Volume 16 June 2007
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1. Executive News
First and foremost, I would like to draw your attention to the recent demise of Professor Peter Ucko, the force behind the founding of the World Archaeological Congress. He passed away in his home in London on 14th, June, 2007, at the age of 68 years. WAC has established a condolence book for Peter and a web page of photos, remembering him. If you would like to place an entry in the condolence book you can do so at:
My announcement on Peter Ucko’s passing is below, and there are obituaries on the WAC web site, as well as a tribute in the most recent issue of SALON reprinted later in this newsletter.
Inter-Congress - Jamaica
WAC’s Inter-Congress in Jamaica brought together a lot of interested minds. The people who went obviously had a marvellous time, and I understand that there were a lot of very interesting and valuable papers. This was a ‘cracking little meeting’, according to one member of the WAC Executive. A review is included in this newsletter. On behalf of the Executive, I would like to thank Evelyn Thompson, Dorrick Grey and Ainsley Henriques for organizing this meeting.
Inter-Congress - Argentina
The WAC Inter-Congress on Archaeological Theory in South America will be held in San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca, Argentina, from July 3rd to 7th, 2007. This is the Fourth International Meeting on Archaeological Theory in South America. It is organized by the Doctorate in Human Sciences of the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Archaeology of the National University at Catamarca, and counts as one of the World Archaeological Congress' activities in the region. After the meetings at Vitoria (Brasil, 1998), Olavarria (Argentina, 2000) and Bogota (Colombia, 2002).
The arrangements for WAC-6 in Ireland continue smoothly, and I would like to encourage members to organize sessions, or submit abstracts of papers for this conference. This newsletter contains a report by Gabriel Cooney on the progress of the meeting.
WAC submission to UN: Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
On 3rd June, WAC tendered a submission to H. E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khafalifa, President, United Nations General Assembly, expressing concern about the proposal of the African Group to reopen negotiations on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We urged the UN to help African states understand that the Human Rights Council's text contains nothing that threatens state sovereignty or opportunities for development and that, rather than fuel conflict, the Human Rights Council text creates a framework for fair cooperation and respectful resolution of differences. We pointed out that the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples levels the playing field so that small, often marginal, and in many cases economically disadvantaged Indigenous communities can engage as citizens with the state on their own terms without losing their identities or cultures. The full text of this submission is on the WAC web site.
Launch of Archaeologies
Springer hosted a WAC party at the recent Society for American Archaeology conference in Austin, Texas, celebrating the launch of WAC's journal, Archaeologies, with Springer. As you can see from the photos on the website, a good time was had by all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Springer for their support, not only in terms of the party, and the journal, but also through the book series we have with them, and more generally, as well. I would especially like to thank Teresa Krauss and Katie Chabalko.
WAC at SAA
In addition, WAC had a booth at the SAA, and on Friday, 27th April, we held a meeting of the Executive members who were attending the SAA conference. We thank the SAA for providing this venue.
Finally, Ines Domingo Sanz would like to encourage people who are not financial members to pay their dues. WAC is a member organization, with a small budget and a big vision. We depend on members to be active—and to pay their dues!
All the best,
Claire Smith, President
2. WAC News
2 (a) Recognition of Peter Ucko
It is with great sadness that I inform you that Professor Peter Ucko has passed away.
As I am sure you know, Peter was the driving force behind the founding of the World Archaeological Congress, and an inspiration to WAC Executives, Councils and Assemblies, both past, present and future, and to members, and non-members throughout the world.
Peter Ucko was awarded a BA Anthropology, from University College London in 1959, and a PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology and Egyptology, from University College London in 1962. He is a past Director of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. More recently, he was Executive Director of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, and when he retired he became Emeritus Professor.
Peter’s research interests included the analysis of art and images, the history of archaeology, archaeological theory and the interpretation of archaeological collections and of displays of sites. In retirement, he remained an active researcher, and was working on various publications until very recently. His most recent publications include the eight volume set Encounters With Ancient Egypt. In 2006 A Future for Archaeology, edited by Robert Layton, Stephen Shennan, and Peter Stone, was published in Peter’s honour, to mark the unparalleled role he has played in promoting a socially engaged archaeology.
At the time of Peter’s passing the WAC Executive and the organisers of WAC-6 were discussing the instigation of a lecture to be named after him as the inspiration behind WAC, to be given at an appropriate point at every major WAC Congress from now on. We were also discussing the establishment of a 'Peter Ucko Medal' to be awarded at each major Congress to an individual who has made a major contribution to world archaeology.
Peter Ucko cannot be replaced, but he will be remembered.
He is survived by his wife, Jane Hubert.
2 (b) WAC-6 News
Come to Dublin, Ireland for WAC-6 in 2008!
The members of the organising committee of the Sixth World Archaeology Congress (WAC-6) are delighted to invite colleagues from across the globe to come to University College Dublin, Ireland from June 29-July 4, 2008 for this spectacular archaeological conference. We are planning a varied and engaging thematic programme and a wide range of social events that will provide opportunities to experience the cultural and social life of Dublin and Ireland, and to sample this island's outstanding archaeological heritage.
Dublin itself – the city of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett (or at least the city of their youth and imagination) - will form the beautiful and historic backdrop to the conference and will add to the enjoyment of the week. Fieldtrips are planned for the north, west and south of Ireland and Irish archaeologists across the profession will be involved at every level of the event. Although Ireland is changing fast, it still retains much of its rural character and its archaeological heritage is amongst the richest in the world. Irish archaeology is currently experiencing a boom of discovery and investigation and new archaeological findings are re-writing our understanding of the past. The archaeological fieldtrips will contribute a sense of this to conference participants.
The WAC-6 Congress will be held at University College Dublin, located approximately 6km from the city centre. This modern campus, surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens, is an ideal location for this congress. Also on campus are banking facilities, travel agency, self-service laundry and extensive sporting facilities. The main symposium building will be the O’Reilly Hall and Arts Block, both of which are fully accessible by wheelchair. Different types of self-catering accommodation are available on campus and there are a number of hotels in the immediate vicinity of UCD.
Archaeological themes currently proposed for the main part of the conference include Archaeological practice – a Global perspective on quality and best practice; Developing International Geoarchaeology; Archaeology in the digital age 2.0; Cultural heritage and cultural tourism; Archaeologists as people; Archaeologists, war and conflict; ethics, politics and responsibility; Issues in Historical Archaeology; Wetland archaeology across the world; Our changing planet – past human environments in modern contexts; Indigenous archaeologies; cultural and intellectual property; Home and away: archaeologies of diaspora; Materialising identities; Living in island worlds; Getting the message across – communicating archaeology; Archaeology and the dominant ‘isms’ of the early 21st Century. More proposals of themes and sessions are being received every day at firstname.lastname@example.org and an exciting programme is emerging. The conference organizers would welcome contacts about these themes and any other that archaeologists around the world might be interested in participating in.
Proposals for new themes (due 30th September 2007), sessions (due 1st November 2007), and individual contributed papers or posters (due 22nd February 2008) may be submitted up until the dates indicated below. Themes and sessions must be co-organized by at least two people from different nations.
WAC is committed to diversity and to redressing global inequities in archaeology through conferences, publications and scholarly programs. It has a special interest in protecting the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples, minorities and peoples from a range of countries. WAC-6 will continue the established practice of previous international congresses in facilitating the participation and empowerment of indigenous peoples and researchers from economically disadvantaged countries.
This first announcement is a call for themes, sessions, papers and posters. See the conference website at www.ucd.ie/wac-6 for details of application, programme, accommodation, costs and grant opportunities.
Deadline for theme proposals: September 30 2007
Deadline for session proposals: November 1 2007
Final announcement: early December 2007
Confirmation of acceptance of paper & posters: March 14 2008
Early registration: up to March 30 2008
NB: join WAC for cheaper registration!
WAC-6 website is at www.ucd.ie/wac-6
We hope to see you all there at WAC-6 in Ireland!
2 (c) Report on Jamaica Inter-Congress
Regional Representative's report on the WACInter-Congress in Jamaica
"Threats to Archaeology - Its Importance, Values and Development"
In true Caribbean style the Archaeological Society of Jamaica hosted a WAC Intercongress from May 20-26, 2007, at the Unviersity of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Mr. Ansley Henriques as chair, and his energetic staff from the ASJ, did an excellent job of bringing forth important issues that face Archaeology today, yet in a setting of casual Caribbean atmosphere. There were 69 papers on the program, representing a wide variety of national groups and professional specializations, most of the papers were presented.
It was a fortunate opportunity that this WAC-Intercongress coincided with the recognition of 200 years since abolition of the African Slave trade, a vital subject in the Caribbean, and a highlight during the Intercongress. Clearly the main topic of issue was the challenge for Archaeology into the 21st century, as heritage sites and cultural values relating to heritage are being seriously threatened, a final statement of recommendations was agreed to by the participants.
As well, you just cannot have a Congress in the Caribbean without some enjoyment! The participants were given tours of important local heritage sites, as well as some dancing and refreshments were enjoyed by all! Again congratulations to the organizing team for their efforts, it was a success!
Dr. Jay B. Haviser
Senior Regional Representative
for the Caribbean and Latin America
World Archaeological Congress
2 (d) WAC-5 volumes published by Left Coast Press
Members are reminded that the published volumes from WAC-5 are available. The One World Archaeology Series is published by Left Coast Press.
The details are on the Left Coast Press web site,
3. News from WAC Members
from Tom King
Senior Archaeologist, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR)
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will return to Nikumaroro Island in Kiribati in mid-July for another round of archaeological studies seeking to determine what happened to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart when she disappeared in 1937 (See http://archaeology.about.com/od/pacificislands/a/king_ae.htm for a precis of TIGHAR’s work). Planned work will focus on two locations – a site in the 1938-63 colonial village where aircraft parts have been found in the past, and campsite at the SE end of the island that may be where Earhart expired. At the latter site, special attention will be given to ultraviolet scanning for teeth that may remain from the partial human skeleton found on the site in 1940. TIGHAR forensic anthropologist Karen Burns also plans a taphonomic study to determine how coconut crabs distribute and dispose of bones. The Associated Press will be covering the expedition, and is planning to release daily progress reports. The project team will return to the U.S. in mid-August.
For more information contact:
from Lyndon Ormond-Parker
Lyndon asked for inclusion of the recent statement of Yvonne Margarula, senior Mirarr traditional owner and member of the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory of Australia.
The following is the text of a media release by the Mirrar.
Mirarr Reject Land Council Brokering Mine
NLC CEO’s Comments Jeopardise Relationships
MEDIA RELEASE: 29 MAY 2007
The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation issues the following written statement regarding media reports of the NLC’s purported push for more uranium mines in the Northern Territory.
The traditional Aboriginal owners of country upon which the Ranger and Jabiluka uranium deposits are located, the Mirarr, are stunned to learn that the CEO of the Northern Land Council has reportedly announced that he intends to push uranium mining.
Senior Mirarr traditional owner, Yvonne Margarula, said today “Under the Land Rights Act, we expect our Land Council to be working to protect our interests and representing us. Norman Fry hasn’t spoken to any of the Mirarr and has no idea what is going on out on our country or what is going on between us and the mining company.”
The system of land rights in the Northern Territory depends on all stakeholders being confident that Land Councils faithfully represent the views and wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners of land on whose behalf they speak.
The Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) believes that the mining industry should be just as concerned as traditional owners are that the NLC is openly prepared to push an agenda of its own. There is nothing in the Land Rights Act that authorises the Land Council to be ‘pushing for more uranium mines’ or inserting itself as an un-invited broker in matters in which they have so far made no useful contribution.
The Mirarr have reached a long term care and maintenance agreement with Energy Resources Australia despite the history of disappointment with the Northern Land Council’s handling of both the Ranger and Jabiluka mining projects.
The Mirarr, through GAC, intend to honour the terms of the agreements that exist with ERA. There is no role for the NLC CEO in relation to the Jabiluka deposit and his reported comments have embarrassed and jeopardised the interests of the parties that are actually involved.
In the opinion of the Mirarr, the Northern Land Council has failed as a representative in the past so it is fanciful for them to
4. News Items
Death of David Kiyaga-Mulindwa
Early in June Alinyah K. Segobye informed WAC members on behalf of the PAA Council of the sad news that David Kiyaga-Mulindwa, a former president of the PAA has passed away. David started the Archaeology program at the University of Botswana and mentored many students particularly those who read African History and later archaeology in southern Africa. He left Botswana in 1993 returning to Uganda with his family. He was at the time of his death a professor at the University of Kyambogo in Uganda.
Archaeologists for Global Justice
Archaeologists for Global Justice (AGJ), an informal group, has been formed.
Umberto Albarella and Sarah Viner from the Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom have communicated the following information about AGJ.
Archaeologists for Global Justice arose as a response to the widespread and ever increasing injustice affecting our world. It was conceived and put into motion by archaeologists at the University of Sheffield (UK), and inspired by the actions of Archaeologists Against the War in opposing British involvement in the Iraq conflict. The idea of forming AGJ was initially voiced to a wider audience during a session entitled `An eternal conflict? Archaeology and social responsibility in the post-Iraq world´, convened at the conference of the Theoretical Archaeological Group (TAG), held in Sheffield in December 2005. The group is a culmination of numerous discussions and interactions, and represents a desire to give voice to our opposition to injustice.
The aim of archaeology is to use the material traces of past human activities as the basis for interpretations of human behaviour and society. Our focus on past human societies provides us with a privileged perspective on our shared human past and on the problems of the present, whether these are of a social, political or environmental nature.
The discipline of archaeology is defined both by the object of our study and by the principles and practices which we use to investigate that object. The principles of context, consistency and coherency in argument and justification through reasoned debate are inseparable from our discipline.
We assert that, as archaeologists, we have a responsibility to employ the understandings that we have gained of the nature and potential of human life in ways that go beyond a simple description of the past. As active participants in and observers, critics and analysts of human society we feel that we have an obligation to oppose those forces that are anti-humanitarian, unsustainable or destructive of human life and society.
We propose the following principles as the basis for an alliance of Archaeologists for Global Justice.
- We are inspired by the principles of the Global Justice Movement and believe in active participation of archaeologists in issues of social and political relevance;
- We are actively against any form of racial, ethnic, religious, age, sex or sexuality discrimination;
- We believe in the right of the individuals to express themselves free from any form of harassment or intimidation, and as long as these opinions do not constitute incitement to violence and are respectful of the dignity of others;
- We believe in world peace and as archaeologists we will not provide any direct or indirect support to armed interventions, whether led by governments or other organisations, unless this is justified by extreme cases of self defence;
- We believe that in the world there is potential wealth for everybody and we will not support or endorse organisations which promote and/or instigate inequality in the distribution of resources;
- We are concerned about the impact of the human race on our planet and will not collaborate with development plans which are not based upon principles of sustainability or which have the potential to cause major damage to the environment;
- We accept that the formation of conservative establishments is in some sense inherent in human society, but we believe that there is a constant need to challenge the social and political status quo through peaceful argument, critique and open debate. We understand that the nature of our discipline renders us obliged to participate in such debate and to contribute to it;
- We believe that research, the basis of our discipline, thrives in a climate of cooperation rather than competition between individuals and organisations, and we therefore refuse any action or language that is incompatible with this principle;
- We believe that professionalism arises from a research culture founded on a spirit of enquiry and open debate. This culture encompasses those who practice archaeology as paid professionals or as unpaid amateurs or volunteers. We reject a notion of professionalism that is founded on the principles of commercialism and competition;
- We believe that as archaeology is a social practice, intended for the benefit of all through the creation and dissemination of knowledge and understanding, its practitioners deserve to be treated as productive members of society with all the employment and other rights appropriate to their position as cultural creators and members of a recognised profession
The basic principles are outlined in the web page, hosted by the University of Sheffield (UK):
As a medium for communication between us we have also set up an email discussion list, called ARCH-JUSTICE. You can find details at the following web page, where you can also subscribe:
If you prefer you can also just send an email to either Umberto (email@example.com) or Sarah (S.Viner@sheffield.ac.uk) and we will subscribe you.
From Blythe Bowman,
PhD student at University of Nebraska-Omaha
A request for information about experience of looting
Blythe is a doctoral student in the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Blythe’s doctoral dissertation research takes as its focus the problem of looting and archaeological site destruction. Blythe is surveying and interviewing archaeologists around the globe to ask about their personal experiences with looting.
Blythe warmly invites WAC members to participate in either the survey or the interviewing. Contact details are below:
B. A. Bowman
School of Criminology & Criminal Justice
University of Nebraska at Omaha
208 Durham Science Center
6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE USA 68182
tel. (402) 554-2610
5. Excerpts from other archaeological associations’ newsletters (used with permission)
SALON - the Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter
from Salon 167: 25 June 2007
- Obituary: Peter Ucko
- Iraq ... sunt lacrimae rerum
- Improving contacts between Germany and the Society
- Consultation on renewable energy’s cumulative impact upon the historic environment
Obituary: Peter Ucko
Peter Ucko, who died on 14 June 2007, was a Fellow until his retirement as Director of the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 2006.
Neal Ascherson, writing in the Independent, said that Ucko ‘was the most influential archaeologist of his time’ and that: ‘Almost single-handed, he brought about a revolution which irrevocably changed the whole structure and outlook of international archaeology.’ Ascherson’s obituary then went on to say: ‘This upheaval began in 1986, when – in scenes of frantic drama and controversy – the profession's international body exploded at its congress at Southampton University. Out of the smoke and debris there emerged the World Archaeological Congress, dedicated to new and radical principles which included the notion that archaeology was profoundly political and that the archaeology of indigenous peoples in post-colonial continents – societies for whom the relics of a distant past were still components of a living culture – was more significant than the academic and Eurocentric studies of “prehistory”.
‘With his tight curls and his powerful, mobile face, Peter Ucko resembled a small Roman emperor. Passionate and unpredictable in his loves and hates, he could put superhuman energy behind causes and people he believed in (he was still editing a book on Chinese archaeological training on his death-bed). His own formation was as much in anthropology as in archaeology, one of the sources of his gift for breaking through academic barriers. Anthropology also satisfied his need (as he put it) “to be taught by and to meet academics who had respect for the beliefs and activities … of the people of other cultures”. His antipathy to racism was always violent. As a friend wrote about him, “the reason Peter is such a good hater is the motivation which powers the hate – a deeply felt anger at unfairness and injustice”.
‘Peter John Ucko was born in 1938, the son of intellectual Jewish emigrants from Germany. From his father, a doctor, he inherited a lasting delight in music, especially opera. After the “progressive” public school of Bryanston, he began an anthropology degree at University College London in 1956, but always – so he later said – hoped to get into Egyptology, a lifelong craze which began when he collected figurines off antique stalls as a boy. After a PhD on Egyptian figurines, he spent ten more years at UCL lecturing with increasing brilliance and originality in anthropology.
‘In 1967 Ucko and his then partner Andrée Rosenfeld published his first book, Palaeolithic Cave Art. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Australia where in 1972 he became principal of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. This was to be a decisive, radicalising experience. “I found that my Institute was a totally white institution – whites gave out money to whites, through white committees, to study the blacks … an untenable situation.” When he left in 1980, he made sure, against angry opposition, that his successor was an Aboriginal. It was in Australia that he met the anthropologist Jane Hubert, then married to Anthony Forge (who died in 1991), who was to become Ucko's stout-hearted partner and counsellor for the rest of his life.
‘Back in Britain, in 1981 he became Professor of Archaeology at Southampton University. And it was here, in the 1980s, that he encountered the crisis of his professional life. The International Union of Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS) proposed to hold its 11th congress at Southampton and Ucko was persuaded to organise it. At that time (it has improved since), the IUPPS had decayed into a slovenly, deeply conservative and Eurocentric clique. To its horror, Ucko insisted that he wanted the conference to be a “World Archaeological Congress”, attended by archaeologists from “the Third World” and devoted to global themes rather than to the cosy comparison of excavations and discoveries.
‘After enormous exertions, he seemed to be getting his way when disaster struck. Unwisely, Ucko had pushed to the back of his mind the crisis of apartheid South Africa, and the existence of an international academic boycott. But in 1986, only months before the congress, the Southampton student union and then the municipal authorities declared that they would withdraw all facilities if South African archaeologists attended. Worse, many of the African and Asian delegates now threatened not to take part.
‘Well aware of the storm he would provoke, Ucko decided that the cause of a new “world archaeology” must not be abandoned. He declared that the South Africans would be disinvited. It was an act of outstanding courage. Uproar followed. Ucko was accused of betraying academic freedom. Funders withdrew; many of the leading archaeologists of Europe, Britain and America resigned from the congress and denounced him – sometimes with shameful abuse which they would now prefer to forget. The IUPPS condemned him and pulled out.
‘But Ucko, urged by Jane to stand fast whenever his resolve faltered, stuck to his guns. In the end, over a thousand enthusiastic delegates arrived and Ucko’s dream of a new global order for a humanised science of the past was triumphantly realised. The first World Archaeological Congress (WAC-1) took off, and no fewer than twenty-two books were published from its sessions.
‘The cost was heavy, not least to Ucko's health. He had lived off his nerves for twenty years, a heavy smoker with a generous wine intake; now appeared the first signs of the diabetes which was to end his life prematurely. And the crisis did not improve his confidence in his fellow humans. Students got the benefit of his tough humour and his adventurous, eccentric imagination. But colleagues had to tread warily; you were in or out. He could be childishly sullen and suspicious one day; brilliantly welcoming and lovable the next.
‘In 1996, he was appointed director of the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, Britain's leading centre of teaching and research. There were grumbles from crusty colleagues. But the maverick Ucko was now, beyond challenge, the most creative figure in British archaeology. In 1997, he launched the first courses in Public Archaeology, typically redefining it as a critical audit of the profession’s ethics in areas as diverse as the handling of the indigenous dead and archaeology in the media.
‘He retired in 2006. Surprisingly, Ucko refused to accept the presidency of the WAC, but his master-work lives on, its vast congresses sparkling with fresh insights and theories. The 1980s were a decade in which British innovation in archaeology (for better or worse) led the world. Margaret Thatcher “privatised” the profession, while Ian Hodder, Chris Tilley and Michael Shanks invented “postprocessual” theory. But Ucko's contribution will outlast them all: an irreversible, institutionalised commitment to an archaeology which happens now rather than in the past, and is concerned with the living as much as with the dead.’
Iraq ... sunt lacrimae rerum
Salon has not reported on the dire situation in Iraq for many months because, to be frank, the unremitting catalogue of catastrophe after catastrophe – for the poor human beings caught up in the conflict and for the heritage – is just too depressing, and there seems nothing that any of us can do to help the situation. However, numerous Salon readers have suggested that an article by our Fellow Simon Jenkins, published in the Guardian on 8 June, should be brought to readers’ attention. In this article, Simon provides evidence that the pillaging of Iraq’s heritage is not something that we can simply blame on Iraqi criminals: our own troops are involved, and belligerent American army commanders are blocking all attempts by the Iraqi board of antiquities and heritage to inspect and report on the condition of some of the country’s most important monuments.
Here is a flavour of what Simon says in his report. Abbas al-Hussaini (head of the Iraqi antiquities board) recently addressed a conference in London and ‘confirmed a report two years ago by [Fellow] John Curtis, of the British Museum, on America's conversion of Nebuchadnezzar's great city of Babylon into the hanging gardens of Halliburton. This meant a 150-hectare camp for 2,000 troops. In the process the 2,500-year-old brick pavement to the Ishtar Gate was smashed by tanks and the gate itself damaged. The archaeology-rich subsoil was bulldozed to fill sandbags, and large areas covered in compacted gravel for helipads and car parks. Babylon is being rendered archaeologically barren. Meanwhile the courtyard of the tenth-century caravanserai of Khan al-Raba was used by the Americans for exploding captured insurgent weapons. One blast demolished the ancient roofs and felled many of the walls. The place is now a ruin.
‘Hussaini showed one site after another lost to archaeology in a four-year “looting frenzy”. The remains of the 2000 BC cities of Isin and Shurnpak appear to have vanished: pictures show them replaced by a desert of badger holes created by an army of some 300 looters. Castles, ziggurats, deserted cities, ancient minarets and mosques have gone or are going. Hussaini has eleven teams combing the country engaged in rescue work, mostly collecting detritus left by looters. His small force of site guards is no match for heavily armed looters, able to shift objects to eager European and American dealers in days.
‘It is abundantly clear that the Americans and British are not protecting Iraq's historic sites. All foreign archaeologists have had to leave. Troops are doing nothing to prevent the “farming” of known antiquities. This is in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention that an occupying army should “use all means within its power” to guard the cultural heritage of a defeated state.’
Responding to Simon Jenkins’s article, Andy Stephens, Board Secretary, British Library, wrote to the Guardian to say that Iraq’s precious heritage of rare books and manuscripts had also been systematically looted.
Meanwhile the Pentagon’s pathetic response has been to hand out packs of playing cards to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan illustrated with pictures of Iraq’s best-known archaeological monuments. Despite the fact that many of these monuments no longer resemble their playing-card depictions because they have been so heavily damaged, American military strategists see this ‘as part of an archaeology awareness programme’ to prevent ‘further war damage to the country’s 11,000 archaeological sites’. Thus the Pentagon neatly seeks to wash its hands of responsibility by blaming archaeologically uninformed troops for the damage, when in reality much of the destruction, as Simon Jenkins makes plain, is the result of high-level military decisions about the location of facilities and activities that treat the heritage as if it did not exist; tragically, before long it will not.
Improving contacts between Germany and the Society
Our Fellow David Wigg-Wolf of the Fundmünzen der Antike, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, writes to draw Fellows' attention to the facilities available at the Römisch-Germanische Kommission (RGK) in Frankfurt, Germany, in particular the library. David explains: ‘Founded in 1902, the RGK is part of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut and houses one of the very best all-round archaeological libraries in Europe. It contains 144,000 volumes, including 1,800 periodicals, mainly on European (including British) archaeology up to the late Middle Ages, and is particularly strong on Eastern Europe. The RGK has a number of self-catering rooms in its guest house which are available at a very reasonable rate. Guest staying there have access to the library outside of normal opening hours, including at the weekends.
‘A look at the visitors' book in the guest rooms reveals that visitors from the British Isles are rare, yet, as one recent English visitor noted, for many colleagues a long weekend in Frankfurt is less expensive, and more convenient and productive, than three return train tickets to London! Frankfurt is also a useful base for visiting a number of important sites in the area, and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz, which also has an excellent library, is only some 25 miles away. More information on the RGK can be found on the library’s website. Room enquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org (but book well in advance!).’
Consultation on renewable energy’s cumulative impact upon the historic environment
Oxford Archaeology has been commissioned by COWRIE (Collaborative Offshore Wind Research into the Environment, the Crown Estate’s marine stewardship programme) to develop guidance on the cumulative impact of offshore renewable energy schemes on the historic environment. Oxford Archaeology’s work is one of a number of studies that will also look at the impact of wind farms and wave and tidal energy schemes on bird and marine life.
Oxford Archaeology is seeking views on existing and planned renewable energy proposals from a wide range of stakeholders, both in relation to some specific questions and more generally. Draft proposals and a questionnaire can be found at www.offshorewind.co.uk, and the consultation period is from 15 June until 30 July 2007. Oxford Archaeology would be grateful for the input of Salon readers.
from Salon 165: 28 May 2007
SALON Editor: Christopher Catling
• Roman remains threaten Rome metro
• 1,000 historic buildings destroyed in Moscow, says SAVE report
• Australian Aborigines linked to Africa, DNA study shows
• The comet that killed off the cavemen
Roman remains threaten Rome metro
The legacy of ancient Rome continues to hold up attempts to construct the city’s planned underground system. The new line C line – linking the Colosseum to St Peter's before reaching into the suburbs – is being excavated at a depth of 30 metres so as to avoid archaeological remains, but digging station entrances and exits is proving all but impossible in some cases without destroying Roman remains protected by law.
The metro authorities announced this week that they might even have to abandon construction of the Largo Torre Argentina station, which was to serve the Pantheon, and they are anticipating problems too with the next station down the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, at Chiesa Nuova, near Piazza Navona. Archaeologists have recently found a line of amphorae in the way, which might represent containers from a villa garden: further excavations will determine whether the station can be built.
1,000 historic buildings destroyed in Moscow, says SAVE report
In modern Russia, nobody allows heritage to stand in the way of the desires of get-rich-quick Mafiosi, says a hard-hitting report from a group of British and Russian conservation experts. Moscow’s built environment is under ‘full-scale attack’ and in serious danger of disappearing altogether, as the city’s unique and diverse architectural heritage is transformed into an ‘ersatz city’ fit only for ‘Gucci-bagged oligarchs' wives’.
The report, entitled Moscow Heritage at Crisis Point, is published by the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society and Save Europe's Heritage, whose President is our Fellow, Marcus Binney. It says the scale of recent destruction has been breathtaking: in the past five years about 1,000 historic buildings have disappeared, including 200 listed monuments. Russia’s strict preservation laws are being flouted by corrupt officials who take bribes not to enforce the rules. Other historic buildings mysteriously ‘burn down’, the report says. In their place, new pastiches are being constructed that ‘ape’ the originals.
In the report's introduction, Marcus Binney writes: ‘The prevailing view is that a modern version of an old building is just as good as, or better than, the original, and the concept of authenticity has been lost. This attitude is informing the approach of the city authorities to historic buildings of first importance.’ The report does identify a few positive trends, however. They include the restoration of Moscow's Russian orthodox churches, many of which were flattened during the 1930s. Gilded and painted domes can now be seen throughout the capital. ‘Moscow still presents one of the world's most amazing architectural assemblages and urban silhouettes’, the report concludes.
Australian Aborigines linked to Africa, DNA study shows
A report by a team led by Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences lends weight to the theory that Australia's Aboriginal population is descended from a single group of migrants who left Africa about 55,000 years ago and that they replaced earlier hominid species – such as H neanderthalis and H erectus – who had already colonised Australia, rather than interbreeding with them. The team’s study of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome DNA also concluded that New Guinean populations are also directly descended from the same specific group as Australian Aboriginals. At the time of the migration, Australia and New Guinea were joined by a land bridge.
The DNA patterns suggest that there was little gene flow into the region after the migration. That Australian and Melanesian populations evolved on their own explains why some of their shared features are so unusual, says Toomas Kivisild, from the Department of Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, who co-authored the paper: ‘The evidence points to relative isolation after the initial arrival, which would mean any significant developments in skeletal form and tool use were not influenced by outside sources.’
The comet that killed off the cavemen
The extinction of several large North American mammals at the end of the last Ice Age, the collapse of Clovis populations in America and the 1,000 year-long Younger Dryas cold spell, which triggered changes in the living patterns of people in Europe and Asia, are all being linked to the explosion of a comet over North America 12,900 years ago.
This controversial new idea was presented at the American Geophysical Union's Joint Meeting in Acapulco, Mexico, last week, by Arizona-based geophysicist Allen West, one of a group of US scientists who say they have found a layer of microscopic nanodiamonds at twenty-six different sites in Europe, Canada and America and argue that these are the remains of a giant carbon-rich comet that crashed into the earth 12,900 years ago.
They estimate that the comet was up to 5km in diameter and broke up just before impact, setting off a series of explosions that turned the comet's carbon into diamond dust. The rocks studied by the researchers have a black layer which, they argue, is the charcoal deposited by fires that swept the grasslands of the northern hemisphere after the explosion; any grazing animals that survived the original blast would have died from starvation.
The comet would have caused widespread melting of the North American ice sheet. The waters would have poured into the Atlantic, disrupting its currents and causing the 1,000-year-long Younger Dryas cold spell, which had a profound effect on Palaeolithic cultures in America, Europe and Asia.
Research team member James Kennett, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, said the theory explained three of the highest-debated controversies of recent decades: the sudden disappearance of the first migrants into America, the disappearance of mammoths throughout much of Europe and America and the sudden cooling of the planet at the Younger Dryas.
from Salon 163: 30 April 2007
SALON Editor: Christopher Catling
• Property boom in old Beijing
• Mapping the ‘best-preserved prehistoric landscape in Europe’
• Roman wall paintings found in the City
• Darwin’s publisher told to reject On the Origin of Species
Property boom in old Beijing
The Guardian reported this week that older homes in Beijing are fetching record prices, just as they are about to disappear, swept away by the pace of modernisation in the city and by redevelopment for the Olympics. As recently as the early 1990s, Beijing city centre still had hundreds of hutongs – homes set around courtyards protected by high walls and threaded by narrow alleys, many of them built from the eighteenth century for extended families, and popular with the courtiers and high-ranking civil servants employed in the Forbidden City. Now overcrowded and notorious for their communal toilets and smoky coal-fired boilers, hutongs have been treated as slums for the last two decades and have been swept away by the authorities so that the land can be used for building new tower blocks.
Now, however, following the liberalisation of property laws in China to allow private ownership, the city’s few remaining courtyard homes are being sold for record prices: one changed hands last week for £7 million, a record price for residential property in Beijing.
It is estimated that only 3,000 courtyards now remain, giving them a rarity value that has pushed up prices. The one sold last week was particularly valuable because of its size (3,028 square metres) and location, close to the city's liveliest lakeside entertainment district. The buyer remains anonymous, though local media have speculated that he is a coalmine owner from Shaanxi province or a Russian billionaire.
The new owner will be in mixed company. While many Beijing hutongs are still occupied by working class families, others have been snapped up by wealthy foreigners, senior officials, contemporary artists and the new rich. Rupert Murdoch is reported to have paid just under £2 million for a similar site last year.
Hu Chaohui, manager of a Beijing real-estate company, said: ‘They are very special. They are rare and centrally located. In addition, their prices not only include the usage value but also the historical and cultural value.’ Conservationists say, however, that the demand for hutongs does not mean they will be saved: many owners demolish the old fabric and replace it with buildings in traditional style using modern materials. ‘The way now is to build fake old. It is not nice’, said Ma Yansong, a Beijing architect, who added: ‘The hutongs attract many tourists. The poor, old residents are either like actors in a theme park or else they are kicked out so the rich can buy up the properties. The old community spirit is being lost.’
Mapping the ‘best-preserved prehistoric landscape in Europe’
A ‘Time Team’ special programme broadcast on Channel 4 last week focused on the work of our Fellow Vince Gaffney, Director of Birmingham University’s Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, who, with geologist Ken Thomson, has been mapping the great lowland plain that once connected East Anglia to the Netherlands, northern German and Denmark.
The now-drowned Doggerland was once crossed by rivers winding through a landscape of giant lakes and gentle hills. The region was inundated between 18000 and 6000 BC, when the warming climate melted the thick glaciers that pressed down from the north. Tens of metres of water now cover what Vince argues is ‘the best-preserved prehistoric landscape, certainly in the whole of Europe and possibly the world’. His team has mapped that 23,000 sq km landscape using seismic records compiled by oil-prospecting vessels working in the North Sea, identifying in today’s seabed the course of ancient rivers, the basins of lakes some 25km across, hills, valleys and extensive areas of salt marsh.
Now that the physical features have been established, Professor Gaffney says it will be possible to narrow the search for sites that could yield more evidence of how these prehistoric people lived. ‘Some of this land would have made the perfect environment for hunter gatherers. There is higher land where they could have built their homes and hills they could see their prey from. The places you wanted to live were the big plains next to the water and the coastline was way beyond where it is now. This was probably a heartland of population at the time, which transforms how we understand the early history of north-western Europe.’ As the temperature rose and glaciers retreated and water levels rose, the inhabitants would have been forced towards higher land – including what until then might have been considered the distant and marginal land that now forms the UK mainland.
The mapping of this landscape could also raise questions about its preservation, says Professor Gaffney – and how it can be protected from activities such as pipe-laying and the building of wind farms.
Roman wall paintings found in the City
The redesigned and London Archaeologist magazine was relaunched last week with the news that fragments of a Roman mural have been found in the City of London – appropriately enough in the basement of an Italian restaurant. The site in Lime Street, in what was the most prestigious area of Roman London, is being described as sensational: parts of the mural, which dates from around AD 120, depict a goldfinch and bunches of purple grapes. About a thousand fragments have been recovered – enough, it is hoped, to enable the entire decorative scheme to be recreated.
Darwin’s publisher told to reject On the Origin of Species
Scholars cataloguing the 150,000 documents that comprise the John Murray archive have found a letter recommending that Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species manuscript should be turned down, and that Darwin be urged to write about pigeons instead. Darwin’s publisher, John Murray, sent the manuscript to the Revd Whitwell Elwin for an opinion. Writing back from his rectory in Norwich on 3 May 1859, Elwin urged Murray not to publish the work, saying that Darwin’s theories were so far fetched, prejudiced and badly argued that right-thinking members of the public would never believe them: ‘At every page I was tantalised by the absence of the proofs’, Elwin wrote, adding that the ‘harder and drier’ writing style was also off-putting.
Elwin did, however, enjoy Darwin’s observations on pigeons and suggested that these could form the subject of a separate book, as ‘everybody is interested in pigeons’. He enthused: ‘The book would be received in every journal in the kingdom and would soon be on every table.’ Fortunately, Murray chose to ignore the advice.
The letter from Elwin is part of the archive of documents built up over seven generations by successive members of the John Murray publishing family, now housed at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. The archive was bought for £31.2 million with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Executive, but there is still a £6.5 million shortfall. Since the archive moved from London to Edinburgh last March, more than £1.5 million has been raised by anonymous private donations, but £5 million is still needed to meet the asking price, which must be paid in full within 3.5 years. A public exhibition featuring material from the John Murray archive will open at the National Library of Scotland at the end of June.
5 (b) ICOMOS (Australia) (editions from June and May 2007)
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 286
Friday 22nd June 2007
An information service provided by the Australia ICOMOS Secretariat
eX treme heritage:
managing heritage in the face of climatic extremes, natural disasters and military conflicts
in tropical, desert,polar and off-world landscape
2007 Australia ICOMOS National Conference,
Cairns, Far North Queensland July 19-21 .
- Report on ICOMOS Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting, 29 May – 1 June 2007
- 2008 Getty Research Grants
- MSc Cultural Heritage Studies @ Glasgow Caledonian University
ICOMOS Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting
Heritage and the Metropolis in Asia & the Pacific
Seoul, Republic of Korea, 29 May - 1 June 2007
This is a brief report to Australia ICOMOS members about this recent event, successfully hosted by ICOMOS Korea. This was the 4th annual Asia-Pacific Regional meeting of ICOMOS, and the 3rd hosted by ICOMOS Korea.
The theme for 2007 - Heritage and the Metropolis in Asia & the Pacific - examined the challenges posed for heritage conservation in the large and rapidly growing cities of the region. There were over 30 participants, from 11 countries: the Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Thailand and the United States of America as well as an observer from the World Heritage Center of UNESCO.
The keynote address was presented by former ICOMOS Vice-President Yukio Nishimura (Japan) on the integrity of historic urban landscapes. Dr Ronald van Oers of the World Heritage Centre provided an update on the work to develop new standards for the conservation of historic urban landscapes, and there were a series of case study presentations from the region. There were also many opportunities for exchange in the enjoyable program of site visits and dinners.
Our warmest thanks and congratulations go to our ICOMOS Korea colleagues particularly President Professor Sang-hae Lee and International Executive Committee member Professor Hae Un Rii; and the institutional partners that make such an event possible the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Cultural Heritage Administration and the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
The meeting in Seoul proved again how important these ICOMOS Asia-Pacific Regional meetings are in strengthening the networking capacity that ICOMOS can provide, and the value of meeting colleagues and sharing experiences. It is hoped that the annual Regional Meeting format can continue in future years, and our sincere thanks are due to ICOMOS Korea for establishing this as a ‘regular’ element in our calendars.
A more detailed report about the meeting, together with the text of the ICOMOS Declaration on Heritage and Metropolis in Asia and the Pacific will be accessible soon from the Australia ICOMOS website (www.icomos.org/australia - go to the ‘news’ section). ICOMOS Korea is currently arranging the design and printing of the Declaration in a more permanent and attractive format, and this will be widely available soon.
Australian members attending these events were: Australia ICOMOS President Peter Phillips, Susan Macdonald (who presented an excellent and very well-received paper on the metropolitan strategic planning approaches being developed for Sydney), and Kristal Buckley (ICOMOS Vice-President). Please contact any of us directly or via the Australia ICOMOS Secretariat (email@example.com) if you would like more information.
Kristal Buckley, ICOMOS Vice-President
Peter Phillips, President, Australia ICOMOS
2008 Getty Research Grants
Deadline for all Getty Research grants: 1 November, 2007
Details now available for Residential Research Grants & Non Residential Research grants
Residential Research Grants
A variety of grants to pursue research at the Getty Centre and the Getty Villa
Theme Year Scholars at the Getty Research Institute
Theme Year Scholars at the Getty Villa
Library Research Grants
Conservation Guest Schollars
Additional short residencies to invited guest scholars
Non-residential research grants
A variety of opportunities to pursue research wherever scholars choose
Collaborative Research Grants
Curatorial Research fellowships
How to apply:
Detailed instructions, application forms and additional information available online at www.getty.edu click on Foundation
Address inquiries to:
Attn: (Type of Grant)
The Getty Foundation
1200 Getty Center Drive,
Los Angeles CA 90049-1685 USA
Phone 310 440 7374
Fax 310 440 7703
MSc Cultural Heritage Studies @ Glasgow Caledonian University
MSc Cultural Heritage Studies @ Glasgow Caledonian University
Limited postgraduate places still available for academic session 2007-2008
2 SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland) Funded Places are available on a competitive basis for eligible applicants
The MSc Cultural Heritage Studies is a research-led post-graduate programme, with a strong multi-disciplinary emphasis. The programme combines the development of management skills with a broader understanding of heritage contexts and policies. Its core aim is to produce graduates who are equipped with high-level skills and competencies to allow them to become active shapers of policy and practice in the heritage field. The programme will also equip you to pursue further academic study routes in heritage, if you wish. Based upon a strong theoretical foundation, distinctive features include an emphasis on preparation for professional practice, including 'live' case studies and the organisation of an annual student conference. You will also be encouraged to grasp and apply the potential of ICT developments for the heritage sector.
Assessment on the programme is mainly coursework-based. A variety of assessment techniques are used including individual and group projects, presentations; real-life case studies. The MSc involves a research-based dissertation.
The programme will enable students to
- apply management concepts in relation to cultural heritage organisations, heritage sites and the historic environment
- analyse and evaluate the context and development of cultural heritage policy at an international, national and regional level appreciate the diversity of the international heritage sector, its locus in the wider cultural arena and its broader social economic regeneration roles
- demonstrate high levels of professional excellence though the pursuit of practical work and related theory at an advanced level
Fees & funding
Full time postgraduate home and EU students: £3235.
Part-Time home and EU students: £1618.
Overseas (Non-EU) students: £8,000.
Opportunities are also available for students to undertake individual modules on a part-time study basis as Continuing Professional Development.
Students may be eligible to apply for funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board under their Professional Preparation Masters Scheme.
For further details: contact the Programme Administrator by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the relevant University webpages: http://www.heritagefutures.net/study/index.html and http://www.caledonian.ac.uk
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 285
Friday 15th June 2007
Tourism Cares Offers Worldwide Grant Program
Deadline:October 1, 2007 (Letters of Inquiry Packets)
Tourism Cares, a nonprofit charity supported by the tourism industry,administers the Worldwide Grant Program to support worthy tourism-related nonprofit organizations working to preserve, conserve,and restore the world's natural, cultural, and historic treasures.
Primary consideration is to fund projects and programs whose goal is capital improvements that serve to protect, restore, or conserve sites of exceptional cultural, historic, or natural significance; or the education of local host communities and the travelling public about conservation and preservation of sites of exceptional cultural, historical, or natural significance.
The 2007 Worldwide Grant Program goals for grantmaking call for a balanced distribution to U.S. and non-U.S. recipients. Based on merit and availability of funds, grants of up to $100,000 each will be considered.
To be eligible, U.S.-based organizations must have nonprofit,
tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status; non-U.S.-based organizations must have
status equivalent to the U.S. 501(c)(3).
Visit the Tourism Cares Web site for complete program information.
Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 283
Friday 8th June 2007
eX treme heritage:
managing heritage in the face of climatic extremes, natural disasters and military conflicts
in tropical, desert,polar and off-world landscape
2007 Australia ICOMOS National Conference,
Cairns, Far North Queensland July 19-21 .
The Best in Heritage © • Dubrovnik • Croatia
Under the patronage of ICOM, UNESCO (BRESCE), Europa Nostra, ICOMOS, ICCROM, WFFM and the City of Dubrovnik
The Best in Heritage 2007 with Dubrovnik Global Heritage Forum
27-29 September 2007 (6th year)
To participate, please register at: www.thebestinheritage.com/event/registration.php
2007 programme at: www.thebestinheritage.com/event/programme.php
Details about Poster Session at: www.thebestinheritage.com/event/poster.php
Contact us at email@example.com should you have any questions.
PUT EXCELLENCE, HERITAGE AND DUBROVNIK ON YOUR AGENDA!
Australia ICOMOS Secretariat
Cultural Heritage Centre for the Asia and the Pacific
Faculty of Arts
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, Victoria 3125
Ph: 61 3 9251 7131
Fax: 61 3 9251 7158
6 Job vacancies
Rio Tinto Seeks Community Relations Professionals
Rio Tinto discovers, mines, processes and supplies a wide range of metals and minerals that are essential to humanity and to the improvement of living conditions for communities throughout the world. Our operations and activities are located worldwide: in Australia, North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. Our major products include aluminium, copper diamonds, energy products, gold, industrial minerals (borates titanium dioxide, salt and talc), and iron ore.
The company is seeking four community relations professionals for its North American team community relations team. These positions will contribute to the development and practice of the Rio Tinto Group community relations policies, corporate assurance, site support and technical advice in North America, with an emphasis on partnership with First Nations and Native Americans in the USA and Canada.
We offer an unparalleled opportunity to grow and establish a global career. Rio Tinto offers a competitive compensation and benefits package.
• Community Relations Advisors – Kennecott Exploration: Vancouver, BC, Canada & Salt Lake City, UT, USA
As part of the Rio Tinto group, Kennecott Exploration is responsible for the Group’s mineral exploration in North and Central America. The Community Relations Advisors will serve as the principal community liaisons for Kennecott Exploration projects in the USA and Canada. The Advisors will develop strong, positive relationships with the communities and stakeholders with which the company interacts; develop and manage community programs; and contribute to the development and updating of community relations policies and guidance notes.
Successful candidates will have core skills in stakeholder analysis, community consultation, and community development, including enterprise development. Experience working with First Nations and Native American groups is desirable, in addition to skills in NGO and government liaison and agreement making.
Qualified candidates should have at least five years experience in community relations in an extractive industry (mining, oil & gas, and/or forestry); and demonstrated understanding of relevant public policy, community consultation, stakeholder analysis, and community development issues. Both positions will require frequent domestic travel and occasional international travel.
• Community Relations Advisor, Canada
• Community Relations Advisor, USA
Rio Tinto Corporate Communications & External Relations – Americas
• Senior Advisor, Native Communities
• Community Relations Advisor
• Senior Advisor, Native Communities
Rio Tinto is seeking a senior advisor in North American native communities to join its corporate Communications and External Relations team. The Native Communities Senior Advisor will provide expertise to mine sites and business units on engagement, collaboration and partnership with Alaska Native and Native American communities in the United States, and First Nations communities in Canada. The role will lead in developing expertise in culturally appropriate engagement, cultural mediation and training, cultural heritage management, and direct agreement making with native communities. The Senior Advisor will contribute to the development and implementation of Rio Tinto’s community relations policy, standards and guidance notes, especially in the areas of resource development on indigenous lands, human rights, and economic development.
Qualified candidates will have 10+ years of experience in North American First Nations, Alaska Native and / or Native American community development; experience with extractive sector issues (mining, oil & gas and/or forestry); expert knowledge of the history, current circumstance and aspirations of native peoples in North America; and working knowledge of North American native community decision-making processes, governing institutions and social structures.
Location of this position is negotiable, but the role will require time in Salt Lake City, Utah. The position will require frequent domestic travel and occasional international travel.
• Community Relations Advisor
As part of the Rio Tinto Communications and External Relations – Americas team, the Community Relations Advisor will work in partnership with Rio Tinto mine sites and business units throughout the Americas to develop and implement long- and short-term community relations strategies. This will include strategies for community engagement, local employment, local supply development, social investment and programs to align and build competencies in community relations expertise.
Qualified candidates will have 3 -5 years experience in community relations and / or community development; hands-on experience working with communities on development, extractive, and/or enterprise development issues in the USA, Canada or Latin America; fluency in Spanish required, fluency in Portuguese preferred; strong verbal communications and interpersonal skills; ability to deal with people at all levels, both internally and externally; ability to work effectively in a team environment.
This position is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
How to Apply:
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to:
Sharon Flynn, Principal Advisor, Community Relations