WAC-5 AT A GLANCE http://www.american.edu/wac5

WAC Congresses are held every four years to promote exchange of the results of archaeological research; professional training and public education for disadvantaged nations, groups and communities; the empowerment and betterment of Indigenous groups and First Nations peoples; and the conservation of archaeological sites. WAC-5 is the first full World Archaeological Congress to be held in North America. It will be held in partnership with the Anthropology Department of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute. The Patron for WAC-5 is Harriet Mayor Fulbright, and the President is Richard West, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

WAC-5 will be held at The Catholic University of America, centrally located in northeast Washington DC, and easily accessible to the rest of the city and surroundings by Metrorail. Participants may register as congress “residents”, using double-occupancy dorm rooms at Catholic U. at approximately $US40/night per person. Alternatively, they may select housing from the many hotels and motels in Washington, D.C. After the Congress, participants may elect to pay for additional nights in residence halls through the weekend, June 28th-29th.

WAC-5 will be held from Saturday, June 21st through Thursday, June 26th, 2003. The congress will open at 5:00pm Saturday, June 21st, after an afternoon of public lectures by prominent North American archaeologists (free and open to anyone in Washington, D.C.). The Getty Conservation Institute invites all participants to a Welcome Reception on the grounds of Catholic University following opening ceremonies.

Congress symposia will run all day Sunday and Monday, June 22nd and 23rd. Tuesday, June 24th, will be an open day, featuring tours of sites and museums or allowing free time for sightseeing, research, library visits, etc. Symposia will resume on Wednesday and Thursday, June 25th and 26th, with a closing plenary session on Thursday afternoon, June 26th. Additional workshops and events may spill over onto Friday, June 27th, 2003.

WAC-5 registration is available at member and non-member rates. Registration will cover conference materials, lunches for four days, a welcoming reception at Catholic U., a Smithsonian evening reception, and an evening of embassy receptions throughout Washington, D.C. Pre- and post-congress tours will be organized to visit important local and national archaeological sites.

Preparations for WAC-5 are moving along on all fronts, and WAB readers will want to check the website frequently (www.american.edu/wac5) since there are many changes and additions, especially as the program continues to grow. We are posting all contributions to the program on the web, so you can find the major themes listed, many with well-developed sets of sessions under them. There are also independent sessions that are unlinked to general themes as yet. Each of the sessions under major themes as well as each independent session has its own discussion forum/ bulletin board where we invite discussion about theme and sessions, their scope, components and topics. Please feel free to post your thoughts, suggestions and questions to any of these discussion forums where we hope to see some lively exchanges. Also, please feel free to contact theme or session organizers to volunteer to participate in any of these venues.

In addition to the program of themes and sessions, WAC-5 will feature after-lunch plenary talks every day, on topics of broad interest about archaeological practice, policy and theory. The Getty Conservation Institute will coordinate several plenary talks on controversial conservation topics; indigenous panels will offer different perspectives, and we are working to bring Afghanistan archaeology, and the Archaeology of Social Justice, to WAC-5 in this format.

Each evening of WAC-5 will be full with a different large event: a Smithsonian reception, ‘Embassy Night’, and of course the gala banquet and dance. But before these events, look forward to some interesting relaxation at the archaeology video and film festival between 6:00 and 7:30 each evening of the congress, coordinated for us by Carole Lazio. During WAC-5, a program of archaeological exhibits will be mounted in many of the embassies of different nations for participants to visit. There are also many fabulous museums, local archaeological sites, parks, monuments and libraries to visit in this capital city.

Also, WAC-5 will offer a special program on behalf of the libraries of Washington, D.C., coordinated by the national Library of Congress. A reference librarian will be at the WAC-5 congress with various on-line computer databases, to help participants from foreign countries locate bibliographic materials that they otherwise might not be able to locate in the libraries of their home countries. Every effort will be made to help participants use the Washington, D.C. libraries to obtain copies of archaeological reports and materials!

Many other special opportunities of Washington, D.C. are also coming together by now. Behind-the-scenes tours of the Smithsonian collections facilities and research collections are being made available to pre-registered WAC-5 participants on a first-come-first-served basis. Both the Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the American Indian have fabulous new storage facilities just outside downtown D.C., and visitors will be bussed there at intervals before and after the congress and on our congress ‘day-off’. Check the website for current planned tours, but note also that large contingents from specific foreign areas may request tours for 8 to 10 people. You must be registered for WAC-5 in order to sign up for a Smithsonian behind-the-scene tour.

REGISTER NOW!!! By the time you read this, you will be able to register for the congress at ‘early registration’ rates, good through the end of this year. The registration form is available on the website where it can be downloaded and mailed or faxed to WAC-5 Registration. We will also be mailing registration forms to people who have ‘registered interest’ on the website, and to all members of WAC. THE COST OF EARLY REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS IS $335, which covers all registration materials (program and abstracts), all lunches and coffee/tea breaks during the entire congress, film and video viewings, several evening receptions… and some lively planned entertainment by Native American groups. This fee also contributes a small sum towards the attendance of folks who really don’t have the resources to attend on their own, since inclusiveness and democratic voices are the whole point of WAC. We can accept checks written on American bank accounts (in US dollars), international money orders, or credit cards (of course we prefer checks or money orders).

Note that AFTER JANUARY 1ST, REGISTRATION WILL GO UP FROM $335 TO $400, so don’t neglect to register EARLY. This will allow you to sign up for various tours and other opportunities. And be sure your membership is current — if you aren’t sure about this, ask Robin Torrence, WAC Treasurer, at robint@austmus.gov.au. It will be cheaper for you to renew your WAC membership and pay member registration costs than to pay non-member registration costs.

You can also REGISTER FOR A ROOM on the campus of Catholic University where the Congress will be held. Hotel rooms are expensive in Washington, D.C. and this is a great alternative: $50/night with breakfast, based on double occupancy of university dormitory rooms ($250 for five nights). You can identify your roommate when you register (same sex unless married), or leave it to the congress to assign you someone. Catholic University is willing to allow WAC-5 participants to occupy dorm rooms at this same rate for an additional three nights after the congress. Alternatively, WAC-5 participants may select housing from the many hotels and motels in the city, with excellent metro connections between points.

PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITE OFTEN, TO FOLLOW DEVELOPMENTS! WAC-5 provides a unique and rewarding opportunity for archaeologists and others sincerely interested in the past to gain a global perspective on their discipline: its controversies and practices, politics and policies, theoretical and substantive new directions. Hope to see you there!!!



Of the Past, For the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation, organised by the Getty Conservation Institute

Indigenous Arrivals and First Peoples, convened by Gustavo Politis and Richard Fullagar

Past Human Environments in Modern Contexts, convened by George Nicholas and Malcolm Lillie

Indigenous Archaeologies, convened by Daryle Rigney, Martin Wobst, Tara Million, and Joe Watkins

The African Diaspora, convened by Michael Blakey

Managing Archaeological Resources, convened by Frank McManamon

Underwater and Maritime Archaeology, convened by Mark Staniforth and Dolores Elkin

Landscapes, Gardens and Dreamscapes, convened by Mark Leone and Felipe Criado Boado

Empowerment and Exploitation: North-South and South-South Archaeological Encounters, convened by Sven Ouzman, Gustavo Martinez and Robin Torrence

Ways of Remembering History, convened by Lloyd Anderson

Information Technology as Material Culture, convened by Julian Richards

WAC Inter-Congress

National Museum of Australia, Canberra

15-18 January 2003

23 DEGREES SOUTH: The Archaeology and Environmental History of Southern Deserts

see CONFERENCES section at the end of this issue



In 1994, the WAC 4 meeting passed a resolution requesting the return from Paris to South Africa of the dissected and preserved remains of Khoisan woman Sara Baartman, the so-called ‘Hottentot Venus’ displayed as a living sexual freak in Europe some 200 years ago. Sara was born in what is now South Africa in 1789. In 1810 she was taken to England by British ship’s surgeon William Dunlop, who convinced her she could make a fortune by displaying her body to curious Europeans, who at the time were obsessed with African sexuality Of particular interest were her steatopygia and her elongated external genitalia. Several learned papers were written about Sara by the likes of the anatomist Cuvier, using her as ‘proof’ that along with Australian Aborigines, the Khoisan were more animal than human. Wracked by tuberculosis and possibly syphilis, she died in 1815 at the age of 25. Cuvier made a plaster cast of her body before dissecting it. He removed her skeleton and cut out her brain and her genitals, which he put on display. Her skeleton remained on open exhibition until the mid-1970s and her body parts were freely available for inspection. As widely reported in the international media, the French Senate voted unanimously in January 2002 to return Sara home. As early as 1994, the late French President Francois Mitterrand had promised former South African leader Nelson Mandela that the repatriation would take place.


João Zilhão (Rua Prof. Joao Barreira, Porta C 3H, 1600-634 Telheiras, Portugal) joao.zilhao@netcabo.p

On May 6, the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese government elected March 17, 2002, publicly confirmed that the independent administration of the archaeological heritage of Portugal created in 1997 in the wake of the Côa valley affair – the IPA (Instituto Português de Arqueologia) – would cease to exist as such, in the framework of the planned creation of a joint administration for archaeology and the national monuments. No specific reasons have been given for this measure, which represents going back to the state of things that existed in 1994 and was largely responsible for the disastrous management of that affair by the heritage authorities of the time. The fact that the new government is largely made up of the same people and political parties who were in office back then may explain this decision to some extent. I remain confident that the radical transformation and the major achievements of Portuguese archaeology over the past five years will survive this setback. Nonetheless, this announcement left me no other choice but to offer my immediate resignation, which has already been accepted. At this stage, my professional future is uncertain, so, for any contacts, and until further notice, please use my home e-mail and home postal address above.

IPA’S ‘EXTINCTION’ – a message from IPA staff

On May 6th, the Minister of Culture of the newly elected Portuguese government, publicly confirmed that the independent administration of the archaeological heritage of Portugal created in 1997 in the wake of the Côa valley affair -the IPA (Instituto Português de Arqueologia) – would cease to exist as such.

The IPA has, during its 5 years of existence, (visit www.ipa.min-cultura.pt) successfully established several centres of study. These include CNANS (nautical and underwater archaeology), CNART (centre for rock art) and PAVC (Côa Valley archaeological park). IPA is currently setting up a centre for archaeological science research – CIPA (human palaeoecology and archaeological sciences). Besides bringing into effect new laws and regulations concerning the management and conservation of archaeology in Portugal, the IPA has become a base for Portugal’s younger generation of archaeologists.

Instead, the Government is planning to recreate a mega-Institute, lumping together National Monuments and archaeology. This is a similar structure to the one that existed before the creation of IPA, which resulted in years of mismanagement and serious danger for archaeological heritage. This was well demonstrated by the history of the Côa Valley rock art before the Archaeological Park was created simultaneously with IPA.

From what we have seen in the media the new government does not appear to have much knowledge about the nature of our work at IPA. We have a wide framework of intervention, ranging from Cultural Resource Management and Impact Assessment to Research in Human Palaeoecology and a National Plan for assisting archaeologists in the area of archaeometry and archaeosciences, of which only part is known by the recently elected Government.

A prominent issue is still the fate of the Côa Valley World Heritage Site (UNESCO 1998), whose classification contemplated the creation of a large museum, capable of receiving thousands of visitors and able to develop local infrastructures and private businesses. The museum project has also been turned down by the government, which seriously threatens the future of the Archaeological Park.

For those of you who have worked with us in different research projects, or are aware of the importance of our work, I would ask you to express your opinion about the nature of our institute and the need for it. A message of protest can be sent by faxing +351-21-364-9999 (office of the Minister of Culture). You can also send an e-mail message to the two Portuguese newspapers that have always been active in issues related to science and culture – Público and Expresso. Their addresses are publico@publico.pt and expresso@mail.expresso.pt. You can also send your comments, as well as any advice you may have, to us at a special web site at the following address: www.ipa.min-cultura.pt/forum/forum/

Please copy to this forum any messages or letters you send or fax to the Minister of Culture and the media.