The public hearing of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee on the renewal of the U.S.-Italy bilateral agreement took place in Washington D.C. on September 8, 200. AIA President Jane Waldbaum and Vice President for Professional Responsibilities, Malcolm Bell, III both attended and presented testimony on behalf of renewal. Links to PDFs of their letters to the committee are posted below.
The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) announces a new educational program first implemented earlier this year at the Marine Corps base at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. In the first four months some 2,000 troops en route to Iraq and Afghanistan have benefited from presentations on the archaeology, history and cultural heritage of the region by experts in the field.
The Hill of Tara is one of the most important archaeological sites in Ireland. In use since ca. 4000 B.C., at first as a burial ground and religious center, it was also a center of Irish kingship and a key medieval site. It stands in the midst of a larger landscape containing a wealth of related sites and monuments. Now, Tara and the surrounding landscape are threatened by a proposed major highway (the M3) that will cut through the landscape and divorce Tara from the related sites that surround it.
In response to ongoing looting of their archaeological and cultural heritage, the People's Republic of China has requested a bi-lateral agreement with the United States under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and implemented by the U.S. Cultural Property Implementation Act. The agreement was supported by the AIA and SAFE.
The unprecedented magnitude of the current plague of archaeological site destruction by looters in Iraq is documented in satellite images, aerial photographs taken by Coalition personnel, and in accounts by journalists and antiquities officials working in Iraq.
Despite the efforts of archaeologists and archaeological organizations, the street bond issue passed on November 2. Unless there is further action, the road through Petroglyph National Monument will go ahead. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.
The AIA has released a press release on the passage of the “Emergency Protection for Iraqi Cultural Antiquities Act of 2004”. The release is available in PDF format. Please distribute it to any interested individuals.
On September 9, 2004, as a response to recent information that controlled detonation of military ordnance near the important ancient and Early Islamic site of Hatra in Iraq will likely result in permanent damage to the site, AIA President Jane C. Waldbaum sent a message to Dr. Joseph Collins, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Col. Frank Romano, Department of Defense, and Mr. William Jeffrey, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy requesting that they take steps to ensure the protection of the site.
Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE), the volunteer group dedicated to increasing public awareness of the looting of cultural antiquities worldwide and the illicit antiquities trade, officially launches its new web site.
On March 4, the Senate passed legislation (S. 671) that gives the President the authority to impose restrictions to prevent the import into the United States of cultural materials that have been illegally removed from Iraq since August 1990. Enactment of this legislation is crucial to prevent cultural materials looted from Iraq’s cultural institutions from entering the United States and to help combat the looting of archaeological sites.
Help support the Site Preservation Program while ringing in the New Year with the 2014 AIA Calendar.
Take a look at the newly completed Umm el-Jimal Project!
The 2014 CHM Award goes to the Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Project for its excellent conservation work on these Anglo-Saxon artifacts.