World Archaeological Congress


Newsletter: Volume 27 April 2009

Contributions to the next WAC Newsletter due 18th May 2009

Archaeologists Without Borders Workshop

Report on the website of the World Archaeological Congress

Archaeologies of Art Podcast Series Launched!

Call for WAC members to nominate Indigenous people

World Archaeological Congress honors Larry Zimmerman

Dr Andree Rosenfeld

Recommendation on ERA Draft Quality Ranking

WAC-6 Media Releases

WAC-6 Closing Ceremony Speech

Portuguese WAC-6 Media Releases

German WAC-6 Media Releases

Spanish WAC-6 Media Releases

Turkish WAC-6 Media Releases

Czech. WAC-6 Media Release on Iran



Ramallah August 2009

Overcoming Structural Violence

Ramallah, West Bank
August 8-13, 2009

Click here to view a PDF flyer

Arabic flyer


True to its foundational principles, the World Archaeological Congress will hold its first “Middle East” meeting to focus on the powerful relationship between archaeology, heritage and politics.  The archaeology of the West Bank and its surrounding region is enormously significant as the location where the three monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- all trace their origins.  Yet the archaeological and cultural heritage of this region suffers constant and extensive damage from political and ideological struggles to control the region. 

Today as Palestine moves closer to official statehood, WAC decries the often destructive politics that define Israeli-Palestinian relationships.  We note the on-going damage to the archaeological record but also the potential of a shared cultural heritage to build towards peace.   We call for participation in this strategic InterCongress to demonstrate how archaeology can serve political ends for the greater good.  

The focus of this InterCongress is on structural violence: the insidious structures and the stark inequalities that perpetuate conflicts.  Structural violence is built into western countries' relations with much of the rest of the world, preventing most non-western countries from becoming economically and culturally 'equal' to the West.  Often structural violence is hidden and works without overt physical infringement, making it all the more effective.

As anthropologists, archaeologists, cultural heritage professionals, and concerned local community members, we ask what role archaeological and cultural heritage research has in overcoming these 'in-built' obstacles?  Must we engage against structural violence outside of archaeological practice, or can archaeological practice confront and impact the ravages of structural violence?

Sessions and panels will be held on August 9th and 10th.  August 11th and 12th are reserved for workshops, ‘hands on’ experiences and tours of the region by regional cultural heritage non-government organizations. Closing sessions and consideration of InterCongress resolutions will take place on August 13th.