Hicks, Laura McAtackney, and Graham Fairclough, eds.
JUST RELEASED! Published November 2007, 304 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
A primary characteristic of landscape archaeology is the diversity of its regional traditions, which reveals a range of methods, field locations, disciplinary influences and contemporary voices. Drawing together perspectives from New York to Northern Ireland, from West Africa to the Mediterranean, and from central Europe to Zanzibar, this volume explores the many different ways in which landscapes are envisaged in world archaeology and world heritage. The volume demonstrates how landscape archaeologies can be used to highlight both the different material situations and the alternative political standpoints from which archaeologists work in the contemporary world.
Also available in the One Word Archaeology Series
African Re-Genesis: Confronting Social Issues in the Diaspora
Jay B. Haviser and Kevin C. MacDonald
Published May 2006, 294 pages, $34.95 (paperback)
Archaeology to Delight and Instruct: Active Learning in the University Classroom
Heather Burke and Claire Smith
Published January 2007, 288 pages, $29.95 (paperback)
A Fearsome Heritage: Diverse Legacies of the Cold War
John Schofield and Wayne Cocroft, eds Published March 2007, 336 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
Living under the Shadow: Cultural Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions
John Grattan and Robin Torrence, eds.
Coming Soon! Expected publication January 2008, 416 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
Archaeologies of Art: Time, Place, and Identity
Inés Domingo Sanz, Dánae Fiore, and Sally K. May, eds Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
Underwater and Maritime Archaeology in Latin America and the Caribbean
Margaret E. Leshikar-Denton and Pilar Luna Erreguerena, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
Landscapes of Clearance
Amy Gazin-Schwartz and Angele Smith, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
5. News Items
36th Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
On the Road to Reconstructing the Past
Budapest, 2–6 April 2008
The CAA Conference
The 36th Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology will be held on 2-6 April 2008 in Budapest, Hungary. The main theme of the conference is the use of computer applications and quantitative methods at large-scale (rescue) excavations that usually precede infrastructural investments and construction works, and the use of these methods and applications during processing and analyzing the huge amount of data from such excavations.
For more informations please, visit the conference website: www.caa2008.org
The next important deadline is 10 January 2008 – submission of papers and poster abstracts.
6. Excerpts from other archaeological associations’ newsletters (used with permission)
Salon 178: 16 December 2007
r toolkit found after 14,000 years
The latest volume of Antiquity reports on the remarkable find of a complete bag of tools abandoned near the wall of a round house and found 14,000 years later during the excavation of Wadi Hammeh 27 in Jordan. The find, which includes twenty-one flint spear tips and a sickle with a bone haft and ten flint ‘teeth’, is being hailed as the most complete and well-preserved of its kind, providing an insight into the daily life of an upper Palaeolithic Natufian hunter in the Near East.
Phillip Edwards, of La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia, who made the find, believes that the tools were originally carried in a bag of hide, wicker or bark. The sickle was designed for reaping edible plants, while the spear tips might have been used to kill gazelles. Food bones from Natufian sites show that aurochs, red deer, hare, stork, partridge, coot owls and tortoise were all consumed, but the most commonly taken species was the gazelle.
Also in the bag were a flint core for making more spearheads, some smooth stones (possibly used as slingshots), a large stone (perhaps for striking flint pieces off the core), a cluster of gazelle toe bones which were used to make beads, and part of a second bone tool.
Deerskin shoes survive in Roman coffin
An unusual find has gone on display at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, consisting of a Roman stone coffin excavated by Wessex Archaeology in 2007. The limestone coffin, weighing three tonnes, was discovered as part of the excavation of a Roman cemetery containing over 200 burials next to a substantial Roman settlement on Boscombe Down. The coffin’s airtight seal had slowed down the processes of decay so that when the coffin was excavated, it was found to contain the well-preserved remains of a woman cradling a young child, both of whom were wearing unusual shoes. The adult’s fur-lined slippers with cork insoles are the best-preserved examples in Britain of this style of luxury shoe, which was imported from the Mediterranean, while the child’s calfskin shoes are unparalleled in Britain. The woman also wore a necklace of Whitby jet round her neck and a bronze bangle on her right ankle.
Our Fellow Andrew Fitzpatrick, of Wessex Archaeology, said that traces of cloth had also survived, preserved through chemical reaction with the metal bangle. Adrian Green, Museum Director, said that ‘of the 200 Roman burials found at the site, this was the only stone coffin found, suggesting that the woman buried within was of some importance’.
Geophysical survey of Caistor
A team from the University of Nottingham has published details of a new geophysical survey of Caistor, the Roman town south of Norwich, which shows an extraordinary level of detail, including evidence for a large semi-circular theatre next to one of the town’s temples. Our Fellow David Gurney, Principal Archaeologist with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, said: ‘The town is already well established as the most important Roman site in northern East Anglia, but the presence of a theatre is a significant indicator of the town’s status, and of the cultural facilities available to its inhabitants.’
The new survey takes in the whole of the area within the town’s walls, and shows the street plan, water system and a series of public buildings, including the baths, temples and basilicas. Buildings were clustered along the main streets of the town; peripheral areas within the street grid seem to have been empty and were perhaps used for grazing or cultivation.
The director of the research, Dr Will Bowden of the University of Nottingham, who worked with Dr David Bescoby and Dr Neil Chroston of the University of East Anglia, confirmed that the new survey had far exceeded expectations. ‘It’s not an exaggeration to say that the survey has advanced our knowledge of Caistor to the same extent that the first aerial photograph did eighty years ago,’ said Dr Bowden.
The survey also revealed some circular features that appear to pre-date the Roman town, and a large ditched enclosure that cuts the surface of the Roman street in the north-west corner. This, together with earlier discoveries of Middle Saxon coins and metalwork outside the west wall of the site and the presence of two Saxon cemeteries nearby, suggests a period of post-Roman occupation before Caistor was eclipsed by the growth of medieval Norwich.
The survey is part of the Caistor Roman Town Project, sponsored by South Norfolk Council, the British Academy, the University of Nottingham, Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and the John Jarrold Trust. Funding is now being sought to test the results of the survey through excavation. Matthew Martin, Chairman of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, which owns the Caistor site, said: ‘We are very excited not only by what has been discovered so far by the use of this new technology but by the possibilities for more discoveries as further work is done.’ More details of the site and the Caistor Research Project are available on the South Norfolk Council website.
Salon 177: 3 December 2007
Talkative pale-skinned flame-haired Neanderthals
The latest news from two different teams working on the Neanderthal genome is that some Neanderthals probably had red hair, that some were fair skinned and that they possessed what is known as ‘the language gene’, FOX2P.
Though they are typically portrayed in textbooks on human origins as dark skinned and dark haired, molecular biologists Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona, Holger Rompler of the University of Leipzig and Michael Hofreiter of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig have published evidence in Science magazine that the mutation in gene mc1r associated with fair skin and red hair has been found in two separate samples of Neanderthal DNA taken from bones found at Monte Lessini in Italy and from the El Sidron cave in northern Spain. They calculate that at least one per cent of the Neanderthals in Europe may have had red hair, compared with two per cent of the world’s population today. The resulting change in the protein caused by this mutation produces pheomelanin instead of the dark melanin in their skin, hair and eyes, resulting in light coloured skin and, in many cases, freckles as well.
The announcement that the so-called ‘language gene’ had been found in two individuals excavated from El Sidron cave in northern Spain was made by Svante Paabo, molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, in an article in Current Biology. The precise role of the FOXP2 gene in enabling language is not fully understood, but it has been observed that people who suffer replication errors in that part of the genome display a range of abnormalities in the language-related cortical and basal/ganglia regions of the brain and suffer difficulty in controlling the speech organs, making speech sounds, forming words into sentences and controlling their breathing. It is thought that the proteins produced by the gene play a critical role in the formation of the links between lungs, larynx and brain.
Finding the gene in Neanderthals suggests that they had the mental and physical capacity for speech and Dr Paabo said it raised significant new questions about the development of language: previously it had been thought that language development might have been unique to modern humans and was accompanied by neurological developments that occurred around 100,000 years ago. The new evidence suggests that the language gene must date back at least 350,000 years ago, to the time when the Neanderthal and modern human lineages split.
Cave of the Lupercal located in Rome
If you were watching or listening to the BBC news on 21 November 2007, you might have seen or heard Andrea Carandini, Archaeology Professor at the University of Rome, describe the latest find in h
is project to excavate the north slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome where a series of important discoveries relating to the earliest city of Rome have been made. This time Carandini’s team believe they have found the fabled Lupercale – the sanctuary believed by ancient Romans to be the cave in which Romulus and Remus, legendary founders of the city, were suckled by a wolf after their abandonment.
The domed shrine was located by probe some 16 metres below ground, and is some 8 metres high and 7.5 metres across, with walls and floor embellished with seashells and mosaics. The mosaic of a white eagle at the apex of the vault corresponds to a sixteenth-century description of the cave, written when it was still accessible. Some archaeologists have argued for a more cautious interpretation, saying the appearance could suggest a Renaissance date, and Professor Carandini acknowledged the evidence was not totally conclusive, but said only ‘one doubt in thousand’ remains.
No one has yet been able to enter the grotto. Carandini’s team are now searching for the cave’s original entrance. More than three-quarters of its volume is filled with soil and part of the roof has fallen away.
Pictures and sections through the site can be seen on the BBC website.
Latest news on the ship excavations in Pisa
It is now precisely nine years since construction work on a site adjacent to Pisa Centrale railway station led to the discovery of a well-preserved Roman boat in the waterlogged remains of a silted-up river harbour. Last week’s Sunday Times reported on progress since that initial find and revealed that, far from this being a single vessel, the site is a ‘naval graveyard’, with a remarkable number and range of wrecked boats, ranging in date from the first century BC to the sixth century AD, and in size and shape from river craft to seagoing cargo vessels.
Altogether, the substantial remains of fifteen vessels have been found and the fragmentary remains of many others, along with ropes, anchors and cargoes that include figs and prosciutto (dry-cured ham) bones. Andrea Camilli, director of the excavations, says this is the largest number of ancient vessels that has ever been found in one place, and thereby hangs the problem: excavation and conservation work has already cost *13m (£9.3m) and Camilli says that budget cuts imposed by the Italian government are starving the site of much-needed funds, and threatening the future of the proposed museum due to open in Pisa’s Renaissance shipyard in late 2008.
Work at the site is expected to continue for at least another eight years. Our Fellow Simon Keay said that each of the thirty boats so far identified at the site ‘is a snapshot for trading links in which Pisa was involved’. Camilli is calling for the Pisa harbour area to be declared a World Heritage Site: ‘Special status as recognised by Unesco would give us international recognition and publicity, and that is the first condition necessary for obtaining extra funds’, he said. The excavations are open to the public and there is a well-illustrated website with photographs and drawings of the ships and of the restoration centre and proposed museum.
British Academy offers research conference venue and funding
To underpin its support for the dissemination of advanced research, the British Academy is offering to co-host academic conferences using the British Academy as a venue and employing organisational assistance from the Academy’s conference team. It is also inviting conference convenors to apply for funding of between £1,000 and £20,000 to help meet expenses, including bringing key speakers to the UK (or to another location if the event is to be held abroad) and for publishing the proceedings of Academy-hosted events. Conferences attracting the higher levels of financial support should be aimed at least partly at disseminating the results of research to a broader public, and the Academy particularly welcomes applications that show how public interest might be engaged in the topics discussed. Further details and application form available from the British Academy website.
Obituary: Peter Llewellyn
Peter Llewellyn had been ill for some time with cancer but died rather suddenly of pneumonia on 17 October 2007. He had been a Rome Scholar at the British School in 1961–4, working on the early history of the papacy and on the papal estates. He did a good deal of the historical and documentary research for the School’s South Etruria Survey. His main published work is Rome in the Dark Ages (1971), an account of the transformation of Rome from the fifth to the tenth centuries. For most of his career he lectured in early medieval European history at the University of Wales, Bangor. After retirement he was General Secretary of the Cambrian Archaeological Association for several years.
Salon 176: 19 November 2007
ICON condemns planned closure of the Textile Conservation Centre
ICON (the Institute for Conservation) has reacted with anger to the news that the Textile Conservation Centre at Southampton University is to close in 2009. ICON’s Chief Executive, Alastair McCapra, described the closure as ‘a serious assault on excellence, and a loss not just for the UK but on an international level, as there are so few centres of excellence in textile conservation anywhere in the world’.
Previously based at Hampton Court, the Textile Conservation Centre merged with the Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton in 1998, and moved to a new purpose-designed building on the Winchester campus in the summer of 1999. Now Southampton has announced the closure of Winchester School of Art because it is not earning enough to be self-funding and to make a significant contribution to the central running costs of the university.
The Centre itself enjoys an excellent international reputation, attracting many students from outside the UK and sending 97 per cent of its graduates into conservation employment. ICON is supporting the efforts of the Textile Conservation Centre to find an alternative home.
ICON Chair, Simon Cane, said that: ‘The need for textile conservation is clear. At the moment the Victoria and Albert Museum is running a high-profile exhibition called “The Golden Age of Couture, Paris and London 1947–57”. Princess Diana’s gowns have just gone on display at Kensington Palace. The public want access to these fragile and perishable collections and unless they are stored, cared for and conserved properly, there will be nothing to see. If there are no skilled and trained conservators to do the work, public access will suffer.’
The latest UK export bars: seventeenth-century lead merchant’s ledger and Mary Queen of Scots execution warrant
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has placed a temporary export bar on a ledger kept by a seventeenth-century lead merchant in the Peak District so as to provide the opportunity for a UK buyer to make an offer to purchase the ledger at the recommended price of £3,770.
The 400-page ledger is of outstanding significance for the study of the lead-mining trade, the network of individuals involved and the history of the Peak District. The ledger records transactions made between 1668 and 1700 and it is the earliest surviving extensive record of the lead trade of the Peak District at a period when it played an important role in the country’s development as the first industrialised nation; at this time over half the nationwide production of lead, used for everything from domestic utensils to lead shot, originated in the Peak District.
A temporary export bar has also been placed on a rare copy of the warrant authorising the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The original warrant, signed by Elizabeth I, was destroyed, probably shortly after the execution. This is one of five copies made for each of the commissioners charged with carrying out the execution; sent
to the earl of Kent, it is the only copy known to survived. Offers to purchase the manuscript at the recommended price of £72,485 must be made by 13 January 2008.
For further information see the DCMS website.
Evidence of regular oceanic voyages amongst the Lapita people
Analysis of more than fifty headless skeletons from one of the largest Lapita cemeteries yet to be excavated suggests that Pacific islanders regularly travelled between islands hundreds of miles apart. Durham-based Alex Bentley, lead author of a paper in the October issue of the journal American Antiquity, said that a key question was whether islanders lived in isolation or whether they maintained communication with the islands from which they might have come further back in their ancestry as they spread from west to east across the Pacific, or whether they interacted with other distant Lapita groups to find marriage partners, exchange information and maintain social ties.
Bentley and colleague Stuart Bedford of the Australian National University studied tooth enamel from skulls buried at a 3,000-year-old site on Efate Island, part of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, and found four Lapita individuals who were buried facing south, unlike the others, and whose isotope levels were significantly different from the rest, possibly indicating a small group of immigrants who travelled from hundreds of miles away. These individuals had isotope levels that matched a more terrestrial diet, as opposed to the marine foods eaten by the other islanders buried.
In typical Lapita burial style, none of the buried individuals had a skull attached to the skeleton, though one male (TEO 10E) was buried with three skulls on his chest and was himself one of the ‘immigrants’, though the skulls on his chest were of the local community. ‘It is a sign of veneration of the senior individual. The skulls of all those buried were removed during the mortuary process and presumably curated somewhere’, Bedford said. ‘Upon the death and burial of TEO 10E, these three skulls were retrieved and placed on his chest. The curious burials among the identified group of prehistoric Pacific mariners, who were among the best navigators on earth for the next 3,000 years, indicate they were admired by the locals for their amazing long-distance travelling abilities’, Bentley added.
Our Fellow Professor Glenn Summerhayes, Head of Archaeology at Otago University in New Zealand, said that there might be other explanations for the separate treatment of TEO 10E and the other north/south burials: ‘The million-dollar question is: who are these people? Are they the people who made the pottery? Or people they’ve killed, slaves they’ve brought in? We don’t know. Are we looking at two different populations, or a single population with different food taboos within it? We don’t know what the answers are, but these results mean we can start asking the right questions.’
Further evidence of the navigational skills of early Polynesians and Melanesians comes from the recent discovery of a stone adze, found on a coral atoll in what is now French Polynesia, but quarried from volcanic rock in Hawaii, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. It was transported about 1,000 years ago by Polynesian voyagers in wooden canoes, either as a chunk of uncut rock used for ballast, or as a gift or memento.
The adze was found by an archaeologist in the 1930s on a coral island in the Tuamotu archipelago in French Polynesia, but has only recently been subjected to chemical testing which placed the origin of the rock on Kaho’olawe island in Hawaii. Dr Marshall Weisler, of the University of Queensland, said the journey between Hawaii and Tahiti ‘now stands as the longest uninterrupted maritime voyage in human prehistory’. He said it was ‘mind-boggling’ how Polynesian settlers found their way from one speck of land to another and back again, colonising the last uninhabited parts of the planet.
Two ‘firsts’ from South America
Archaeologists in Peru claimed this week to have found the oldest murals yet found anywhere in the Americas, dating from 2000 BC on the walls of a pre-Incan temple in the Lambayeque valley, close to the Pacific Ocean in the north of the country. In the same week, archaeologists at Cornell University in New York announced that pottery from a site in what is now Puerto Escondido, Honduras, has residues of a cacao-based drink dating to 1150 BC, pushing back the earliest known use of chocolate by 500 years.
The carbon-dated murals have been found on the walls of a brick-built temple named Ventarron, which features a staircase rising to an altar for the worship of fire gods. One wall painting depicts a deer being hunted with nets (pictures can be seen here).
Excavation Director Walter Alva argues that temples of the pre-Incan period were deliberately buried and revered as sacred sites, which explains why many are found in a surprisingly good state of repair. This discovery ‘shows an architectural and iconographic tradition different from what has been known until now’, Mr Alva said. ‘There is no other monument in existence in the north of Peru that has these characteristics.’ The temple is close to the larger excavation at Sipan, which has been under Mr Alva’s supervision since the 1980s. Most of the structures unearthed at Sipan, including three adobe pyramids, ramps and platforms, have been traced to the pre-Incan Moche civilisation, which is believed to have occupied the region from AD 200 to 800.
The news of the cacao find was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor John Henderson of Cornell University, Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Hershey Foods analysed residues in ten clay vessels, and all gave a positive signal for theobromine, the fingerprint compound for cacao in Central America.
The cacao residues were probably the result of fermenting the sweet pulp surrounding the seeds to make an alcoholic drink, similar to the South American drink chicha. ‘This development probably provided the impetus to domesticate the chocolate tree and only later, to prepare a beverage based on the more bitter beans’, Dr McGovern suggests. The fermented cacao was probably served at important ceremonies. Previously, the oldest evidence for cacao consumption came from 2,600-year-old Mayan vessels from Colha, in what is now northern Belize.
Salon 175: 5 November 2007
Report on illicit antiquities suppressed
University College, London (UCL) has been criticised for not taking a strong enough stand on the issue of illicit antiquities. In an article by Michael Balter published in last week’s Science magazine (26 October 2007), our Fellow Colin Renfrew accuses UCL of suppressing a report that sets out clear ethical guidelines for researchers asked to work with unprovenanced antiquities.
Professor Lord Renfrew, a longstanding critic of the trade in antiquities of questionable provenance, was one of three experts appointed by UCL in 2005, following concern about a collection of Aramaic incantation bowls loaned to UCL’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies for cataloguing and study, to examine their provenance and to make recommendations.
The 654 incantation bowls, dating from the fifth to eighth centuries AD, inscribed with biblical texts in Aramaic, were loaned to UCL by the Oslo- and London-based Schøyen Collection, which in turn acquired them ‘from a Jordanian collection built over many years’. Claims made in a Norwegian TV documentary that some of the bowls might have left Iraq illegally during the confusion surrounding Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led UCL to invite Lord Renfrew, along with David Freeman of the London law firm Kendall Freeman and Sally MacDonald, now director of UCL Museums and Collections, to look into their provenance and to propose new antiquities guidelines.
The resulting report criticised U
CL for agreeing to study the collection without looking into its origins. As a matter of principle, the report said, archaeologists, researchers and collectors are morally obligated to carry out ‘due diligence’ checks into the provenance of the antiquities they work with.
The issue became complicated when the Schøyen Collection sued UCL in March 2007 for the return of the bowls, saying that it had ‘become frustrated with the waste of time and money caused by a lengthy and inconclusive inquiry into [the collection’s] provenance’. Litigation was avoided when, in June 2007, UCL agreed to return the bowls and ‘to pay a sum in respect of its possession of them’. UCL and the Schøyen Collection issued a joint press statement saying that: ‘Following a searching investigation by an eminent panel of experts, and further inquiries of its own UCL is pleased to announce that no claims adverse to the Schøyen Collection’s right and title have been made or intimated.’
What has subsequently become clear is that UCL also agreed, as part of the legal settlement, not to publish the committee’s findings. Lord Renfrew responded to that decision by saying: ‘It is shameful that a university should set up an independent inquiry and then connive with the collector whose antiquities are under scrutiny to suppress the report through the vehicle of an out-of-court settlement.’
In May 2005, when UCL set up the committee of inquiry, it stated that the committee’s report would ‘provide a model for best practice in dealing with the complex cultural issues that can arise from such situations’. Several archaeologists have expressed their regret that this opportunity to establish due diligence guidelines has been lost: Kathryn Tubb, of the UCL Institute of Archaeology, has already drawn up strict guidelines for the Institute’s own staff and students based on the report’s recommendations but, she says, it was intended that ‘the results of the deliberations were to have informed future policy for the whole of UCL’.
Meanwhile, Science magazine reports that the Iraqi government hopes to go to court to recover the bowls ‘in a matter of weeks’, claiming that they are the property of the State of Iraq, which has had laws in place since 1936 forbidding the export of antiquities except for exhibitions and research. Nevertheless, the Schøyen Collection can still claim title to the bowls under UK law if it can demonstrate that the bowls were bought in good faith.
The ‘Red Lady’ of Paviland has just aged by 4,000 years
New dating techniques developed by Oxford University and British Museum researchers have pinpointed the age of the ‘Red Lady’ burial site in Wales, previously thought to be 25,000 years old, to 29,000 years old. The findings show that ceremonial burials were taking place in western Europe much earlier than researchers had previously believed and that it took place during a warmer interstadial period, rather than a cold spell as previously thought.
The skeleton of the ‘Red Lady’ (actually that of a young male, named after the red ochre covering the bones) is housed in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, having been first discovered and excavated in Wales in 1823 by William Buckland, then Professor of Geology at Oxford University. The burial site lies in Goat’s Hole Cave, Paviland, on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Ivory ‘wands’, bracelets, and periwinkle shells were found near the remains when the site was excavated.
In order to date the bones, Dr Thomas Higham, Deputy Director of Oxford’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, had to overcome the problem of contamination from preservatives applied to the bone in the nineteenth century. New ‘ultrafiltration’ techniques for removing contaminants from bone collagen were applied to a piece of rib and a fragment of collar-bone from the skeleton to allow for more accurate radiocarbon dating.
The new date is the earliest direct date for a human from this time period in this part of the world and sheds new light on human behaviour at the beginning of the Gravettian period of the European Palaeolithic. The ‘Red Lady’ is part of a small group of elaborate burials found as far west as Portugal, and as far east as Moscow whose graves are characterised by the presence of ochre, the decoration of the body or clothing with beads, often manufactured from shells, and the inclusion in the grave of the bones of dangerous herbivores.
Our Fellow Dr Roger Jacobi, Principal Researcher in the Leverhulme Trust–funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project and leader of the British Museum teams involved in the project, said the much greater age of the ‘Red Lady’ compared to other burials ‘indicates a much earlier origin for these elaborate inhumations in Western Europe. This raises new questions about the way in which these people spread and lived on the continent’.
The remains of the ‘Red Lady’ will be exhibited at the National Museum Wales, Cardiff, in a new archaeology exhibition, Origins: in search of early Wales, from 8 December 2007.
Mesolithic settlement on Orkney dates from 6820–6660 BC
Excavations at Long Howe on Orkney, partly funded by the Society of Antiquaries and directed by our Fellow Caroline Wickham-Jones, have established that Orkney was inhabited at least as early as 6820–6660 BC, pushing back the dated settlement of Orkney by some 3,000 years. The radiocarbon date was obtained from a charred hazelnut shell recovered in a pocket of soil that had survived beneath the Long Howe burial mound, which itself dates from the Bronze Age. The same context produced numerous stone arrowheads and other tools, and perhaps represents the remains of a small Mesolithic hunting camp that was disturbed by the mound builders.
Although Orkney has plenty of evidence for Mesolithic (pre-farming) settlement in the form of stone tools, this is the first time that a secure date has been attached to this earliest known period of settlement in Scotland.
The excavations at Long Howe are organised by Orkney College, where Naomi Woodward and a team of MA students are hoping to undertake excavations at another site of very early date on Stronsay. British Archaeology magazine reports in the current issue that Naomi’s team found two tanged points – characteristic of the upper Palaeolithic – during fieldwalking in April 2007, on an island that already has a history of Mesolithic discoveries.
These earlier flints, perhaps dating from 8500 BC, support the suggestion that people were visiting the region even when it was ice-bound, perhaps in pursuit of reindeer.
Salon 175: 22 October 2007
Bronze Age rock art found on Whitby headland
English Heritage archaeologists working on the headland around Whitby Abbey have begun filling in the history of the site with the discovery this autumn of a stone carved with linear markings similar to those found on the North York Moors that date from the Bronze Age. They have also found evidence of an Iron Age enclosure and dwelling on the site, and signs of glass and lead-making from the Anglian period (seventh to ninth centuries AD), which is close to the date of the foundation of the first abbey in AD 657.
Our Fellow Sarah Jennings says that the rock art is ‘potentially a very significant find as we have hardly any material from this period in the headland’s past’, but that ‘we need to wait for detailed analysis before we draw firm conclusions. If it is Bronze Age, then it underlines that the headland has a long history of settlement, well before St Hilda founded the Abbey.’
New interactive digital map of Australasian archaeology
A new interactive digital map has been developed by Matthew Coller, of the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, to model changes in the Australian coastline with the rise and fall of sea levels over the past 100,000 years. Accompanying the map are images and text showing
key archaeological sites and the possible routes that were undertaken by humans in their journey to Australia during the last Ice Age.
Coller, who presented his map at the recent Australasian Archaeological Conference at the University of Sydney, used sea-floor data and changes in sea level around Australia and Asia derived from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Geoscience Australia. He hopes that his mapping of the continent of Australia and New Guinea will be useful to archaeologists in visualising their data and testing theories. ‘It puts archaeological discoveries into their geo-morphological context’, he said.
Four waves of human migrations in the circum-Pacific Region
The Journal of Biogeography has published a comprehensive review of human genetic, environmental and archaeological data from the so-called circum-Pacific Region (land masses bounding the Pacific Ocean) to examine the evidence for human migration into the region. The study, by Kevin Pope of Geo Eco Arc Research and John Terrell of The Field Museum, Chicago, argues that the expansion of modern human populations into the circum-Pacific region occurred in at least four waves, in part controlled by climate and sea-level changes in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. An initial ‘out of Africa’ migration was halted by dramatic changes in both sea level and climate and extreme drought in the coastal zone. A period of stable climate and sea level 45,000–40,000 years BP gave rise to the first major pulse of circum-Pacific migration, when modern humans spread from India, throughout much of coastal south-east Asia, Australia and Melanesia, extending northward to eastern Russia and Japan by 37,000 years BP.
The northward push of modern humans along the eastern coast of Asia stalled north of the 43 degrees latitude, probably due to the inability of the populations to adjust to cold waters and tundra / steppe vegetation. The ensuing cold and dry Last Glacial period, from 33,000 to 16,000 years BP, once again brought dramatic changes in sea level and climate, which caused abandonment of many coastal sites. After 16,000 years BP, climates began to warm, but the sea level was still 100m below modern levels, creating conditions amenable for a human migration into North America across an ice-free coastal plain now covered by the Bering Sea.
The stabilization of climate and sea level in the early Holocene (8,000 to 6,000 years BP) supported the expansion of coastal wetlands, lagoons and coral reefs, which in turn gave rise to a third pulse of coastal settlement, filling in most of the circum-Pacific region. A slight drop in sea level in the western Pacific in the mid-Holocene (6,000 to 4,000 years BP), caused a reduction in productive coastal habitats, leading to a brief disruption in human subsistence along the then densely settled coast. This disruption may have helped initiate the last major pulse of human migration in the circum-Pacific region, that of the migration to Oceania, which began about 3,500 years BP and culminated in the settlement of Hawaii and Easter Island by 2,000 to 1,000 years BP.
On Aboriginal architecture
Anthropologist and architect Dr Paul Memmott, of the University of Queensland, has published a book in which he discredits the widely held belief that Australian Aborigines were completely nomadic before the arrival of Europeans. This belief was used by white settlers to claim that Australia belonged to nobody because there were no permanent habitations. Dr Memmott said the myth arose because early explorers made their observations in good weather, when indigenous people were more mobile than at other times. His work, based on oral histories, explorers’ diaries, paintings and photographs held in the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre collection, at the University of Queensland, shows that a variety of sophisticated architectural structures were built, and that Australia’s indigenous peoples lived in villages.
Dwellings were constructed in various styles, depending on the climate. Most common were dome-like structures made of cane reeds with roofs thatched with palm leaves. Some of the houses were interconnected, encouraging interaction during long periods spent indoors during the wet season. In the rainforest area around Cairns, in Queensland, where there was heavy rain for much of the year, people would occupy such villages for up to a year; villages were built near a staple food source, such as rainforest trees. Dr Memmott also found evidence of dome housing on the west coast of Tasmania, with triple layers of cladding and insulation, while in western Victoria, Aborigines built circular stone walls more than a metre high, constructing dome roofs over the top with earth or sod cladding.
Very little indigenous architecture in Australia remains after local authorities burned or bulldozed the structures in the belief they were health hazards.
The world’s oldest wall painting
An 11,000-year-old mural, consisting of red, black and white rectangles and recalling the work of Mondrian, has been discovered at Djade al-Mughara, a Neolithic settlement on the Euphrates river north east of the city of Aleppo in the Syrian countryside. Eric Coqueugniot, the leader of the French archaeological team which unearthed the mural, claimed it as the world’s oldest wall painting and told reporters that: ‘Through carbon dating, we established it is from around 9000 BC’, adding that: ‘We found another painting next to it but that won’t be excavated until next year. It is slow work.’
The wall painting, measuring 2m by 2m, formed part of the circular wall of a large house. Its red tint came from burnt hematite rock, while crushed limestone formed the white and charcoal provided the black. The wall will be moved and put on display at Aleppo Museum next year. Eric Coqueugniot said: ‘There was a purpose in having the painting in what looked like a communal house but we don’t know what it was. The village was later abandoned and the house stuffed with mud.’ For a picture, see the Reuters website.
Unearthing Rome’s king
Italian archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of a 2,700-year-old sanctuary dating from the eighth century BC. This was the time when, according to Plutarch, Rome’s legendary second king, Numa Pompilius, elected at the age of forty to succeed Romulus, the founder of Rome, established religious practices and observance in the emergent city state, instituting the office of priest or pontifex and founding the cult of the Vestal Virgins.
The wall of the temple was found seven metres below the modern ground surface, together with a street and pavement and two wells, one round and one rectangular. Both wells were ‘full of thousands of votive offerings and cult objects, including the bones of birds and animals and ceramic bowls and cups’, said Clementina Panella, the archaeologist from Rome’s Sapienza University who is leading the dig.
Last year Dr Panella, who has been excavating in the Forum for twenty years, discovered the sceptre of the Emperor Maxentius, wrapped in silk and linen in a wooden box together with battle standards and lance heads.
(b) ICOMOS Australia
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 315
New ICOMOS Thematic Study: Rock Art of the Sahara and North Africa
Nouvelle étude thématique ICOMOS: Art Rupestre du Sahara et d’Afrique du Nord
The study Rock Art of the Sahara and North Africa is now available on the ICOMOS website at following address:
mages to social and economic circumstances, and strong regional or local traits, particularly religious or cultural traditions and beliefs.
Application procedures for the 2008 US/ICOMOS International Exchange Program in Historic Preservation now available online at:
(deadline is January 31, 2008).
TICCIH 2008 – First Chinese International Conference on Industrial Heritage
Chengdu, P.R.China, 1-4 September, 2008
First announcement and Call for papers
TICCIH – The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage
Chengdu City, P.R.China
Peking University, P.R.China
In 2006, the first participant from P.R.China attended and spoke at the TICCIH XIII International Congress in Italy, in 2007, the first paper on Industrial Heritage in P.R.China was published in Industrial Patrimony (No.17), and in 2008, the first TICCIH International Conference will be held in Chengdu, P.R.China.
The Conference will not only show the participants the industrial heritage sites within and around Chengdu, but also open the exhibition hall to reveal the exhibits about industrial heritages in other cities over P.R.China.
The following themes will be discussed in the Conference:
I. Definition, Protection and Management of Industrial Heritage
II. Case Studies on Industrial Heritage
III. Industrial Heritage in Developing Countries
IV. Transfer of technology
Sunday, August 31, 2008 Registering and welcome banquet
Monday, September 1, 2008 Opening Ceremony, Conference Session A and Workshops
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 Visit to Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Sichuan Giant Panda Research Centre
Wednesday, September 3, 2008 Visit to Chinese Traditional Paper-making Sites and Mini Train
Thursday, September 4, 2008 Conference Session C, Workshops and Closing Ceremony
Friday, September 5, 2008 Departure
For more detailed information concerning papers, registration fees etc. please consult
Summer School, Cultural Heritage Management
20-26 January 2008, University of Canberra, university campus, ACT
This seven day Summer School is an intensive course looking at the broad issues of heritage management, and is intended for local government planners and heritage officers; state heritage officers; facilities, site and park managers; rangers, curators; others involved in heritage administration; and heritage practitioners such as archaeologists, architects, engineers and historians.
For further information please contactor visit the website at and search on “Cultural Heritage Management”.
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 314
Call for papers: International Conference on Military Monuments 2008
Submission Deadline: April 30, 2008
250 word (max.) abstract in Portuguese or English language and a one-page CV for each author. It must include the author’s name (if more than one, the name of all the authors), the email address, title, a concise statement of the matter, and a summary of the major conclusions. The specific session in which the communication should be included must be indicated.
The communications must not exceed 20m. Information concerning abstracts will be accepted until June 30, 2008. For further information, visit www.amigosdoscastelos.org.pt .
The third UNESCO International Memory of the World Conference: February, 2008
Registrations are open for The third UNESCO International Memory of the World Conference, Communities and Memories a global perspective, to be held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra on 19-22 February, 2008.
There will be an impressive line-up of national and international speakers. They include Ms Alissandra Cummins, Director of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Chair of the International Advisory Committee of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme and President of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), who will open the session on global and regional views on UNESCO’s cultural frameworks. Another eminent speaker, Professor William Logan (UNESCO Chair of Heritage and Urbanism and Alfred Deakin Professor, Deakin University) will explore the deep links between cultural diversity and human rights.
This globally-significant policy analysis and strategic review meeting will set the agenda for everyone who is concerned with the future management of cultural heritage resources locally, nationally and internationally.
The Australian Conference Planning Committee is focussed on creating an informative, engaging and interactive conference event. This conference will be critical to your future work if you are interested in policy development and heritage planning in the context of UNESCO frameworks. It will be especially important for people with responsibilities for managing and promoting access to collections.
For information about the Conference including registration forms please go to:
February is a high demand month for accommodation in Canberra. Register for the Conference and select a hotel NOW before it is booked out. Take advantage of the great hotel prices secured for Communities and Memories while they last.
ICCM MOSAICS CONFERENCE DEADLINE EXTENDED
The International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) has decided to extend the deadline to 31 December 2007 for submission of abstracts for its upcoming conference in Palermo, Italy on Conservation: An act of Discovery.
Call for papers:
Preserving the Historic Road Conference 2008
The 6th biennial Preserving the Historic Road conference will be taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 11-14, 2008.
If you are interested in presenting a paper at the conference and/or wish to find out more about it, visit www.historicroads.org . The deadline for paper abstracts is January 31, 2008.
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 313
6th General Assembly and International Scientific Symposium: Call for Papers
Quebec, Canada, September 29 – October 4, 2008
The Spirit Of Place: Between The Intangible And The Tangible
We are pleased to announce that the Call for Papers for the 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Scientific Symposium which will be held in Quebec, Canada, from September 29 to October 4, 2008, is now available on the General Assembly Web site at http://quebec2008.icomos.org
Participants are invited to submit papers for the symposium. All papers must fall under one of t
he four sub-themes.
1.Re-thinking the Spirit of Place
2.The Threats to the Spirit of Place
3.Safeguarding the Spirit of Place
4.Transmitting the Spirit of Place
Selected papers that cannot be presented orally can be presented in the form of posters (poster session).
For detailed information on the theme of the Scientific Symposium, please see website http://quebec2008.icomos.org
US ICOMOS Intern Program 2008
Applications are now being invited for interns in next years US ICOMOS International Exchange Program. Applications must be made by nomination through Australia ICOMOS. Nominations will be confirmed at the first meeting of the AI Executive Committee in 2008.
Applicants must be full members of Australia ICOMOS, have adequate experience and the clear opportunity to travel in the middle of the year.
More information about the program can be found at.
If you are interested please contact Timothy Hubbard, the US Intern Coordinator on (03) 5568 2623 or 0419 353 195.
All interns return with very positive comments about the life-changing experience.
Second call for papers
Re-thinking the Role of Intangible Heritage
in Museums, Monuments, Landscapes, and Living Communities
The Province of East-Flanders and
the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation,
With the support of:
Provinciaal Archeologisch Museum – Ename
VIOE – Vlaams Instituut voor Onroerend Erfgoed
In collaboration with:
ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Interpretation and Presentation (ICIP)
ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage
FARO, the Flemish Foundation for Cultural Heritage,
and the French Ministry of Culture, Sous-direction Archéologie, Ethnologie, Inventaire et Systèmes d’Information (SDARCHETIS), Mission ethnologie
are pleased to announce a second call for papers for the:
4th Annual Ename International Colloquium
to be held 26-29 March 2008 in Ghent, Belgium
Re-thinking the Role of Intangible Heritage
in Museums, Monuments, Landscapes, and Living Communities
This three-day international colloquium will present a wide range of perspectives on the future of policy, funding, interpretive technologies, and public involvement in the emerging field of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Plenary speakers will include:
Andrew Hall (South Africa), ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Intangible Heritage
Laurier Turgeon (Canada), Canada Research Chair in Heritage, Université Laval
Marc Jacobs (Belgium), FARO – Flemish Foundation for Cultural Heritage
Christian Hottin (France), Ministère de la Culture, Direction de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Mission ethnologie
Since the adoption by UNESCO of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the public role of this major new aspect of heritage documentation, conservation, interpretation, and community involvement has been expanding, offering both challenges and opportunities to scholars and heritage professionals all over the world.
The 78 states-parties who have already ratified or accepted the Convention have initiated national inventories of Intangible Heritage, even as the precise definition, context, and administration procedures for its preservation are still being discussed.
The 4th Annual Ename Colloquium seeks to enrich this ongoing international discussion by presenting innovative contributions from heritage administrators, cultural economists, archaeologists, historians, educators, and cultural policy specialists – as well as practitioners of traditional intangible heritage – under the following three programme themes:
Theme 1. Defining the Boundary between Tangible and Intangible
Is Intangible Heritage merely a new category of heritage subjects? Or does it represent an entirely new approach that must effectively integrate cu-rated objects, protected places, living traditions, and collective memory? Through examples and case-studies we would like to examine how we can identify the tangible dimensions of Intangible Heritage; the intangible dimensions of Material Heritage; and complexity of their interrelation. Is the concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage merely one of classification, or is it perhaps of an entirely different interpretive quality?
Theme 2. The Challenge: Safeguarding or Facilitating?
The UNESCO Convention defines Intangible Cultural Heritage as being transmitted from generation to generation and constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature, and their history. In light of this dynamic definition, to what extent can we ever capture or safeguard essential expressions of Intangible Cultural Heritage when they are necessarily and constantly evolving? Does this challenge require as much attention to the frameworks of public participation in heritage as to specific expressions or sites? What innovative projects or programmes have succeeded in bridging this gap?
Theme 3. Who Owns Intangible Heritage?
The traditional structures of heritage administration are often focused on a national level. Certainly this is true in the case of both UNESCO conventions (1972 World Heritage and 2003 ICH), where the States Parties are the critical voices. But if Intangile Cultural Heritage is an expression of community identity on all levels, what of local or regional expressions of culture and identity that may actually be in conflict or tension with the State? What role do traditional rituals, art forms, and crafts play in the political, economic, social, and cultural lives of the individuals and communities that maintain them?
The deadline for abstracts for poster presentations, short papers (10 min.) and research papers (20 min.) on the three colloquium themes has been extended until 7 January 2008.
All abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words, in English, sent either by fax to +32-55-303-519 or by email to Claudia Liuzza at firstname.lastname@example.org . Authors should include full contact information (name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone, faxemail
Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1 February 2008.
For questions or requests for additional information, please visit www.enamecenter.org or contact Eva Roels at email@example.com . We hope you will find this colloquium to be of interest and please feel free to distribute this announcement to any interested colleagues. We look forward to seeing you in Ghent next March
Cultural Heritage and Impact Assessment workshop at IAIA’08 Conference
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are intended to provide an integrated analysis of the biophysical, social and cultural heritage impacts of development projects or strategies. Methods for identifying and considering biophysical and social conditions and impacts are established; information and experienced professionals are generally available. However, in many parts of the world, the cultural heritage aspect of
EIA and SEA is considerably less well developed. The separation of cultural and environmental practitioners in most countries has resulted in a lack of experience and a scarcity of methods and tools for addressing cultural heritage in EIA and SEA. Various types of institutions recognize the need for strengthening the cultural heritage component of impact assessment and have a role; they include: international and regional development agencies, national governments, private corporations, EIA consulting ?rms, and cultural organizations.
A workshop on “Cultural heritage and impact assessment” has been included in the program of the annual conference of IAIA (International Association for Impact Assessment), that will be held from May 4-10, 2008, in Perth, Western Australia. For more information about IAIA please visit the site
We would like to invite you to participate in the Conference and in the session on “Cultural heritage and impact assessment”. Submission of a paper should be done online until 7 February 2008 additional information appears on p. 9 of the Preliminary Program. The Preliminary Program also contains information about registration for the Conference and hotels in Perth.
Prior to the Conference, the organizers of the session (Arlene Fleming and Julio de Jesus) will contact participants to start the process of preparation of a document on Best Practice Principles of Cultural Heritage for Impact Assessment, to be published and disseminated by IAIA.
Call For Nominations
The US/ICOMOS Ann Webster Smith Award For International Heritage Achievement
For more information please visit US ICOMOS website www.icomos.org/usicomos
All nominations for the 2008 Ann Webster Smith Award must be received in the office of US/ICOMOS by February 15th, 2008.
More on Heritage Interpretation
Join your colleagues from around the globe May 11-15, 2008 in Sokcho, Republic of Korea on the shores of the East Sea for the third annual international conference of the National Association for Interpretation.
For registration information and conference details, please visit http://interpnet.com/ic .
Previous international conferences of the National Association for Interpretation include San Juan, Puerto Rico (May 2006) and Vancouver, Canada (March 2007). Experiences from these conferences are available for viewing on the same website.
The conference will bring together 150 to 300 delegates from 30 to 40 nations in an effort to create opportunities for professional development for attendees and establish a network for professional associations and individuals involved in heritage interpretation around the globe. This capacity-building network will allow the exchange of ideas and facilitate working partnerships between nations with established interpretive organizations and developing nations that need assistance with the promotion and instigation of interpretive facilities to enhance tourism experiences, benefit local economies, and sustain sensitive cultural and natural heritage resources.
Lisa Brochu, Associate Director
National Association for Interpretation
PO Box 2246 Fort Collins, CO 80522
toll-free phone (within U.S.): 888-900-8283
Phone: 970-484-8283 Fax: 970-484-8179
NAI International Conference – May 11-15, 2008 – Sokcho, Republic of Korea – www.interpnet.com/ic
NAI National Workshop – November 11-15, 2008- Portland, Oregon – www.interpnet.com/workshop
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 311
Australian Maritime Museums Council Annual Conference
‘Managing the future of historic vessels’
Saturday 8thMarch 9.30am-4.30pm
The approaches to historic ship conservation are many and varied. Restoring to operating condition and the continued social practice and ‘living history’ embodied in such vessels brings with it issues of marine safety and survey and the associated loss of original material, whilst the preservation of historic vessels as objects, whether ‘dry’ or afloat, raises issues of interpretation and engagement with the visitor that have long been discussed within the historic house sector.
This one day conference aims to critically examine the issues involved, as well as report on practical examples of historic boat conservation. It will be of interest to a wide range of people including: professional boat builders, conservators and museum and heritage professionals, academics, historic boat owners and enthusiasts and all those interested in maritime heritage.
The conference is organised around a number of themes for which proposals for papers are now sought. These are:
Interpreting historic vessels to new audiences
International perspectives on historic ship conservation
Teaching and learning traditional skills
The conservation process and it applicability to historic vessels
Examples of specific ship conservation projects
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 309
13th International Course on Wood Conservation Technology – ICWCT 2008
ICCROM is pleased to announce that the13th International Course on Wood Conservation Technology – ICWCT 2008 will be held in Oslo, Norway from 26 May – 4 July 2008. This course is organised under the auspices of UNESCO by ICCROM, Riksantikvaren, NTNU, and NIKU.
The Wood course aims is to promote cultural understanding and research in the field of wood conservation, and to be a valuable resource for the work of the individual participants in their respective countries.
The course announcement is included below.
We are interested in inviting applications from career professionals with a minimum of three years work experience in wood conservation.
Thank you for disseminating widely this information to the relevant networks.
Applications should reach ICCROM by the 15 January 2008 to ensure inclusion in our selection process.
The 13th International Course on Wood Conservation Technology – ICWCT 2008
(A course on the conservation of cultural heritage made of wood)
Dates: 26 May – 4 July 2008 (6 weeks)
Place: Oslo, Norway (premises of Riksantikvaren)
The course is organised under the auspices of UNESCO by:
ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural
Property) Riksantikvaren – The Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Norway
NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
NIKU – Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, Norway
Background and Content:
The ICWCT was initiated as a response to a recommendation from UNESCO’s General Conference in 1980, and it has been organised in Norway every second year since 1984. It is directed towards professionals who have been working for some years within the field of wood conservation.
The ICWCT covers a wide range of interdisciplinary topics. Theoretical and practical aspects of wood conservation are given equal c
onsideration throughout the course. Some of the most interesting cultural heritage sites constructed in wood in Norway will be visited during the main excursion at the end of the course, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Urnes Stave church and the Hanseatic Wharf in Bergen. Exercises and demonstrations are organised during the main excursion. The course concludes with a written exam, which awards university credits if passed.
The 2008 course will be based on an improved programme developed by the partners and external experts during 2007, considering the evaluations of previous courses and maintaining highest technical and scientific approaches and standards as the previous courses.
Aim and objectives:
The aim of the Course is to promote cultural understanding and research in the field of wood conservation, and to be a valuable resource for the work of the individual participants in their respective countries.
The main objectives of the course are:
to give participants the theoretical and practical knowledge essential for diagnosing the causes of deterioration and for selecting the most appropriate methods of conservation and restoration of wood;
to extend the knowledge of participants beyond their own professions for a broader understanding of different aspects and approaches to wood conservation;
to bring people with various professions from different countries and cultures together for a mutual learning experience, drawing on different experiences, practices and approaches to wood conservation and use of wooden materials.
The Course programme
The Course programme is divided between lectures, laboratory exercises, conservation workshop exercises, field studies, museum visits and excursions. The curriculum includes six distinct but interconnected units covering aspects of: properties of wood; factors affecting the decay of wood; principles of conservation at a global level; preventive conservation;
conservation of objects and painted surfaces including archaeological wood and furniture;
conservation of wooden buildings and structures, including wood working tools and machinery. The course will include a one-week onsite workshop outside Oslo and a study tour of 4 days to selected wooden heritage sites in Norway including two World Heritage Sites.
As a part of the programme, each participant is expected to give a 20 minute presentation from his or her own work experience.
Between 20 and 25 lecturers will be contributing to the course. All are recognised experts within the field of conservation and with various geographic backgrounds and professional experience.
The course concludes with a written exam, giving 18 university credits if passed. A full time presence during the course period is required to be allowed to sit for the exam and to obtain the course certificate.
Participation is free of charge for the selected participants.
Applicants should be mid-career professionals with a minimum of three years work experience in wood conservation. It is of great importance for the success of the course that the participants have relevant experience to contribute to and benefit from the mutual exchange of ideas.
The number of participants is limited to 20.
The working language of the course is English. A good knowledge of English is essential for the benefit of the individual participant and for the course as a whole, and must therefore be documented in the application. A certificate of language may be required.
Please fill the ICCROM application form (obtainable from ICCROM web site) and send to:
ICCROM – Sites Unit
Via di San Michele 13
I-00153, Rome, ITALY
Tel: +39 06 58553 1
Fax: +39 06 58553349
Web Site: www.iccrom.org
Applications should reach ICCROM by 15 January 2008 to ensure inclusion in our selection process.
Please note that the organization of the Course is subject to the necessary funding being obtained.
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 308
New book – Asia Conserved.
A new book recently published by UNESCO Bangkok may be of interest to members –
Asia Conserved: Lessons Learned from the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation 2000-2004
The book presents essays on the theory and practice of conservation by the awards jury members, and showcases the award winning projects of the five years since the programme was instigated by UNESCO Bangkok in 2000. These include fortified palaces, vernacular residences, places of worship, colonial mansions, industrial buildings and urban districts. The case studies focus on public-private partnerships and innovative grassroots initiatives that have created a powerful platform for the protection of the historic built environment. They include projects in Central Asian ancient cities, the cultural landscapes and historic precincts of South Asia, the port settlements of South-East Asia and the urban centres of East Asia. Technical briefs, contributed by the conservators themselves, provide in-depth solutions to critical conservation problems.
Aimed at a broad audience of conservation architects, heritage professionals, decision-makers, heritage homeowners, scholars, students and the concerned general public, the publication is intended as a reference for safeguarding the monumental and vernacular heritage of the Asia-Pacific region and contributing to its sustainable future. The book itself is free but postage has to be paid via bank transfer, and there is a bank transfer fee.
The book can be obtained from:
UNESCO Bangkok Office
5th Floor, 920 Sukhumvit Road Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +662391 0577 Ext. 509
Fax: +66 2391 0866
Further information about the Heritage Awards and this year’s winning entries can be found at the website: www.unescobkk.org/culture/heritageawards
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 307
Two New Publications
Maney publishing has advised of two publications which are new to them in 2007
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites
For more info please visit
11TH US/ICOMOS International Symposium
Visit the US/ICOMOS website for more information on this and past symposia at
Date of next issue: 18 February 2008