New Orleans, LA
Volatility has recently grown to define not only political realities in the Middle East, but also changing attitudes towards cultural heritage. In such countries as Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Libya overwhelming levels of instability have already resulted in alarming levels of damage and destruction. Political dynamics in all countries of the Middle East greatly affect attitude towards cultural heritage, as how remains of ancient cultures are viewed play an integral role in notions of national identity. Legal frameworks aim at maintaining permanent bearings on the protection and the management of cultural heritage. As such, attitudes towards cultural heritage stand out as essential to political strategies in defining and redefining identity. In such politically dynamic environments, both foreign and local archaeologists strive at aligning their research perspectives with the recurrently redefined procedures and the expectations of governments, in addition to responding to local cultural and social dynamics of the regions, in which they carry out fieldwork. These efforts are made manifest in archaeological fieldwork, including surveys and excavations, as well as in conservation and restoration projects and museum studies. This session aims at generating informative discourse among specialists and researchers working in different countries. It further aspires to create a constructive platform for effectively responding to nation-specific needs and requirements within an internationally suitable framework in the ever-changing political environments of distinct nations.