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Archaeology and Politics Archives - The ASOR Blog

The Generative Power of The Always-Yet-Never-Here Apocalypse

The funny thing about the apocalypse is that it has never happened, and yet it is always in our face and right around the corner. […]


Remembering Martin Bernal

Remembering Martin Bernal by Alex Joffe* Buried deep in the footnotes of Martin Bernal’s first volume of Black Athena is a reference to an undergraduate paper about the Sea Peoples. I no longer have a copy of that paper, nor do I remember what I wrote back in 1980. But as someone who took several […]


Archaeology in Lebanon Today: Its Politics and Its Problems

By: Hélène Sader Lebanon has a long and very rich past, but in spite of the country’s wealth of ancient settlements, compared to neighboring countries archaeological research is far behind. While in the last decades archaeological research has greatly enhanced our understanding of Syria’s, Jordan’s, and Palestine’s past, Lebanon appears to be lagging behind and […]


Sustainability at Any Price is not Sustainable: Open Access and Archaeology

By: Eric Kansa, UC Berkeley and OpenContext.org This blog post looks at the open access debate, and notes how sustainability is as much of an ideological and political question as it is a financial issue. It is intended to follow up on previous blog posts (first, second, third) that discuss how the Aaron Swartz prosecution […]


The Ancient Near East in Brazil and Argentina From the Origins of Research to the Present

By: Josué Berlesi Brazil and Argentina are not the first places you think of for ancient Near Eastern studies. But the story of ancient Near Eastern studies in these places is both interesting in its own right and says important things about education and culture in these countries. There are similarities between the discipline in […]


Ten Years after Iraq: Archaeology, Archaeologists, and U.S. Foreign Relations

By: Morag M. Kersel and Christina Luke Ten years ago, in April of 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq. This quickly toppled the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein but also resulted in the loss of life, local unrest, displacement, and the ransacking of cultural institutions, archives, libraries, and the national museum […]


Hand in Hand with Politics: The Challenges of Egyptian Studies in Serbia

By: Branislav Anđelković There is a saying that Balkans, sometimes rightly compared to a “powder keg”, is a place where the East offered a hand to the West but the West refused to shake it. The Balkan Peninsula is a land bridge between Europe and Asia, through which pass major cultural boundaries. The Balkans are […]


Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Egypt after Mubarak

By: Greg Williams Egypt’s January 25th revolution was originally seen as part of the larger “Arab Spring” across the Middle East where old political regimes were overthrown by popular protests and replaced by representative democracies. But on January 28th 2011, as chaos reigned in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, reports began circulating around the globe claiming that […]


ASOR and Archaeological Ethics

By: Lynn Swartz Dodd “There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it’s not really there.” —Bill McKibben What should American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) members do if new Dead Sea Scrolls are found? What if our country’s military actions increase uncontrolled looting of ancient sites? Or if war […]


The Cultural Afterlife of Mosaics in Turkey

By: Laurent Dissard, University of Pennsylvania Sensational discoveries of mosaics periodically make the headlines of newspapers in Turkey. After being discovered, unearthed, cleaned, and removed, these ancient floors slowly make their way to museums or private collections. For this month’s ASOR Blog on the Archaeology of Anatolia, I wish to examine the curious afterlife of mosaics […]

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Contested Heritage and the New Museum(s) in Diyarbakır

By: Laurent Dissard The southeastern provinces of Turkey will soon be home to a series of new, state-of-the-art, archaeology museums. Such buildings are being (or have already been) planned, constructed, remodeled, or expanded. The Gaziantep Museum, for instance, houses many of the Roman mosaics of Zeugma unearthed before the construction of the Birecik Dam. Other […]


Ossified Territory and Theaters of the Absurd: Personal Reflections on Taking Students beyond the River

By:  Elena D. Corbett, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College The views expressed here are those of the author. Please see the full disclaimer at the end of this essay. Quite by accident at what is still a fairly early point in my career, I have been at the helm of several study abroad opportunities […]


The Public Impact

At the Secondary Context I workshop,  Dr. Giorgio Buccellati spoke movingly of his commitment to the people who live in Mozan ( the village for which the tell that covers ancient Urkesh is named). He and his colleagues have collaborated with those who live in Mozan and work the land nearby to create an innovative program […]


On ‘Absalom’s Tomb’ in Jerusalem and Nephesh Monument Iconography: A Response to Jacobovici and Tabor by Robert Cargill

By: Robert R. Cargill (robert-cargill@uiowa.edu) Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies, The University of Iowa


Jodi Magness responds to the “New Jesus Discovery”

Professor Jodi Magness Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill As usual, the arrival of the Easter season this year is heralded by a sensational archaeological claim relating to Jesus. In March 2007, we learned from a TV documentary and accompanying book that the tomb of Jesus and his family had […]


Archaeology, Bible, Politics and the Media: Duke “Office Hours” with Professors Carol and Eric Meyers

Drawing on their decades of experience on archaeological digs in Israel, Duke University Professors Carol and Eric Meyers take questions from online viewers about the charged combination of archaeology, the Bible, politics and the news media, during an “Office Hours” conversation September 1, 2011. Learn more at http://www.dukeofficehours.com.


Archaeology in the News

Here are some links to recent news from the world of Archaeology! It looks like the artifacts in the Cairo museum are now being protected, but not all of them.  Here is an interesting YouTube video of the looting at the Cairo museum.   Other sites around Egypt need protecting as well. The preservation of […]


ASOR joins LCCHP and Other Organizations in Warning of Emergency in Egypt

The undersigned cultural heritage and archaeological organizations express their concern over the loss of life and injury to humans during the protests in Egypt this week. We support the desire of the Egyptian people to exercise their basic civil rights. We also share their concern about the losses to cultural heritage that Egypt has already […]


Misuse of Archaeology

Check out Robert Cargill’s post on the misuse of archaeology for evangelistic purposes.


WAC Ramallah Conference

Posted by Morag Kersel on behalf of the World Archaeological Conference 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 […]

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