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7 Things You Should Know About ASOR’s Syrian Heritage Initiative

Beginning August 4, 2014, the American Schools of Oriental Research entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State to monitor, document, and report on cultural heritage damage in Syria.

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Heritage sites during Operation Iraqi Freedom Using Freedom of Information Act Requests

By: Levi Keach, University of Nevada, Las Vegas The research I presented at the recent ASOR Annual Meeting in Baltimore, “Heritage sites during Operation Iraqi Freedom Using Freedom of Information Act Requests,” is deeply entangled with my personal journey towards archaeology. While serving with the 1st Infantry Division in Baghdad during the Surge, I came to understand […]

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Figure 2: Courtesy of Debra Foran.

This Is Our City

The Question of Cultural Ownership  and Cultural Heritage on Madaba’s West Acropolis By: Debra Foran, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Wilfrid Laurier University The question of who owns the past is a difficult one to address.  There are often multiple stakeholders and the notion of a site’s importance for a global cultural heritage must […]

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The archaeological UAV and Morag Kersel.

Landscapes of the Dead

Landscapes of the Dead: Aerial and Pedestrian Site Monitoring at Fifa, an Early Bronze Age Cemetery on the Dead Sea Plain, Jordan By: Morag M. Kersel, Department of Anthropology, DePaul University The primary objective of the Landscapes of the Dead Research Project is to assess (through aerial photography and a pedestrian survey) the Early Bronze […]

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Who Owns This Part of the Past? The Cultural Heritage of Tall al-`Umayri, Jordan in Jeopardy

By: Douglas R. Clark, Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, La Sierra University Is culturally significant land private or public property? What happens when a major, signature archaeological site is owned privately? Who owns this part of the past? How does one resolve competing claims of ownership and use? Numerous archaeological sites in Jordan are privately […]

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Archaeology Weekly Roundup! 10-25-13

If you missed anything from the ASOR facebook or twitter pages this week, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some of this week’s archaeology news into one convenient post. If we missed any major archaeological stories from this week, feel free to let us know in the comment section! The Home of the Last Neanderthals 250,000 […]

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Archaeological Field Work in Egypt After the Revolution

By: James K. Hoffmeier, Trinity International University  On January 25, 2011 the Egyptian revolution that toppled the thirty-year dictatorial reign of Hosni Mubarak began. On February 11th, Mubarak resigned. While the political news gripped much of the world, reports of some looting in the Cairo museum surprised everyone. Though limited in scope, security was quickly […]

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A Toast to Our Fermented Past: Case Studies in the Experimental Archaeology of Alcoholic Beverages

By: Kevin M. Cullen  Archaeologists and historians are constantly in pursuit of the tangible human past, whether it is in the form of material culture or primary written sources.  This direct evidence of the past can still leave us disconnected from the full context in which the technology or writings were employed.  Therefore, one exciting […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Archaeology after the Arab Spring

By: Jesse Casana The transformative political events in the Middle East over the past two years have had, among many other unexpected outcomes, profound effects on the direction of research in Near Eastern archaeology.  War and civil unrest act as both a carrot and a stick, forcing the cessation of fieldwork in some areas, while […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Using Inscriptions from the Antiquities Market: Polarized Positions and Pragmatic Proposals

By: Christopher A. Rollston Archaeological sites in the Middle East have been ransacked, pillaged, and plundered for many decades. The motivations of the actual pillaging are normally economic: the pursuit of marketable artifacts. That is, the pillagers wish to find objects that can be sold to collectors. Of course, the motivations of the collectors who […]

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Wil Gafney: History Channel’s Satan and President Obama

By: Wil Gafney, Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. This entry is reblogged from Dr. Wil Gafney’s blog. You can find the original entry here and Dr. Gafney’s other posts on The Bible series here. Many viewers of the History Channel’s Bible mini-series saw and see a resemblance between the character […]

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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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Cultural Heritage Month Comes to an End

We have had a successful October here, with a great range of posts on cultural heritage projects, the idea of heritage itself, and current problems in the field. If you haven’t read them all already make sure you do. Check out the list of posts below with brief summaries of each. November 14-17 will be […]

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The Terms of Heritage

By: Kathryn McDonnell Specialized terminology, such as stake holders, the “universal museum,” provenance, or even the phrases, “cultural property” or “cultural heritage,” is often used during discussions between law enforcement professionals, such as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the US or the Carabinieri in Italy, diplomats (ICOMOS), lawyers, and scholars, including archaeologists. Although these terms […]

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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 […]

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Archaeological Conservation Strategies in the Near East, Fri. Nov. 16

By: Suzanne Davis and LeeAnn Barnes Gordon This year we are pleased to announce a new workshop session for the ASOR Annual Meeting, Archaeological Conservation Strategies in the Near East. Both conservators and archaeologists tend to present research within their own fields, effectively segregating the disciplines. But this year, thanks to ASOR, we have an […]

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