Deadline for Submission: Thursday 9 February 2023, 23:59 CET
Session title: Archaeology and Conflict: Thinking Outside the Box
Damaging archaeological remains, sites, or facilities is by no means a recent phenomenon and has been taking place in conflict zones and spheres for centuries. Destruction of archaeology is not limited to specific geographical areas or to any particular pasts and so can include many contexts, forms of damage, intentions, and aftermaths. We argue that conflict should be understood in broad terms, not simply as military actions but also structural violence and the long-term and naturalized outcomes of settler colonialism.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, destruction of cultural heritage has become a major characteristic of violent conflict, from wars of mass destruction to colonial practices. We wish to consider - what are the overlooked outcomes of violent conflict? Violent destruction has the potential to provide cultural memory with incidents that can be later materialized and memorialized, for good or ill. The destruction of some forms of cultural heritage can also allow for new discoveries, particularly in multi-layered cosmopolitan areas, that can enrich historic records and understandings of place. Less often explored, is the treatment of the material world in the aftermath of violent conflicts, which includes, often politicized attempts to remove or direct material survivals to hide or obfuscate the roles of protagonists as part of the post/conflict ‘normalization’ processes.
This session invites contributions to ‘think outside the box’ regarding how we study violent conflict and consider how it influences archaeology as a discipline, its practices, and methodologies, and simultaneously how we can help develop approaches to working with archaeology in the aftermath of wars. We welcome papers discussing theories, methods and case studies connecting archaeology and heritage in conflict across the world, including creatively imagining future ways to improve archaeological practices in post/conflict contexts.
Destruction of archaeology, Colonialism, Heritage, Post/conflict, Cultural memory
Nour A. Munawar - Doha Institute for Graduate Studies & Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (Qatar)
Laura McAtackney - University College Cork (Ireland) & Aarhus University (Denmark)