The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre – 251 Faraday St, Carlton.
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 Upcoming Lecture and AGM – Thursday 15th of November, 2018.

Heritage in the Middle East: Responding to the Crisis

Presented by Associate Professor Andrew Jamieson
Academic, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne 

Conflict in the Middle East has unleashed an unimaginable wave of human suffering as well as an unprecedented period of heritage destruction. The appalling, deliberate and calculated devastation of cultural property in Syria and Iraq by the self-proclaimed Islamic State has stirred a widespread sense of horror within the media and general public. In responding to the destruction of cultural heritage, critics have reported on the failure of the international heritage community, which has focused on three types of responses: site documentation projects; public-awareness-raising projects; and emergency training and mitigation projects. The international community have placed a premium on obtaining information about the crisis and distributing it, rather than acting to ameliorate the conditions created by the crisis in whatever small way possible. According to some commentators, we have failed as an expert community if we do not demand something more. This paper examines two responses: 1) SHIRĪN International and 2) SHIRĪN Australia. SHIRĪN International (Syrian Heritage in Danger: An International Research Initiative and Network) was created at the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Basel in 2014: this presentation will provide an overview of the past activities, present projects and future plans of the SHIRĪN initiative. SHIRĪN Australia was formed shortly after SHIRĪN International and identified four primary tasks: this talk will document these actions.

Andrew Jamieson, Associate Professor in Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Melbourne, has extensive archaeological field experience and has worked at sites in Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. In the mid-1990s he was deeply involved in the UNESCO post-war salvage operations in Beirut. For ten seasons he was involved in the Australian salvage excavations at Tell Ahmar in northern Syria. Since 2005 he has curated over 20 exhibitions in the Classics and Archaeology Gallery at the Ian Potter Museum of Art. In 2014 he was invited to represent Australia on the Shirin international committee for Safeguarding and Protection of Syrian Heritage. In 2015 Andrew won the Barbara Falk Award for Teaching Excellence. He became the general editor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies in 2017. His research interests include ancient Near Eastern archaeology and archaeological collection management practices.


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