Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Conflict over the Archaeology of Conflict

Dorothy King has what I think is an excellent post up on her blog about last November's conference at University College London on "Archaeology in Conflict." Minor criticisms of her blog post have been appearing on academic discussion lists. She does refer to Anwar Sadat's predecessor in Egypt, Gamel Nasser, as "an Islamist" whereas Nasser was actually the quintessential Arab nationalist who promoted strong secular power in Arab nations. She has also (apparently inadvertently) stepped into the middle of a controversy among the survivors of the recent Balkan conflicts over the destruction of both Orthodox and Islamic monuments. It seems to me that neither should have been destroyed, just as the United States has no business tearing apart Iraqi art and monuments that glorify Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, artworks and buildings are symbols that sometimes stand for what the fighting is all about.

The ArchNet for architects and architectural historians has a discussion forum regarding Conflict and Natural Disasters, and several detailed inventories of damage to monuments in the Balkans have been posted there by list participants. There is also a new international research network for "conflict archaeology." I hope that the flurry of interest in this topic is not an indication that archaeologists are going to have to work more frequently in the midst of military conflicts. Certainly, archaeologists are going to continue to have plenty of conflicts, many of them quite petty.

Labels: ,


At 11:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you have some very intriguing posts. I will definitely be back to read more. Thank you for coming by my place. Have a great day!

At 12:57 PM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

You are most welcome, Dari. Please do stop back by.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home