Today I started a new job in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester. For the next six months, I will be a Research Associate on the EAMENA project (‘Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa’) (see below), developing and designing pop-up exhibitions to travel seven different countries (possibly more!) in North Africa and the Middle East, with the aim of engaging people in their local heritage.
My part of the project builds on the work I did two years ago helping to create a similar pilot exhibition on the endangered heritage of Wadi Draa, which toured (and may still be touring!) various venues and locations in Morocco.
More about EAMENA:
Supported by the Arcadia Fund and the Cultural Protection Fund and based at the Universities of Oxford, Leicester, and Durham EAMENA was established in January 2015 to respond to the increasing threats to archaeological sites in the Middle East and North Africa. This project uses satellite imagery to rapidly record and make available information about archaeological sites and landscapes which are under threat.
EAMENA’s spatial database will provide the fundamental information for each site, including the level of risk and how each site relates to one another. It will be accessible to all heritage professionals and institutions with an interest and passion for the wonderfully rich and diverse archaeological heritage of the Middle East and North Africa. Not all damage and threats to the archaeology can be prevented, but they can be mitigated and so at the core of our project is the desire for excellence in heritage management. To this end, EAMENA works with relevant authorities on the ground to limit likely damage, share information and skills, strengthen networks and raise awareness. Fieldwork and outreach are essential components of the project and the EAMENA team will target investigations to the most threatened sites, visiting (where possible) to assess site conditions, make detailed records and liaise with national authorities to share data and findings.
Image: View of Palmyra from the bus, Syria, by Alessandra Kocman and used under a creative commons license.
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