Archaeologists urged not to become part of the war planning against IranBreaking News
In the final plenary session on Friday 4 July 2008, the delegates passed a resolution which not only opposes any military attack on Iran, but also urges archaeologists not to offer any advice to the military on archaeological issues during the planning of such attack. In the recent past, archaeologists in the USA were approached by the military and were asked to provide expertise and advice on Iranian archaeological sites. The Congress felt that to provide such information at this stage is to offer “cultural credibility and respectability to the military action”. In 2003, prior to the invasion of Iraq, some archaeologists both in the USA and the UK were asked to provide (or volunteered) information on sites “to be spared”. Their actions attracted considerably criticism from many of their colleagues.
The text of the resolution is as follows:
“The 6th World Archaeological Congress expresses its strong opposition to any unilateral and unprovoked, covert or overt military action (including air strikes) against Iran by the US government, or by any other government. Such action will have catastrophic consequences for millions of people and will seriously endanger the cultural heritage of Iran and of the Middle East in general. Any differences with Iran (as with any other country) should be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic means.
The Congress also urges its members, all archaeologists and heritage professionals to resist any attempts by the military and governments to be co-opted in any planned military operation, for example by providing advice and expertise to the military on archaeological and cultural heritage matters. Such advice would provide cultural credibility and respectability to the military action. Archaeologists should continue emphasising instead the detrimental consequences of such actions for the people and the heritage of the area, for the past and the present alike. A universal refusal by archaeologists and others would send the message that such a plan is hugely unpopular amongst cultural professionals as well as the wider public”.
CONTACT: Dr Yannis Hamilakis, University of Southampton, co-ordinator, WAC “Archaeologist and War Task Force” (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr Umberto Albarella, University of Sheffield, (email@example.com)
comments powered by Disqus
James Draper - 7/10/2008
Yeah... I guess it's better for such sites to be destroyed through war. Why waste time (or compromise your "ethical" stance) to save irreplacable archaeological sites?
- Support grows for Smithsonian museum of women’s history
- History Lesson: How the Democrats pushed Obamacare through the Senate
- Oldest women’s college in US – Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia – seeks to atone for Ku Klux Klan’s legacy
- Ancient Egyptian Writing: New Symbols Reveal Development Of Hieroglyphics
- Dr. Suess museum chided for failing to address head-on his racist statements during WW2
- Lonnie Bunch says the nooses found at the Smithsonian recently show why black people cannot get over the past
- Andrew Bacevich bemoans the loss of authority of historians
- It’s Time for Historians of Slavery to Listen to Economists
- Researcher: "Actually, Yes It Is a Discovery If You Find Something in an Archive That No One Knew Was There."
- The Trump team is obsessing over Thucydides, the ancient historian who wrote a seminal tract on war