Volume 32 March 2010

Click here to download PDF

Editors: Shoshaunna Parks and Marisol Rodriguez Miranda

shoshiparks@hotmail.com; marirodz@gmail.com

1. Executive News

Current Discussions
On 12th January, WAC issued a press release calling upon Christie’s auction house to withdraw from sale a human cranium and two femora offered for sale as items once used by Yale University’s Skull and Bones society.  Other archaeological associations also acted on this, led by the Society for American Archaeology.  These items were subsequently withdrawn from sale.

As an outcome of the WAC Inter-Congress in Ramallah, Palestine, on the topic of Structural Violence, WAC has recently written to William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum regarding an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Royal Ontario Museum.  We expressed concern that this exhibition had deepened a rift between Israeli and Palestinian archaeologists, and asked to be informed of any benefits for Israeli and Palestinian archaeology and cultural heritage that are likely to emerge from the exhibition.

WAC wrote to Newcastle City Council in New South Wales, Australia, expressing support for a grassroots community movement to preserve the Regal Cinema at Birmingham Gardens.  This cinema has a particularly significant history as it was built by community volunteer labour in 1931 during the Great Depression.  Newcastle City Council subsequenlty reversed its decision to sell the cinema, pending further discussions with local heritage organisations and the National Trust.

Archaeology and Conflict Inter-Congress in Vienna, Austria
The WAC Inter-Congress on Archaeology in Conflict will be held in Vienna, Austria, 6-10 April, 2010.  This Inter-Congress is being organised in association with the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield.  it now has a very exciting program, which is available on the WAC website at: http://www.archaeologyinconflict.org/academic_program.html

This Inter-Congress will host the Next Generation project, an online conversation among the next generation of archaeologists and cultural heritage research specialists through Facebook in order to build the relationships that will allow to initiate radical change in the study of the past while facing the problems of the future. The project managers are Kristin Butler and Ashley Sands, and the project website can be accessed at: http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/religion/arc/nextgen

Upcoming Meeting of the WAC Executive
The WAC Executive and Council members from Northern Europe will be meeting in Vienna immediately prior to, and during, the Inter-Congress on Archaeology and Conflict.  Members who have issues that they would like addresss during these meetings should get in contact with their regional representative, or email the WAC Secretary, Professor Ines Domingo Sanz, on ines.domingo@ub.edu.

Membership Renewal
We thank members who have renewed their fees, and remind those who need to renew!  These dues cover the cost of the journal, and contribute towards a range of activities, such as the Global Libraries Program.  If you have any doubts about your membership status, please check this with the WAC Membership Secretary, Akira Matsuda, akira-m@gd5.so-net.ne.jp.

Sponsored Memberships
We continue to encourage WAC members to nominate people from economically disadvantaged countries and Indigeous groups for sponsored membership of WAC.  Nominations should be sent to the WAC Membership Secretary, Akira Matsuda, akira-m@gd5.so-net.ne.jp.

All the best,
Claire Smith, for the Executive

2. News Items


The Irish Government is proposing to build a dual-carriageway, within 500 metres of the Bru Na Boinne World Heritage Site in Ireland. The EIS claims it will impact a number of the 44 archaeological sites discovered within 500 metres of the 3.5km bypass, and there is a high likelihood of more being discovered. Many of these sites are no doubt part and parcel of the Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/659

The bypass will be visible and audible from the Knowth passage tomb, and although just outside the buffer zone the road still passes through an area protected under the County Development Plan and the
European Landscape Convention and the Valletta Convention.

It also appears to be in breach of the 2002 management Plan for the Site. The seven volumes of the Plan can be downloaded from the right hand toolbar http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savenewgrange/

While the closing date for written submissions was in February, it is expected that the Irish Planning Board, An Bord Pleanala, will hold an oral hearing into the matter in the coming weeks.

Save Newgrange was set up in January, to help ensure that the Bru na Boinne receives the legal protection it is guaranteed, under Irish, EU and international law. We have made the Environmental Impact Statement available for download at http://www.savenewgrange.org/

We hope to avoid another Tara scenario, where objections by international experts and expert bodies, like the Archaeological Institute of America, the World Monuments Fund, and the Landmarks Foundation were received too late to be considered by the planning board. So, we are hoping to receive objections from such experts and present them at the oral hearing. Their Tara statements and others can be found at

The WHS site is already adversely affected by the M1 motorway, completed in 2003, which straddles the western boundary of the site. A report made by UNESC/ICOMOS after a reactive monitoring mission shows that the continued listing of the site is in question, as a result of various inappropriate developments since incription in 1993. The report can be found here: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2004/mis-659-2004.pdf

Ironically, there is another public consultation under way, called Brú na Bóinne Research Framework by the Heritage Council. http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/archaeology/heritage-council-initiatives/bru-na-boinne-research-framework

Any assistance in the matter would be appreciated.


The full text PDF and data files of the 2009 publication Israeli Archaeological Activity in the West Bank 1967 – 2007: A Sourcebook, are now available online at the USC Digital Library, where the searchable map based on the data files is housed as well: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/wbarc/  (look for “full database file” and “Archaeological Sourcebook” in the download box).

The same files will be available for download, along with our 2007 publication “The Present Past of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, from the project site at the S. Daniel Abraham Center at Tel Aviv University:

The sourcebook remains the only published compendium of about 6000 surveyed archaeological sites and 1600 excavations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Printed copies of the publication as well as print-quality PDFs are still available. Please contact eshaveh@gmail.com.



Christie’s auction house proposed the auction of unidentified human remains scheduled to occur on January 22, 2010 (lot 157 / sale 2287). Because these human remains were in the possession of the Yale Skull and Bones Society, there is a distinct possibility that they are those of a Native American. Native American remains looted by undergraduate members of that society are reputed to include those of Geronimo.

ICOMOS and the WAC urged Christie’s to halt the auction of the remains until their cultural origin can be determined. They also called for the evaluation of the human osteological remains by a qualified physical anthropologist. If they are indeed found to be those of a Native American, then Christie’s should comply with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. If they are found to be those of an individual associated with a federally recognized Native American group, they should be repatriated.

Christies removed the skull from their auction on January 22, 2010.


La casa de subastas Christie’s propusó en su subasta programada para el 22 de enero de 2010 (lote 157 / venta de 2287) la venta de restos humanos no identificados . Debido a que estos restos humanos estaban en posesión de la Sociedad Skull and Bones de Yale, hay una clara posibilidad de que sean los de un nativo americano. Restos  de nativos americanos  saqueados por los miembros de pregrado de la sociedad tienen la reputación de incluir los de Geronimo.

El ICOMOS y el WAC instó a Christies a que detuviera la subasta de los restos hasta tanto se pudiera derminar su origen cultural.  También solicitaron que la evaluación de la osteología humana fuera realizada  por un antropólogo físico calificado. Si se encontrara que de hecho son los de un nativo americano, entonces Christie’s deberá cumplir con la Ley Federal  de Protección y Repatriación de Tumbas de Nativos Americanos ( NAGPRA  por sus siglas en ingles). Si resultaran ser los de un individuo asociado con un grupo de nativos americanos  reconocidas por las leyes federales,entonces deben ser repatriados.

Christie’s quitó el craneo de su subasta al 22 enero, 2010.



Under the European Programme ESFRI (European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures, Thematic: “Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts & Humanities, DARIAH“, the Proposal led by our member Prof Ioannis Liritzis (University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece) entitled “Digital Archaeometry for Cultural Heritage – Hellenic Laboratories of Archaeometry Networks” and consisting of 10 research agents has been accepted.

Keywords that describe the Network includes: digital information, cultural heritage, archaeology, enhancement, research, dating, characterization, technology, infrastructures, prospection.

Interested WAC members may contact Prof Liritzis at liritzis@rhodes.aegean.gr to investigate possible collaboration.


En el marco del programa europeo ESFRI (Foro Estratégico Europeo para infraestructuras de investigación, Temática: “Infraestructuras Digital de investigación para las Artes y Humanidades, DARIAH”, la propuesta dirigida por nuestro miembro el Prof. Ioannis Liritzis, (Universidad del Egeo, Rodas, Grecia) titulada ” Arqueometría Digital del Patrimonio Cultural – Laboratorios Helénicos de Redes de  Arqueometría” y que consista de 10 tipos de investigación ha sido aceptada.

Las palabras clave que describen la red incluyen; la información digital, el patrimonio cultural, arqueología, mejoramiento, investigación, fechamiento, caracterización, tecnología, infraestructuras, la prospección.

Los miembros del WAC interesados deben comunicarse con el Prof. Liritzis (liritzis@ rhodes.aegean.gr) para posibles colaboraciónes de investigación.


By John Roby, Maria Theresia Starzmann

Archaeology graduate students at Binghamton University (SUNY) hosted a successful Radical Archaeological Theory Symposium (RATS) conference on 17 October 2009. RATS is an occasional conference series put on by graduate students designed to explore and push the boundaries of archaeological theory and practice. The theme for RATS 09 was “Building an Anarchist Archaeology”.

RATS 09 featured nine presentations from graduate students in archaeology, anthropology and related fields from six different schools around the U.S. and Canada, and a keynote address from Mark Lance, professor of philosophy at Georgetown University.

During the presentations and discussions, participants considered such diverse ideas as:
– Does anarchism have a body of theory that can be applicable to archaeological theory?
– How can archaeology contribute to anarchist theory and practice?
– How would an anarchist archaeology be theorized and practiced?
– What roadblocks (institutional, pedagogical, practical and otherwise) to anarchist archaeological theory and/or practice must be opposed, and how?
– How can anarchist archaeological theory and methods be developed?

Audio from RATS 09 can be accessed online, at:


Por John Roby, María Teresa Starzmann

Estudiantes graduados de Arqueología de la Universidad de Binghamton (SUNY), organizaron un Simposio Teoría arqueológica Radical (RATS)  muy exitoso el 17 de octubre de 2009. RATS son una serie de conferencais ocasionales hechas por estudiantes graduados que está diseñada para explorar y empujar los límites de la teoría y practica arqueológica. El tema de RATS 2009 fue “Construyendo una Arqueología Anarquista”.

RATS 09 consistió de una serie de nueve presentaciones de estudiantes graduados de arqueología, antropología, y campos relacionades de seis universidades de los Estados Unidos y Canadá y una ponencia magistral por Mark Lance, Profesor de Filosofía de la Universidad de Georgetown.

Durante las presentaciones y debates, los participantes examinaron diversas ideas tales como:
– ¿El anarquismo tiene un cuerpo de teórico que puede ser aplicable a la teoría arqueológica?
– ¿Cómo la arqueología puede contribuir a la práctica y teoría anarquista?
– ¿Cómo puede practicarse y teorizarse un arqueología anarquista?
– ¿Qué obstáculos (institucionales, pedagógicos, prácticos y de otro tipo) a la teoría anarquista  arqueológicos y / o la práctica deben ser combatidas, y cómo?
– ¿Cómo puede desarrollar una teoría y métodos anarquistas en arqueológica ?

Audio de las RATS 09 pueden accesarse en línea, en el siguiente sitio:


3. New publications by WAC members

by Craig Forrest, University of Queensland, Australia
November 2009: 480pp / HB: 978-0-415-46781-0: £75.00 £60.00

The world’s cultural heritage is under threat from war, illicit trafficking, social and economic upheaval, unregulated excavation and neglect. Over a period of almost fifty years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has adopted five international conventions that attempt to protect this cultural heritage. This book comprehensively and critically considers these five UNESCO cultural heritage conventions. The book looks at the conventions in the context of recent events that have exposed the dangers faced by cultural heritage, including the destruction of cultural heritage sites in Iraq and the looting of the Baghdad museum, the destruction the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, the salvage of artefacts from the RMS Titanic and the illicit excavation and trade in Chinese, Peruvian and Italian archaeological objects.

As the only existing work to consider all five of the cultural heritage conventions adopted by UNESCO, the book acts as an introduction to this growing area of international law. However, the book does not merely describe the conventional principles and rules, but, critically evaluates the extent to which these international law principles and rules provide an effective and coherent international law framework for the protection of cultural heritage. It is suitable not only for those schooled in the law, but also for those who work with cultural heritage in all its manifestations seeking a broad but critical consideration of this important area of international law.


WAC members receive a 20% discount on hardcovers and a 30% discount on paperbacks (insert discount code L187 at checkout)

Now Available in Paperback:
Archaeologies of Placemaking: Monuments, Memories, and Engagement in Native North America
Patricia E. Rubertone

Landscapes of Clearance: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives
Angèle Smith and Amy Gazin-Schwartz, editors
*Also available as an eBook

Managing Archaeological Resources: Global Context, National Programs, Local Actions
Francis P McManamon, Andrew Stout, and Jodi A Barnes, editors

Living Under the Shadow: Cultural Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions
John Grattan and Robin Torrence, editors
*Also available as an eBook

Coming in 2010 (and available for preorder!):
Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists
George Nicholas
Coming in April 2010! 352 pages, $69.00 Hardcover
ISBN:  978-1-59874-497-2

What does being an archaeologist mean to Indigenous persons? How and why do some become archaeologists? What has led them down a path to what some in their communities have labeled a colonialist venture? What were are the challenges they have faced, and the motivations that have allowed them to succeed? How have they managed to balance traditional values and worldview with Western modes of inquiry? And how are their contributions broadening the scope of archaeology? Indigenous archaeologists have the often awkward role of trying to serves as spokespeople both for their home community and for the scientific community of archaeologists. This volume tells the stories—in their own words– of 37 indigenous archaeologists from six continents, how they became archaeologists, and how their dual role affects their relationships with their community and their professional colleagues.

Bridging the Divide: Indigenous Communities and Archaeology into the 21st Century
Harry Allen and Caroline Phillips
Coming in May 2010! 304 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
ISBN:  978-1-59874-392-0

The collected essays in this volume address contemporary issues regarding the relationship between Indigenous groups and archaeologists, including the challenges of dialogue, colonialism, the difficulties of working within legislative and institutional frameworks, and NAGPRA and similar legislation. The disciplines of archaeology and cultural heritage management are international in scope and many countries continue to experience the impact of colonialism. In response to these common experiences, both archaeology and indigenous political movements involve international networks through which information quickly moves around the globe. This volume reflects these dynamic dialectics between the past and the present and between the international and the local, demonstrating that archaeology is a historical science always linked to contemporary cultural concerns.

Handbook of Postcolonial Archaeology
Jane Lydon and Uzma Rizvi
Coming in August 2010! 600 pages, $129.00 Hardcover
ISBN:  978-1-59874-182-7

This essential handbook explores the relationship between the postcolonial critique and the field of archaeology, a discipline that developed historically in conjunction with European colonialism and imperialism. In aiding the movement to decolonize the profession, the contributors to this volume—themselves from six continents and many representing indigenous and minority communities and disadvantaged countries—suggest strategies to strip archaeological theory and practice of its colonial heritage and create a discipline sensitive to its inherent inequalities. Summary articles review the emergence of the discipline of archaeology in conjunction with colonialism, critique the colonial legacy evident in continuing archaeological practice around the world, identify current trends, and chart future directions in postcolonial archaeological research. Contributors provide a synthesis of research, thought, and practice on their topic. The articles embrace multiple voices and case study approaches, and have consciously aimed to recognize the utility of comparative work and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the past. This is a benchmark volume for the study of the contemporary politics, practice, and ethics of archaeology.

This is a sampling of WAC-sponsored titles.  To order or for more information on additional WAC-sponsored titles, visit our website at:

For more information, contact Caryn Berg at archaeology@LCoastPress.com

Join Left Coast Press online at:

4. Conferences and Opportunities


US/ICOMOS is pleased to announce keynote speakers for the 13th US/ICOMOS International Symposium.

In addition to introductory remarks by World Bank officers, keynote presentations will be made on international development, World Heritage, and sustainable tourism by:

Francesco Bandarin
Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Denis Ricard
Secretary-General, Organization of World Heritage Cities

Robin Tauck and Randy Durband
Robin Tauck & Partners LLC

Keynote speakers will make their presentations the afternoon of Thursday, May 20, 2010 at the World Bank Main Complex. A welcome reception will follow in the World Bank Atrium. Because attendance is limited, advance registration is required. Single-day registration is not anticipated as preference will be given to those registering for the full conference.

For more information on the US/ICOMOS International Symposium, including the preliminary program, venues, and registration information (including online registration), please visit the website at http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=58565455&msgid=400415&act=AZXZ&c=484200&destination=http://www.usicomos.org/symposium.

Please note registration fees will increase after March 31. The 13th US/ICOMOS International Symposium is being held in partnership with The World Bank and is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.


The 2nd workshop on Applications of Computer Vision in Archaeology ACVA’10 — Vision, Visualization, and Computational Methods to Cultural Heritage Needs, http://acva2010.cs.drexel.edu/, will be held on Monday, June 14th, 2010, in conjunction with the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2010) held in San Francisco, CA, June 13-18 2010.

This workshop explores the application of computer vision research, visualization, and computational methods to cultural heritage needs. In specific, it focuses on emerging computer science methods and technologies useful for digitally recording, preserving, and reconstructing archaeological artifacts and for presenting archaeological site interpretations. Archaeologists, cultural heritage preservationists and computer vision, visualization, graphics, and new media practitioners will comprise this forum.

The paper submission deadline is April 5th, 2010, notification of acceptance is May 2nd, 2010, and  submission of camera ready papers is May 8th.  In submitting a manuscript to the workshop, the authors acknowledge that no paper substantially similar in content has been submitted to another conference or workshop. Manuscripts should be in the CVPR paper format. Papers accepted for the workshop is set to 6 + 2 pages with no extra fees for the 2 extra pages. selected papers from the workshop will be given the opportunity to be expanded for publication in a Special Issue of the International Journal on Computer Vision (IJCV).

For more details check the workshop website http://acva2010.cs.drexel.edu/.


Historian? Archaeologist? Anthropologist?  Do you have what it takes to work in the media?

The media is a demanding and competitive career choice. It requires confidence, knowledge, and first class presentation skills to succeed. The best proven formula for success is through a professionally produced showreel. Past Preservers, having extensive media experience, has identified the need for professional training and production services and has designed a training course to help you succeed in the media world.

Past Preservers is pleased to announce that we will be offering regular training courses, covering a range of professional training and development skills. The presenters are known professionals with extensive experience in the media and the sessions will focus on your needs as a presenter, researcher and or media/heritage specialist.

The first of these will be held this spring at a venue TBD in the impressive surroundings of the English Lake District. The instructors will include well-known broadcaster and author, Fiona Armstrong, Jim Mower, a producer of the extremely popular TV series ‘Time Team’, along with the Past Preservers Team.

Fiona, in addition to her work in television, is an experienced heritage professional who runs her own company, ‘Border Heritage’ and has been involved as a director and manager of heritage projects. She has recently joined BBC News 24 as a news anchor. Jim has worked on numerous historical and archaeological documentaries for international broadcasters and is also an experienced field and research archaeologist. Now a senior producer on the Channel 4 series Time Team, Jim’s work includes programme development, production and directing.

Together, with other specialists, our instructors will provide a first class team to develop your skills as a professional presenter. At the end of the weekend, every attendee will have his or her own professionally produced showreel.

Additional venues for future courses in the UK, the USA, Egypt and elsewhere will be announced soon.

Places are EXTREMELY limited and so we suggest that if you would like to attend, please make a statement of interest as soon as possible by emailing nigel@pastpreservers.com


The 2010 Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology Conference will be held over three days from Thursday 30 September to Saturday 2 October 2010 in Brisbane at the Mercure Hotel, situated on North Quay in Brisbane’s CBD.

A welcome reception will be held on the evening of Wednesday 29 September on the decks of the historic Diamantina at the Queensland Maritime Museum, and the conference dinner will be held on Saturday night 2 October at the Marque Hotel, Brisbane. A post-conference tour is being planned for Sunday 3 October.

Brisbane in spring is a perfect time to visit. The venues are all centrally located around the Brisbane River, with easy access to a range of accommodation options and opportunities to visit the Queensland Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, and South Bank Parklands. We look forward to seeing you in sunny Queensland!

Call for Sessions
Proposals for themed sessions are invited for the upcoming ASHA Conference. Sessions are invited on current issues and research in Australian and New Zealand archaeology, as well as sessions of interest and relevance to Australian and New Zealand archaeologists more generally. This may include overseas work being undertaken by archaeologists based in Australasia.

It is proposed that sessions will comprise a number of 15-20 minutes papers depending on the volume of proposals received. If you wish to propose a session for the conference, please submit the following information:

– a session abstract of 150-200 words
– the name and topic of two prospective papers for the proposed session
– name, affiliation, contact email and phone number of all session organisers

The above details should be emailed to Geraldine Mate at geraldine.mate@qm.qld.gov.au or may be posted to ASHA Conference Committee, School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072.

Following review of the session proposals, a call for papers will be issued. All session proposals must be submitted before 1 April 2010.

Further details on the conference including online registration will soon be available on the website hosted by the University of Queensland – http://www.socialscience.uq.edu.au/

The Hilton Austin, Austin, Texas
January 5 – 9, 2011

Opportunity for Early Proposal Submission
In order to encourage more international participants, the planning committee for SHA 2011 is offering an opportunity for early review of session and paper proposals. For sessions which include international participants, we will review proposals and provide written acceptances early, in the hope that more people from outside the U.S. will be able to attend.

Early proposal submissions will be reviewed and receive response (via email) no later than within month of proposal submission. We can also provide our response on SHA letterhead on request, either by snail mail or as a signed PDF. If you do have a “right away” deadline let us know and we will make every effort to respond quickly. Letters for accepted proposals will indicate that the session has been accepted as part of the professional program for SHA 2011, and would indicate that the conference would take place from January 5 – 9, 2011. However, please note that all sessions and papers would still need to be submitted (by the session organizers and individual authors) by the “regular” deadline in the “customary” fashion – either by regular mail or online, using the following timetable:

Call for Papers Opens: May 1, 2010 (to be announced in SHA’s Spring Newsletter)
Online Call for Papers Available: June 1, 2010
Final Submission Deadline: July 10, 2010

Conference Theme:
Boundaries and Crossroads in Action: Global Perspectives in Historical Archaeology

Boundaries and crossroads evoke two distinct but related spheres of engagement and interaction, in geographical, social, and intellectual terms. While “boundaries” seek to demarcate space and cohesiveness, in reality the lines drawn are porous and subject to multiple, and often disputed, crossings. Similarly, while “crossroads,” as intersections, imply points of contact and exchange, these processes are often fraught with contestation. Together, boundaries and crossroads are sites of action and simultaneously represent negotiated spaces, processes, identities and change. We propose an inclusive and more universal definition of these concepts and seek theoretical, thematic, and geographical translations of “boundaries” and “crossroads” in session papers and topics that emphasize the global nature of historical and underwater archaeology.

As sites of potential conflict, negotiation is often required when travelling across boundaries, and moving within crossroads. We see this challenge as an opportunity for enriching the discipline with regard to theory and practice, and reconceptualising traditional subject matters. For example, we recognize the need to cross geographical and intellectual boundaries to develop more global, comparative bodies of research in order to address such issues as social inequality, capitalism, trade, and alternative strategies of colonization. Sessions might interrogate the crossroads of identity formation by considering the intersection of ethnicity, gender, race, and/or class. Cultural contact is a nexus of interaction that as a process serves as a vehicle by which people construct, negotiate, and deploy boundaries and crossroads. Yet we also see boundaries and crossroads in the realm of public archaeology, where practitioners work emphatically to transgress boundaries and to establish inclusive, mutually beneficial relationships with various publics. Heritage and archaeological sites and museums often signify cultural crossroads or archaeology/public boundaries. How do we constructively negotiate these spaces? Finally, sessions might explore the boundaries between and crossroads/intersections of academic and CRM archaeology, or terrestrial and underwater archaeology, in search of more productive ways to work together.

For additional information about session formats, travel grants, and any other program matters please contact the SHA 2011 Program Chair, Carol McDavid, at mcdavid@publicarchaeology.org.


JAS Arqueología S.L. opens now the Call for Books from its editorial section (also editor of AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology http://www.arqueologiapublica.es/).

JAS Arqueología S.L. is happy to edit any book related to archaeology, especially public archaeology. For more information visit http://www.jasarqueologia.es/

Direct link to the call for books:

For any inquiry: jasarqueologia@gmail.com


JAS Arqueología S.L. abre ahora el Call for Books desde su sección editorial (también editora de AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology http://www.arqueologiapublica.es/)

JAS Arqueología S.L. está  abierto a editar cualquier libro relacionado con la arqueología, especialmente la arqueología pública. Para más información visita http://www.jasarqueologia.es/

Enlace directo al call for books: http://www.jasarqueologia.es/documents/CallbooksJAS.pdf

Para cualquier duda: jasarqueologia@gmail.com

Conservación del Patrimonio Edificado en Tierra o Piedra Asentada con Tierra: Aspectos Estructurales en Áreas Sísmicas

El Proyecto Especial Arqueológico Caral-Supe (PEACS) como parte de las actividades programadas por el Proyecto Especial Arqueológico Caral – Supe y con el auspicio del “Fondo del Embajador USA para la Preservación Cultural” para la conservación y restauración de los monumentos, anuncia la apertura de inscripciones al I Taller de Investigación, Conservación y Puesta en Valor 2010, que tiene como tema: “Conservación del Patrimonio Edificado en Tierra o Piedra Asentada con Tierra; Aspectos Estructurales en Áreas Sísmicas”.

Para comodidad de los interesados, el PEACS ofrece una cómoda bolsa de viaje que incluye el traslado, ida y vuelta de Lima a Caral, alojamientos en la zona, alimentación, materiales de trabajo y certificado por el precio de S/. 150. Otra opción permite pagar solo la inscripción de S/. 20.00, que incluye los materiales de trabajo y el certificado; los gastos de traslado y estadía serán asumidos por los interesados.

Informes e inscripciones: conservacion@caralperu.gob.pe
Proyecto Especial Arqueológico Caral Supe: Av. Las Lomas de la Molina Vieja Nº 237. La Molina.
Sr. Jesús Dulanto. Coordinador de Viajes Educativos. Telf. 2052517 – 205 2515. 

Conservation of Built Patrimony on Land or Stone: Structural Aspects of Seismic Areas

The Special Caral-Supe Archaeological Project (PEACS), as part of its scheduled activities and under the patronage of the “US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation” for the conservation and restoration of monuments, announces the opening of registration for the II Workshop on Investigation, Conservation, and Placing Value in 2010.  The theme for the workshop is “Conservation of Built Patrimony on Land or Stone: Structural Aspects of Seismic Areas.”

For the convenience of those interested, the PEACS offers a comfortable travel package that includes transfers, a return flight from Lima to Caral, accomadations, meals, work materials and certification for the price of S/. 150.  Another option allows payment only for registration for S/. 20.00 which includes work materials and certification; the costs of travel and stay would be assumed by the participant.

For more information and registration: conservacion@caralperu.gob.pe.
Special Caral-Supe Archaeological Project: Av. Las Lomas de la Molina Vieja Nº 237. La Molina.
Mr. Jesús Dulanto, Coordinator of Educational Travels. Tel: 2052517 – 2052515.  http://www.caralperu.gob.pe/index.html


The World Archaeology Congress (WAC) Student Writing Competition is a newly organized annual prize intended to showcase original student research as an integral part of WAC and the future of the discipline of archaeology. All student members of WAC are eligible to submit a paper for consideration of this prize.

The papers will be evaluated by the WAC Student Committee (WACSC) (whose research covers a wide range of innovative archaeological practices representing diverse geographical perspectives) along with a distinguished archaeological scholar representing the Editorial Board of the WAC journal Archaeologies.

Submissions will be basedon the following criteria: the quality and depth of scholarship and arguments presented, the significance of contribution to understanding of a particular topic in archaeology, the relevance to the larger goals and interests of WAC, and the effectiveness of presentation (including clarity and adherence to format).

The winner of the WAC Student Writing Competition will receive a citation from the WAC Executive, a 4-year membership to WAC, and guarantee of review for publication of the paper in a future edition of Archaeologies.

Student applicants must be the single author of the paper submitted. Only previously unpublished papers are eligible. A digital copy of the paper, including references cited and relevant figures, must be submitted to the address below. Although the WACSC recognizes and appreciates that publication styles and languages differ throughout the world, to maintain consistency we ask that the paper be in English or Spanish, double-spaced, 12-point font, approximately 15-25 pages in length (including references cited and figures), and in the style of the Archaeologies journal, as described on the Springer Publications website:

Deadline for Submission
June 1 (every year)
NOTE: Only the first 30 papers received will be considered. So, submit early to ensure your nomination! Only one paper submission per student is allowed.

Submission Information
Please submit a digital copy of your paper (with no identifying information in the paper to maintain anonymity amongst reviewers) along with a cover sheet containing information below to WacStudentWritingCompetition@gmail.com:

-Your name
-WAC membership number (indicated on a receipt of the payment of membership)
-Rank/position and institution
-Title of the paper
-Postal mail and email address


La   competencia  de redacción de artículos del Congreso Arqueológico Mundial (WAC por sus siglas en inglés) es un premio anual de reciente creación destinado a servir de escaparate a la investigación original realizada por estudiantes como una parte integral de la WAC y del futuro de la disciplina arqueológica Todos los estudiantes miembros de la WAC son elegibles para someter un documento a la consideración de este premio.

Los trabajos serán evaluados por el Comité de Estudiantes de WAC (WACSC) cuya área de conocimiento abarca una amplia gama de prácticas arqueológicas  innovadoras que representan diferentes perspectivas geográficas), junto con un académico distinguido  en representación de la Junta Editorial de la revista Archaeologies.

Los trabajos deberán basarse en los siguientes criterios: la calidad y profundidad de los estudios y argumentos presentados, la importancia de la contribución a la comprensión de un tema particular en la arqueología, la pertinencia en el marco de los objetivos generales e intereses de WAC, y la eficacia de la presentación (incluyendo la claridad y la adhesión al formato).

El estudiante ganador del Concurso de redacción WAC recibirá una citación por parte del Ejecutivo del WAC, una membresía de de 4 años WAC, y la garantía de que su trabajo será revisado  para publicación  en una futura edición de Archaeologies.

El  estudiante deberá ser el único autor del documento presentado. Sólo son elegibles documentos inéditos. Deberá presentarse una copia digital del documento, incluidas las referencias citadas y las cifras pertinentes, a la dirección abajo citada. Aunque el WACSC reconoce y aprecia que los estilos de publicación y las lenguas difieren en todo el mundo, para mantener la coherencia  pedimos que el documento sea en Inglés o Español, a doble espacio, fuente de 12 puntos, aproximadamente 15-25 páginas de extensión (incluyendo las referencias citadas y figuras), y en el estilo de la revista Archaeologies, tal como se describe en la página web de Publicaciones Springer:

Plazo de Presentación de
Junio 1 (cada año)
NOTA: Sólo los primeros 30 trabajos que se reciban serán considerados. Por lo tanto, presenten con anticipación para asegurar su dominación! Sólo se aceptará un escrito por estudiante.

Presentación de la Información
Por favor, envíe una copia digital de su documento (sin información de identificación en el documento para mantener el anonimato entre los encuestados), junto con una hoja de cubierta que contiene la información siguiente a  mailto:WacStudentWritingCompetition@gmail.com

– Su nombre
– Número de miembro del WAC (figura en el recibo del pago de membresía)
– Puesto/posición e institución
-Título de la ponencia
– Dirección postal y dirección de correo electrónico



All those interested in the symposium: Towards a new sketch of the archaeological landscape in Latin America developed in the framework of the V Meeting of Archaeological Theory in South America that will take place in Caracas, Venezuela from  June 21 to 25 2010, are invited to participate.

Through this link you can access and learn from both the congress and the symposium: http://vtaasvenezuela.blogspot.com/2009/04/hacia-un-nuevo-bosquejo-del-paisaje.html


Estamos extendiendo la invitación a los interesados en participar en el simposio: Hacía un nuevo bosquejo del paisaje arqueológico en Latinoamérica a desarrollarse en el marco de la  V Reunión de Teoría Arqueológica en América del Sur que se llevará a cabo en la ciudad de Caracas, Venezuela del 21 al 25 de junio de 2010.

A través de este link pueden visitar y obtener información tanto del congreso como del simposio: http://vtaasvenezuela.blogspot.com/2009/04/hacia-un-nuevo-bosquejo-del-paisaje.html



The Crafts Council has launched a major research project into the economic and social value of craft, focusing on portfolio working craft makers who engage with other industry sectors and community and education contexts.

We’re looking for makers who apply their craft skills/knowledge/creativity in other industry sectors (eg fashion, television, carnival, leisure, tourism etc) and/or in community settings (eg youth, older people, criminal justice etc) who would be interested in taking part in this interview based research.

The findings from this qualitative study will fuel our policy work, create content for our national conference on 22 June 2010 and provide a rounded view of the sector’s impact which can’t be fully captured by statistics.

We’re keen to involve both a wide range of makers and also the organisations they work with, or are supported by, in this research. We hope you will be able to help in one or more ways, such as:

• identifying evaluations of programmes and projects evidencing the economic and/or social impact of makers
• providing information on education programmes and support service agency models aimed at developing makers’ portfolio practices
• suggesting individual makers as interviewees
• helping us to promote the research through your networks, blogs, newsletters and websites

More information about the project can be found here.

Email to research@craftscouncil.org.uk to contact Mary Schwarz, Research Consultant, or Karen Yair, Research & Information Manager at the Crafts Council.



The fourteenth annual meeting of the Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology (SOMA) will be held in Kiev-Ukraine at 23-24-25 April 2010. As it has been through the past successful meetings, this symposium will continue to provide an important opportunity for young scholars and researchers to come together and discuss their works in a friendly and supporting atmosphere. Our spectrum is getting wider due to the knowledge of the increasing importance of the interdisciplinary works in the scientific world of our era. Papers dealing with arguments like sea, trade, colonization and also piracy are, in this sense, the most welcome.

There are no limitations regarding the subject and the period. The conference language will be English, in order to maintain the usual organization of SOMA conferences. Allotted time for each paper will be presented in 20 minutes and followed by a discussion.

Deadline for registration of the paper is 05.04.2010 

Soma2010@univ.kiev.ua   Hakan.oniz@emu.edu.tr   maritime@mail.univ.kiev.ua


23-26 June, 2010, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Those interested are invited to participate in a WAC Inter-Congress to be held in late June 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.  For more detail than presented below, please visit the Inter-Congress web site at http://wacmuseums.info/.

Formal registration will be available soon, but submitting papers or other presentation is already possible.  Feel free to e-mail organizers@wacmuseums.info for questions. Please note that some areas of the web site are under development.

On behalf of several museums and organizations, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art invite your participation in an Inter-Congress of the World Archaeological Congress on the topic Indigenous Peoples and Museums: Unraveling the Tensions.

The Inter-Congress will be from 23-26 June, 2010 in conjunction with the Eiteljorg Museum’s 17th Annual Indian Market and Festival, to be held 26-27 June.

The Inter-Congress Theme
Indigenous Peoples and Museums: Unraveling the Tensions covers a wide range of possible topics including:
Issues of representation
Museums operated by Indigenous peoples
Indigenous voice and Indigenous advisory boards
Treatment of sacred and other items
Conservation concerns, from dangerous chemicals in older objects to allowing for Indigenous views of conservation itself.
Repatriation of museum collections
Connecting Indigenous pasts and presents in museums
Proper treatment of Indigenous cultural and historical memory
Contested pasts
Museums and sites of conscience
Intellectual and spiritual concerns about Indigenous arts
Museum training for Indigenous people
New media/new technologies

Other topics will be considered as suggested or offered.




Course: Management Planning for Cultural Heritage
Applications are now open for Management Planning for Cultural Heritage course to be held in Shanghai, China from 13 – 17 September 2010.
Application deadline:   30 May 2010


ICCROM and National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo are pleased to announce the following course

Dates:            30 August to 17 September 2010
Place:            Tokyo, Japan

National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo
ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)

The Course
Many collections all over the world house Japanese paintings, calligraphic works and other paper-based artifacts. The purpose of this course is to offer those caring for such collections outside of Japan an insight into the materials and techniques of the Japanese paper- mounting tradition, and to the principles guiding the care of such collections in Japan. Through improving their understanding of the basic characteristics of the Japanese paper tradition, the participants will be in a better position to make decisions concerning the care of Japanese artifacts in their collections. The course aims also at offering opportunities to build bridges between the Japanese and the Western paper conservation traditions and to assess the applicability of the Japanese approach, materials & techniques also to non-Japanese cultural heritage.

Course Methodology
The course is an intensive programme combining theory and practice, through lectures, practical workshops and a study tour to visit traditional paper-making masters and mounting studios.

The course is open to 10 conservators-restorers, curators, keepers, and other professionals actively involved in the preservation of and access to cultural heritage. At least three years of working experience is required. Preference will be given to candidates also involved in training activities or who are heads of conservation teams.

Lecturers will be art historians, conservation scientists, traditional paper-mounting and conservation specialists from leading institutions in Japan.

Working Language:    English
Course Fee:    900 Euro

The selected participants will receive a scholarship covering round-trip travel from the participant’s country of origin and subsistence during the course. The scholarship does not include the course fee (see above).

Please use the ‘Course application form’ which can be found at: http://www.iccrom.org/eng/01train_en/forms_en/applfrm_en.doc and mail to the contact address below. Candidates are also requested to provide a 300 word statement describing the relevance of the course to their own working reality.

ICCROM – Collections Unit, 13, via di San Michele, I-00153 ROME RM, ITALY
Tel (+39) 06 585531 Fax (+39) 06 58553349; E-mail: collections@iccrom.org

Application Deadline:    31 March 2010


The journal, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology (PIA), University College London, is now calling for authors – postgraduate students, early-career researchers and established academics &
professionals – to submit papers on topics in archaeology, museum studies, cultural heritage and conservation.

Up to 5000 words (including references)
Short reports of up to 1500 words
Detailing current research or excavations, of up to 1500 words
Book, conference & exhibition reviews of up to 1500 words

The due date for all submissions is 30th June 2010.

PIA is committed to supporting researchers at an early stage of their careers and as such extra guidance and support is available during the submission and editorial process. All research papers are peer reviewed and we aim to provide our authors with constructive feedback.

To submit an article please visit: and register as an author. The PIA committee is very much looking forward to hearing from you and reading your work.

For further questions please see the notes on submissions on our website, or contact us at pia.journal@ucl.ac.uk.


The Middle East Research Competition (MERC) is pleased to announce its ninth round of research awards and it welcomes proposals in Arabic, English and French from qualified candidates.

The program encourages rigorous applications that apply to social science methodologies and theories particularly in the following areas:
· Public life in the Arab World
· Development
· Knowledge and Educational Capacities
· Social and Political Transformations
· Regional and International Relations

Research Awards are intended for scholars with previous successful research experience in any social science field. Ph.D. holders in the early stages of their professional career are especially encouraged to apply. For exceptionally strong cases, research awards may also be made for Ph.D. dissertation research in the region by students from the region. In the case of projects involving team research, the principal investigator must have a Ph.D. degree.

A final proposal should not exceed 20 typed double-spaced pages in length. Additional pages are needed for an abstract, time-line, budget, and curriculum vitae of all the proposed project members.

Deadline for receiving proposals in their final format is 31 March, 2010. For further information please visit our website. www.mercprogram.org or email contact@mercprogram.org.


MERC a le plaisir d’annoncer son neuviéme cycle de competition pour les bourses de haut niveau et d’appeler les chercheurs qualifies et intéressés á soumettre leurs propositions.  Les propositions peuvent être deposes en arabe, en français ou en anglais.

Cette compétition est ouverte á touts les themes de recherché touchant á:
* La vie publique
* Le développement
* L’education et l’economie de la connaissance
* Les transformations politiques et socials
* Les relations régionales et internationals

Une proposition finale ne doit pas dépasser les 20 pages.

Le dernier délai pour l’envoides candidatures est pour le 31 Mars 2010.

Les candidatures et/ou demandes de renesignements dolvent être adressées á: contact@mercprogram.org.


5. Excerpts from other archaeological associations’ newsletters (used with permission)

5 (a)  SALON

Salon 229: 14 March 2010

Eggshell of extinct elephant bird unlocks ancient DNA

Fellow Mike Parker Pearson (who, by the way, was voted ‘Archaeologist of the Year’ by Current Archaeology readers and presented with the award at the magazine’s ‘Archaeology 2010’ conference held on 27 February 2010 at the British Museum) has been in the news again, and this time for something entirely different: his discovery of elephant bird eggshells in Madagascar has enabled a team of Sheffield university geneticists to extract DNA from the now-extinct bird.
The eggshell samples were collected by Mike’s research team because studying their chemical composition can shed light on Madagascar’s past environments; an added bonus was the discovery that eggshell up to 19,000 years old is an excellent source of ‘fossil’ DNA.
The elephant bird (Aepyornis) was the world’s largest recorded bird. Resembling an ostrich, it stood nearly 3m high and weighed half a ton; its eggs, also the largest bird eggs ever known, had a capacity of 11 litres (seven times as large as an ostrich egg). Mike’s team recorded former nesting sites among the coastal dunes of southern Madagascar and found giant eggs that had been re-used as containers.

The birds were already in decline by AD 1000, and human predation in the 11th to 13th centuries, when south Madagascar’s human populations flourished and grew on the basis of long-distance trade with Africa’s Swahili coast, the Persian Gulf and China, drove them to extinction. Early French colonists described the birds as living in remote places and difficult to catch, but there are no records after 1650. Mike believes the elephant bird was probably the inspiration behind stories told by Marco Polo and that feature in the Thousand and One Nights.
The genetic study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, involved researchers from the Universities of Sheffield, Oxford in the UK, Australia’s Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia, New Zealand’s Canterbury and Otago Universities, Colorado University in the USA and Copenhagen University in Denmark. Their work involved developing new techniques for extracting DNA from ancient shell; until now ‘fossil’ DNA (as distinct from DNA extracted from living organisms) has largely been carried out on ancient bone. The research team now plans to study eggshells from a number of archaeological sites in New Zealand to investigate how humans interacted with the giant moa bird, which was hunted to extinction 600 years ago

Boy Scouts and the Hitler Youth movement

Perhaps Brownsea Island, which hosted the very first Scout camp in 1907, also deserves a European Heritage Label in the light of pioneering attempts by Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement, and Adolf Hitler, head of the Hitler Youth movement, to forge a greater union between Britain and Germany.

Newly declassified MI5 files released last week reveal that the Government was deeply concerned in 1937 by the growing entente between the two youth movements, which saw Scout troops playing host to Hitler Youth cycling tours. The security services of the day feared that cyclists were sent here on clandestine reconnaissance rides to assess Britain’s readiness for war.

The term ‘spyclists’ was coined by the Daily Herald when reporting on an item in the German Cyclist magazine which encouraged Hitler Youth members visiting Britain to ‘Impress on your memory the roads and paths, villages and towns, outstanding church towers and other landmarks so that you will not forget them … perhaps you should be able to utilise these sometime for the benefit of the Fatherland’. MI5’s response was to instruct chief constables to monitor German cycling parties and to note the routes they followed and the buildings that they were interested in.

Baden-Powell was himself monitored by the secret services who were concerned by his ‘gushing enthusiasm’ for a closer liaison between the Scout and Hitler Youth movements, and his meetings with Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German ambassador, and Hartmann Lauterbacher, deputy leader of the Hitler Youth. When Baden-Powell left Britain to visit South Africa, an MI5 officer visited Scout leaders in his absence to warn them off the idea of closer ties.

New searchable databases for medieval and post-medieval annual fieldwork summaries

Annual excavation summaries have formed an integral part of reporting in the journals of the Society for Medieval Archaeology and the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology since their founding (in 1957 and 1967, respectively). Accompanied by an index of period-based keywords, these brief reports have provided a resource for both researchers in the field and the general public. Today, many hundred summaries continue to be submitted each year by archaeological contractors, local governmental bodies and universities.

Fellow Dr Marit Gaimster, of Pre-Construct Archaeology, is setting up searchable databases for these annual reports, hosted by the ADS. Already online is the database for 2007, and this will soon be followed by the database for 2008; in time, it is hoped that all the previously published round-ups will be added to database to create a rich period-based resource

The databases can be accessed either directly through the ADS Online Catalogue’s ‘Archsearch’, where they can be found under ‘General Collections’ as ‘Medieval Britain and Ireland (fieldwork summaries)’ and ‘Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland (fieldwork summaries)’, or via the societies’ own websites: the Society for Medieval Archaeology, under ‘Medieval Britain and Ireland’, and the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, under ‘Review of Post-Medieval Fieldwork’

Salon 228: 28 February 2010

Learning from the Iraq War

Evidence submitted to the Chilcot Inquiry by thirteen of the UK’s leading heritage organisations, including our own Society, says that the ransacking of Baghdad’s National Museum and National Library and Archive and of numerous provincial museums was due to major shortcomings in the planning and implementation of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The submission to the inquiry says that pre-invasion planning for heritage and culture was ineffective, informal, secretive and limited in scope. Worse still was the failure to plan for the aftermath, despite the vociferously expressed concerns of many national and international heritage bodies. Such failures meant that the task of winning ‘hearts and minds’ was made all the harder; furthermore, ‘alarming evidence’ suggests that the proceeds of the illicit trade in looted antiquities were used to fund the subsequent insurgency.

Summarising the heritage organisations’ key concerns, Harry Reeves, Secretary General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, said: ‘The lessons from the Iraq war and occupation clearly shows that the UK urgently needs to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict to ensure the armed forces receive appropriate cultural property awareness training in preparation for any future deployments.’

Bronze Age shipwreck discovered off the Devon coast

Members of an avocational group of archaeological divers — the South West Maritime Archaeological Group (SWMAG) — have discovered a cargo of copper and tin ingots dating from the late Bronze Age. The cargo was discovered a year ago and excavated over a ten-month period but was made public for the first time at the annual International Shipwreck Conference in Plymouth last month. This weekend, Chris Yates, one of the SWMAG divers who found and recorded the wreck site, was awarded the top prize of £1,500 in the annual Awards for the Presentation of Heritage Research held at the British Museum.

Chris Yates told his audience at the Awards that there was no doubt that bun-shaped ingots had ended up on the seabed as a result of a single catastrophic disaster: the boat carrying the cargo had either overturned, spilling its content, or had sunk in what is a notorious ship’s graveyard at Moor Sand beach, to the east of Salcombe.

The 259 copper ingots found at the site — weighing 64kg in total — amounted to 0.1 per cent of all the copper known in the UK from the Bronze Age. The find included the largest tin ingot ever found, weighing 9kg, among a total of twenty-seven tin ingots weighing in at 20kg. Gold torques and a Ewart-Park Phase leaf sword (800—700 BC) were among the other finds.
Chris Yates said that the find was clear evidence of long-distance trade in bulk goods in this period of the Bronze Age. Metallurgist Peter Northover, at Oxford Materials, has analysed samples from two of the ingots and found a precise match with a copper-working site in Switzerland. It is possible, said Dr Northover, that the ingots ‘are the produce of a multitude of countries, scattered right around Europe, up and down the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts’.
Fellow Dr Stuart Needham said: ‘There was a complex lattice of interactions across Europe throughout this period. The mainstay of this exchange network might have been a number of vessels undertaking short coastal journeys; material may also have moved across land. But it is eminently possible at this stage that there were also specialist mariners plying the Atlantic seaways: people who know how to read the tides and the stars and capable of going longer distances.’

A major landmark in radiocarbon dating

Researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast, led by Fellow Professor Gerry McCormac and Dr Paula Reimer, have published a new calibration curve that extends our ability to date organic materials, such as cloth, wood and plant fibre, back 50,000 years and considerably improves the accuracy of earlier parts of the curve.

Writing in the journal Radiocarbon, Dr Reimer said: ‘The new radiocarbon calibration curve will be used worldwide by archaeologists and earth scientists to convert radiocarbon ages into a meaningful time scale, comparable to historical dates or other estimates of calendar age. This agreed calibration curve now extends over the entire normal range of radiocarbon dating, up to 50,000 years before today. Comparisons of the new curve to ice-core or other climate archives will provide information about changes in solar activity and ocean circulation.’

Carbon dating works by the amount of the radioactive carbon-14 isotope in organic materials. This is absorbed from the atmosphere while the organism is alive; absorption stops at death and carbon-14 decays at a measurable rate thereafter. The amount left in a sample gives an indication of how old the sample is when compared to the calibration curve, which includes adjustments for the many variables that impact on the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere at any one period. This is affected by a number of factors, including solar activity and the strength of the earth’s magnetic field, as well as the release of carbon into the atmosphere from organic reservoirs, ocean sediments and sedimentary rocks.

The team at Queen’s University, Belfast, have been working for the best part of thirty years to plot the new curve, known as INTCAL09, alongside statisticians at the University of Sheffield and colleagues at Queen’s School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology.

British Museum to show artefacts from Islam’s holiest sites

The British Museum has announced that it is to stage an exhibition on the history of the Hajj — the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca that every devout Muslim is required to make at least once in their life. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city of Mecca, so Hajj rituals are largely unknown to the Christian world. Huge annual tribal gatherings have been taking place in Mecca for centuries. The Prophet Muhammad’s seventh-century innovation was to replace the worship of multiple tribal deities with monotheistic unity.

The museum hopes to recreate the Kaaba, the sacred marble-clad structure at the centre of Mecca which Muslims believe was built to be the world’s oldest structure and to have been built by Abraham. Among the highlights of the exhibition will be pieces of the Kiswa, the huge silk covering embroidered with passages from the Koran that is used to wrap the Kaaba during the month of the Hajj. A new kiswa is made annually, then cut up and distributed to Muslim shrines and dignitaries. The earliest of these textiles to survive were made in Yemen and Egypt in the tenth century. Also on display will be the manuscript memoirs of Lady Evelyn Cobbold, the first British-born Muslim woman to make the pilgrimage in 1933, and Richard Burton, who travelled to Mecca in disguise in 1853. The exhibition will also include photographs and the personal account of Hassan Arero, anthropologist and British Museum curator, who went on Hajj in 2009.

Grade-II listed status for Abbey Road studios

English Heritage and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport responded quickly last week to the news that EMI, the British music company, was considering the sale of its world-renowned recording studios at Abbey Road. With no statutory designation to prevent a new owner redeveloping the building, English Heritage asked the Government to fast-track a listing application for the site that had been submitted in 2003.

English Heritage was backed by a spontaneous public campaign that quickly gathered international support, and even had the National Trust suggesting that it would acquire the building if necessary as a last resort. Such measures proved unnecessary when EMI said that it had no intention of selling the 1830s villa, converted to a recording studio in 1931. Two days later, on 23 February 2010, the Department of Culture announced that it had accepted the recommendation of a Grade II listing for the studios ‘in acknowledgement of their outstanding cultural interest and to ensure that recording artists for generations to come can continue to make and record music in the same rooms as musical icons of years gone by’.

English Heritage issued a statement saying that it was ‘delighted that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport had endorsed our advice and listed the building’. Fellow Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: ‘Some of the defining sounds of the twentieth century were created within the walls of the Abbey Road Studios … which act as a modern-day monument to the history of recorded sound and music.’

Salon 227: 08 February 2010

Ancient Roman law code rediscovered

Dr Simon Corcoran and Dr Benet Salway, of the Department of History at University College London, were approached by a private collector with what he believed to be biblical texts in Greek, reused as packing material in the binding of another later manuscript.

On the basis of the calligraphic style, Corcoran and Salway recognised that the texts dated from around AD 400, and when they looked for parallel texts, they found an overlap with parts of the Codex Gregorianus, a work of reference published around AD 300 recording the legal pronouncements of Roman emperors from Hadrian (AD 117—38) to Diocletian (AD 284—305). Only parts of the Codex Gregorianus have survived, and the newly translated text contains much new material from a chapter on appeal procedures and the statute of limitations on an as yet unidentified matter (see the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s website for a podcast on the discovery and on the work of ‘Projet Volterra’, of which the study of the Codex Gregorianus forms a part).


Evidence that Palaeolithic sailors reached Crete at least 130,000 years ago

Society of Antiquaries of London Fellow Professor Curtis Runnels, of the Boston University Archaeology Department, is the Palaeolithic expert with the Plakias survey team whose newly announced finds are set to ‘push the history of long-distance journeys by sea back by more than 100,000 years, with implications for the dispersal of early humans out of Africa’.

Led by Professor Thomas Strasser, of the Department of Art and Art History at Providence College, USA, and Dr Eleni Panagopoulou, of the Greek Ministry of Culture, the survey team has found Lower Palaeolithic stone tools at nine sites on the island. Up to 300 pieces have been found at each site, and the geological contexts at five of the sites have allowed the team to date the sites to at least 130,000 years ago, though some of the hand axes, cleavers and scrapers could be much older as they closely resemble hand axes fashioned in Africa about 800,000 years ago by early hominins.

The presence of these tools on Crete, which became an island five million years ago, implies that pre-modern humans, such as Homo heidelbergensis, were capable of crossing the 200 miles of open sea that separates Crete from the nearest African coastline, in modern Libya. Modern humans had to cross the sea from Indonesia to reach Australia but these finds add to a growing body of evidence for much earlier sea journeys: tools that look Palaeolithic have already been found on the island of Gavdos, off the south coast of Crete, and the much earlier date of 1.3 million years ago has been proposed for occupation at Atapuerca, near Burgos, in northern Spain — perhaps the result of a relatively short sea journey across the Straits of Gibraltar.


Haitian libraries and archives

Funds and volunteers are needed in Haiti to help rescue the contents of libraries and archives destroyed or damaged by the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Many of the island’s national and university libraries have collapsed or are structurally weakened, and the archive materials that have survived are now exposed to the elements. These libraries are the main repositories of the island’s oldest collections (dating from the sixteenth century), including manuscripts donated by European missionaries, eighteenth-century diaries and letters and records of island culture, almost all of them unique. The organisation Bibliothèques Sans Frontières has set up an appeal for donations, while archivists, conservators, curators, librarians, architects and other experts with the skills to help on the ground and time to spare in the coming weeks and months can register with Blue Shield International.


Salon 225: 04 January 2010

British Museum extension gets the go-ahead

Another important planning decision reached a head on 17 December when the British Museum obtained planning permission at the second attempt for its planned north-western corner development, designed to provide new research and conservation labs and new space in which to stage large-scale temporary exhibitions. Work on the new extension is likely to begin at once, aiming for completion in 2013.



New book title – Heritage and beyond

The notion of cultural heritage may be viewed from a number of standpoints. This publication is concerned less with the science and techniques of conservation than with the meaning of heritage and the contribution it can make to the progress of European society. It is firmly rooted in the principles of the Council of Europe – a political organisation committed to human rights, democracy and cultural diversity – and includes a range of articles that look at heritage in the context of the current challenges we all face. In particular, it shows how the Council of Europe’s framework convention can enhance and offer a fresh approach to the value of the cultural heritage for our society. As such, it provides further reasons for states to ratify this convention, which was opened for signature in Faro, Portugal, in 2005, and adopt its dynamic and forward-looking approach. How and why did it seem appropriate at the start of this millennium to draw up a new roadmap for our heritage? How had the concept changed and what does this imply? How could the message transmitted by the Faro Convention foster the emergence of a new culture of development and greater territorial cohesion, leading to sustainable resource use and the involvement of everyone in the transmission of a heritage from which all of society would benefit? This publication attempts to answer these questions, but also looks in depth at various themes introduced by the Faro Convention, such as the “holistic definition” of heritage, the concept of “heritage communities” and of a “common European heritage”, its different economic and social dimensions and the principle of shared responsibility. It also offers valuable insights into the relationships between the heritage, the knowledge society and the process of digitising cultural assets.

For further information or to order this title, click here


News from the ICOMOS Documentation Centre

§ “Modern heritage properties (19th and 20th Centuries) on the World Heritage List” – A bibliography by the ICOMOS Documentation Centre: http://www.international.icomos.org/centre_documentation/bib/modernheritageproperties.pdf

§ New records in the Documentation Centre database (April 2009 – September 2009):

§ More news on publications and documentation in the cultural heritage field, in the Blog: http://icomosdocumentationcentre.blogspot.com/


International Workshop (Germany): Social-Ecological Resilience of Cultural Landscapes – call for papers

Social -Ecological Resilience of Cultural Landscapes
15-16 June 2010, Berlin, Germany

For further information visit http://www.oekosystemleistungen.de/dateien/workshop_resilience_berlin.pdf


5  (c)  Prehistoric Society of Zimbabwe (PSZ)

Dulibadzimu Gorge: Neglected historical site

By Thupeyo Muleya

Dulibadzimu Gorge is a 15-minute drive west of Beitbridge border town, but few people seem to care about the significance of this magnificent feature and its relationship with Beitbridge town and the Vha Venda tribe. There is always significance in how people christian names to children or places. Mostly this is done in relation to past events or the historical background of the ethnic tribe residing within a certain area. Historically, the place serves as an aide-memoire for those with existing knowledge of the Venda culture. The aura of mystique enhances the cultural value attached to this natural feature. Legend has it that the gods and ancestral spirits of the tribe used to dwell there.

Beitbridge East Member of the House of Assembly, Kembo Mohadi (who ironically is the co-Home Affairs Minister responsible for National Museums and Monuments) said the gorge is a significant place for the Venda people. “Very few people seem to know how the name Dulibadzimu came about. This is a sacred place where in the old days we heard many stories from hearing traditional Venda drums and the sounds of cows mooing, but surprisingly without trace as to where exactly the sounds were coming from. I recall when I was a young boy, I was told that you cannot throw a stone across the gorge and at times would see a white goat which just disappears mysteriously. The only things you could see are the rocks and the pool of water,” he said.

Mohadi said the name Dulibadzimu literally meant Duli labadzimu (the ancestor’s mortar). “The Limpopo River, which we call Vhembe in Venda, meandered a few kilometres from the bridge and the place where it meandered was full of rocks and there was a boulder on a narrow gorge along the way where it rejoined the river. As the water flowed very fast with a lot of pressure, it was pushed hard on the rocks splashing on the other side of the boulder making a heavy sound like a mortar. This sound could be heard as far as 40km away from the gorge. Our elders by then would say it was the ancestors’ mortar pounding, and in Venda that meant Duli labadzimu. In the old days, the rocks around the gorge were used as a bridge by the villagers who lived nearby to cross to the other side of the river before the construction of the bridge. Mohadi added that the river was home to a rare breed of vicious zebra striped crocodiles that were commonly known as Nyelenga in TshiVhenda. The Dulibadzimu Gorge is known among the Venda people as a preserve of the people of Makhakhavhule descendents. This is a shrine they treat with respect. It is understood that the pool in the gorge never ran dry even during the times of famine.

Mohadi said efforts were being made so that the gorge receives its due recognition as a historical preserve for the Venda people and the country.

Monument Lifted From Cleopatra’s Underwater City

Summarised from Sapa-AP

Archaeologists hoisted a 9-ton temple pylon from the waters of the Mediterranean that was part of the palace complex of the fabled Cleopatra before it became submerged for centuries in the harbour of Alexandria. The pylon, which once stood at the entrance to a temple of Isis, is to be the centrepiece of an ambitious underwater museum planned by Egypt to showcase the sunken city, believed to have been toppled into the sea by earthquakes in the 4th century.

Divers and underwater archaeologists used a giant crane and ropes to lift the 9-ton, 7.4-foot-tall pylon, covered with muck and seaweed, out of the murky waters. The pylon was part of a sprawling palace from which the Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt and where 1st Century B.C. Queen Cleopatra wooed the Roman general Marc Antony before they both committed suicide after their defeat by Augustus Caesar. The temple dedicated to Isis, a pharaonic goddess of fertility and magic, is at least 2,050 years old, but archaeologists believe it’s likely much older. The pylon was cut from a single slab of red granite quarried in Aswan, some 1,100 kilometers to the south, officials said. “The cult of Isis was so powerful, it’s no wonder Cleopatra chose to make her living quarters next to the temple,” said coastal geoarchaeologist Jean-Daniel Stanley of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Egyptian authorities hope that eventually the pylon will become a part of the underwater museum, an ambitious attempt to draw tourists to the country’s northern coast, often overshadowed by the grand pharaonic temples of Luxor in the south, the Giza pyramids outside Cairo and the beaches of the Red Sea. They are hoping the allure of Alexandria, founded in 331 B.C. by Alexander the Great, can also be a draw.

Cleopatra’s palace and other buildings and monuments now lie strewn on the seabed in the harbour of Alexandria, the second largest city of Egypt. Since 1994, archaeologists have been exploring the ruins, one of the richest underwater excavations in the Mediterranean, with some 6,000 artifacts. The pylon is the first major artifact extracted from the harbour since 2002, when authorities banned further removal of major artifacts from the sea for fear it would damage them. ”


The European Archaeological Heritage Prize

Call for Nominations

The European Association of Archaeologists instituted the European Archaeological Heritage Prize in 1999. An independent committee awards the prize annually to an individual, institution or (local or regional) government for an outstanding contribution to the protection and presentation of European archaeological heritage. In principle, this can be any contribution that is outstanding and of European scope or importance, it does not have to be a scientific contribution. The prize for 2010 will be awarded during the Annual Meeting of the EAA in The Hague.

The EAA Committee for the European Archaeological Heritage Prize consists of: Anastasia Tourta, Greece, Paula Purhonen, Finland, Luboš Jiráň, Czech Republic, Mircea Angelescu, Romania, and Willem Willems, the Netherlands (chairperson).

The Committee will discuss all serious proposals for the award. Nominations may be made by any of the following:

– Members of the Association (all grades of membership)
– Professors and heads of departments of archaeology in European universities and institutes
– Directors of governmental heritage management organisations and agencies in European countries (members of the Council of Europe)
– Non-governmental archaeological, heritage, and professional organisations in European countries.

You are invited to use the attached form to nominate a person, institution, or a (local or regional) government.

The closing date for receipt of proposals is 3 May, 2010.

Proposals should include the following information for the person/institution considered:

First Name:
Last Name:
Reasons for receiving the award:

Nominations, with full citations, should be sent to the EAA Secretariat, C/O INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY cas, LETENSKa 4, 118 01 PRAHA 1, CZECH REPUBLIC OR BY E-MAIL TOmailto:eaa@arup.cas.cz

5  (e)  Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)

Tales from the Wakhan

In December, ‘Tales From The Wakhan: Folklore and Archaeology of the Wakhan Corridor’ will be published byAKTC and AKF. Funded by the NorwegianEmbassy, the book draws onfieldwork undertaken in the Wakhanand the Little Pamir between 2007 and 2009.The first part of the book presentsseveral folktales recounted by membersof the pastoral Wakhi and nomadicKyrgyz communities. A secondsection provides illustrated summariesof some of the key archaeological and architectural sites that were recorded as part of the Wakhan Heritage Inventory. Intended to document aspects of the rich cultural heritage of one of the most remote yet beautiful regions of Afghanistan, copies of ‘Tales From The Wakhan’ are available from  AKTC or AKF in Kabul or Geneva.

Reviving Skills in Kabul

The improvement of livelihoods is an important aspect of AKTC’s ongoing urban conservation programme in historic quarters of the old city of Kabul. Since 2002, more than 150 masons, plasterers and carpenters (see detail of timber screen below right) have served apprenticeships on conservation sites in the old city. In an area where home-based enterprises are widespread, since 2007 support has been provided for courses for more than 500 women to develop skills in tailoring, embroidery and kelim- weaving (right), while also improving literacy. Held in a restored house, the courses last for 6 months, after which the successful graduates are provided with equipment to enable them to continue production at home.

An ongoing survey aims to assess how women make use of their newfound skills, so as to ensure that the training can enhance the livelihoods of some of the poorest and most marginal households in Kabul.