WAC April 2008 eNewsletter – Volume 21


Volume 21 April 2008

Click here to download PDF

1. Executive News

There is a lot happening at the moment.  Apart from our normal activities, the WAC Council elections are about to be held, we are engaging in strategic planning, we have put out a call for bids for WAC-7, the membership only section of the web site is now operational —and WAC-6 is almost upon us!   Goodness.

Strategic Planning
WAC’s multiple activities and strong growth over recent years has firmly positioned us as a major organisation in global archaeology. These achievements are largely due to the unrelenting commitment and determination of people engaged in WAC committees. However, we are now at a stage where it is no longer viable for everything to be done by volunteers in their spare time.  We are really at a point where we have to make some decisions on how we are going to sustain what we have built, without undue personal cost to members of the next Executive.  We are also at a point where we need to be seriously thinking about how we plan to further our professional development as an organization.

One of the issues we need to address is that of our relationships with other organizations.  We have established relationships with publishers and funding bodies, but we are also approached by other organisations, ranging from Indigenous organisations and NGOs to universities and multi-national companies, who wish to develop some form of collaborative engagement. As it stands, we have no policy for engaging with other organisations, and no formal procedures for initiating or responding to these kinds of engagements. Currently, WAC engagements occur in an ad hoc and reactive manner, rather than being part of a strategic plan for the furthering of WAC’s overall goals. 

In October, 2007 a two day meeting was held between WAC and representatives of the mining company, Rio Tinto. This meeting was initiated by Rio Tinto, which was seeking to explore the possibility of a relationship between WAC and Rio Tinto, with the goal of improving Rio Tinto cultural heritage management capacity and performance. We decided that any decision for WAC to undertake a relationship with a transnational should be taken by the WAC Council in WAC-6, and that the Executive would explore ways in which WAC could enhance its capacity to make informed decisions on engagements with external organizations.  Subsequently, we applied to Rio Tinto for sponsorship to enhance our capacity to make informed decisions about any external engagements WAC might undertake.  We received the funding, and WAC has engaged two independent consultants to work on the project, Sarah Dyer and Paul Saeki.

In March, 2008, we held a two-day workshop on strategic planning at Vancouver, immediately prior to the SAA meeting, which was facilitated by Sarah Dyer.  Workshop attendees included key members of the WAC Executive and Ethics Committee. The aim of the workshop was to map out some of the options and possible directions that will allow WAC to build upon past successes, sustain growth and increase the volume and diversity of activities in tune with our core values.  Our first step was to develop a draft for our own principles to guide any form of external engagement.  Sarah and Paul are working with us to develop a range of options and procedures.  There will be another workshop on strategic planning immediately prior to WAC-6, on 25th and 26th June.  The recommendations of the workshop will then be forwarded to the WAC Council, which will forward its recommendations to the Assembly that meets during WAC-6. 

WAC Council elections
Nominations for the WAC Council elections have been received.  Peter Stone will be in touch with members in those regions where elections need to be held.  In those cases where we did not receive nominations for a vacant position, we are holding discussions with people within the region.  It is possible that we will do another call for nominations for vacant positions.

The outcome of WAC Council elections will be announced on the WAC list, and posted on the WAC website. 

The new WAC Council will have its first meeting during WAC-6, and will meet for a full day following WAC-6, on 5th June, so people standing for a position on the Council are asked to make their travel arrangements so that they can be in Dublin for the post WAC-6 meeting.  Members of the current Council have been asked to arrive in Dublin on 24th June, so that they can participate in a strategic planning workshop and Council meeting prior to WAC-6.

WAC Executive elections
Elections for Officer positions on the WAC Executive will be held during WAC-6.  People who are considering standing for one of these positions are advised to contact the person currently holding this position in order to get a sense of what is involved.  WAC is a member organization, with no permanent staff, so holding a position on the WAC Executive or Council involves serious responsibilities and time commitments.

WAC Assembly at WAC-6
For those who are not fully aware of WAC’s governance structure, the Assembly is the principal policy-making body of WAC.  It consists of: a] one National Representative from each country which is represented at the Congress, selected by the individual members from that country attending that Congress; b] any member of the Council who is not a country representative. The Assembly’s tasks are to:

  • decide all matters relating to policy;
  • elect the officers of WAC; and
  • determine the venue and organisation of future International Congresses.

Members who are attending WAC-6 should consider standing as their country’s representative on the WAC Assembly.  Elections for these positions will be held on the second day of the Congress.  Information about these elections and meetings of the Assembly and Council will be included in the conference materials.  If anyone wants more information on this prior to the Congress they should look up the Statutes, which are on the WAC website.

WAC booth at the SAA
The Vice-President of WAC, Larry Zimmerman, organised a WAC booth at the annual conference of the Society for American Archaeology.  The booth was staffed by WAC members continually.  Also, some WAC products that were organised by Joan Gero were on display at this year’s, and looked great! These items will be for sale at WAC-6.   Our thanks to Larry and all WAC members who staffed the SAA booth this year.

WAC submissions to governments
WAC has done two submissions to national governments in the last few weeks.  One of these was invited comment on a discussion paper about Australia and the World Heritage Committee. Our principal recommendation here was for an increase in training programs, especially in those countries which are under-represented in World Heritage listings, to provide a solid platform for World Heritage nominations and the protection of World Heritage properties. Our second submission was to the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Konstantinos Karamanlis. We expressed our strong opposition to the development proposed by the British company Minoan Group in the archaeologically rich uninhabited north-east corner of Crete, called Cavo Sidero, and asked Mr Karamanlis to instigate appropriate study of this archaeologically rich region of Greece. Both of these submissions are on the WAC website.

Launch of members-only section of the web site
We are very pleased to announce the launch of the first phase of the WAC members area on the WAC website.  All current WAC members will receive email notification in the coming days asking them to log onto th
e site.

The members area will have a number of different interfaces for members to use including the WAC forum to post news, announcements and discussions relevant to WAC, archaeology and cultural heritage management.  We encourage WAC members to use this forum rather than the WAC mailing list for discussions.

Also, members will be able to access to electronic copies of our journal, Archaeologies and to other Springerlink documents, as well as other documents posted by WAC Council and the Executive.  There are closed sections of the site for Executive and for the Council, and this will facilitate easier operations in the future, especially in regards to the management of documents.

Other features currently being constructed for this part of the web site include a database of funding sources for members to access as well as a photo gallery system, which will be made available for members to use to post photos of current activities, including seminars, projects and social events.

For some people the launch of this section of the web site may seem like a relatively small thing, but it has taken a great deal of work to develop. The Executive is particularly grateful to Paul Saeki, Ines Domingo and Timo Bishop, who worked together to design and construct this section of our web site.

All the best,

Claire Smith, for the Executive

2. WAC News

Dear Colleagues,

We thank you for all your help and understanding whilst we have been finalising the paper placement and timetable – what turned out to be a very complex task. In keeping with WAC’s ethos of inclusivity and equality an important part of this process was rehousing the 100s of papers submitted independent of particular sessions, and those redirected by session organisers during the paper review.

We note that not all authors have registered and paid yet. Papers where the lead author has not registered and paid / been offered travel support, or nominated a registered presenter by MAY 6th will be removed from the Programme.

You can now browse and search the programme on our website via the Programme page. This will allow you to search for particular papers and sessions, and see on which day they are scheduled.

Due to demand, we are announcing a daily registration option via the Registration page of our website. Please note that there are only 50 places available per day. The daily registration rate is E125 for WAC members & E150 for non-members. This could not be announced until the timetable was finalised and funding was secured to compensate for the effect of daily registration on the Congress budget. The decision was not undertaken lightly, and aims to facilitate participation. However, WAC’s primary aim remains the encouragement full and diverse participation throughout the week of the Congress, and supporting the attendance of over 260 participants from economically disadvantaged and indigenous communities.

Anyone availing of daily registration should check which day they are scheduled to present their paper(s) before registering. Due to the complexity of the timetable, we cannot reschedule papers to facilitate one day registration for anyone presenting 2 papers on different days. For all registration queries please contact wac6@ucd.ie

We thank you again for all your patience, and greatly look forward to seeing you in Dublin for this exciting Congress!

With best wishes,
WAC-6 Programme Committee


Mid-week tour to Newgrange during WAC-6

Michael Fox advises readers to visit: www.newgrange.com for details about Ireland’s Newgrange, an ancient temple mound over 5000 years old.

3. New publications by WAC members

Michael A. Cremo, an independent historian of archeology living in Los Angeles, USA, recently published his paper “Excavating the eternal: an indigenous archaeological tradition in India” in Antiquity (March 2008, 82: 178-188). Previously presented at the WAC Intercongress in Jamaica in 2007, the paper begins with the introduction: “Archaeological investigation in India begins conventionally with the interest of Europeans. But India’s own historical texts reveal examples of indigenous, curiousity-driven fieldwork as early as the sixteenth century. Describing the systematic search for lost sacred images and sites in places associated with Krishna’s earthly pastimes, the author makes a spirited case for regarding this activity as real archaeology, comparing it with today’s heritage projects.” In a paper to be presented at the WAC6 in Dublin, Michael will explore the relationship of this sixteenth-century indigenous archaeological activity with sacred tourism.

Stella G. Souvatzi’s monograph titled, A Social Archaeology of Households in Neolithic Greece, an Anthropological Approach, has been published by Cambridge University in the Cambridge Studies in Archaeology Series in April 2008.

The study of households and everyday life is increasingly recognized as fundamental in social archaeological analysis. This book is the first to address the household as a process and as a conceptual and analytical means through which we can interpret social organization from the bottom up. Using detailed case studies from Neolithic Greece, Stella Souvatzi examines how the household is defined socially, culturally, and historically; she discusses household and community, variability, production and reproduction, individual and collective agency, identity, change, complexity, and integration. Her study is enriched by an in-depth discussion of the framework for the household in the social sciences and the synthesis of many anthropological, historical, and sociological examples. It reverses the view of the household as passive, ahistorical, and stable, showing it instead to be active, dynamic, and continually shifting.

1. The household in the social sciences
2. The household as process in a social archaeology
3. The Neolithic of Greece
4. The ideal and the real: the examples of Early Neolithic Nea Nikomedeia and Middle Neolithic Sesklo
5. Complexity is not only about hierarchy: Late Neolithic Dimini, a detailed case study in household organisation
6. Homogeneity or diversity? Households as variable processes
7. Evolution or contingency? Households as transitional processes
8. Household and beyond: implications and prospects for social archaeology

4. News Items


Project Title: “Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage: Theory, Practice, Policy, Ethics”

Prepared by: Dr. George Nicholas, Project Director, Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser University

Indigenous peoples, scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers are increasingly faced with dilemmas about rights, responsibilities and access to intellectual products associated with cultural heritage including research data, and use of artifact and site images. George Nicholas, Professor of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University, will be leading an international collaboration of 50 researchers and 25 partnering organizations from Canada, Australia, United States, New Zealand, South Africa, German, England, and Finland, working to explore and facilitate fair and equitable exchanges of knowledge relating to archaeology and cultural heritage. The project team has just received an award of $2.5 million from the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives program of Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The 7-year project was co-developed by Nicholas, Dr. Julie Hollowell (Indiana University) and Dr. Kelly Bannister (University of Victoria). The team will identify a range of intangible cultural heritage, intellectual property (IP) and ethical concerns faced by
researchers, communities, and others, and use this information to generate ideas for norms of good practice and theoretical insights on the nature of knowledge, IP and culture-based rights. The results will assist archaeologists, academic institutions, descendant communities, scholars, policy makers, and other stakeholders in negotiating more equitable and successful terms of research and heritage policies in the future.

Project Contact Information

Dr. George Nicholas
Director, Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) Project

Website: http://www.sfu.ca/IPinCulturalHeritage/
E-Mail: ipinch@sfu.ca

Office: 778-782-5709
Fax: 778-782-5666

Department of Archaeology
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6

Towards an inclusive Plan for the Restoration & Conservation of the important Heritage Site of Lixus, Morocco
2008 – 2013

In 2005 the Dutch Foundation Common Ground, in cooperation with the Ministère des Affaires Culturelles (Morocco) and the Centre for International Heritage Activities (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) initiated a plan for an international project to conserve, restore, safeguard and promote knowledge of the important archaeological site of Lixus on the north west coast of Morocco. Lixus is endangered because of the large-scale tourist development planned for the region over the next decade.

Lixus was founded in the 12th Century BC and was inhabited by the Greeks, Romans and Amazigh people for many centuries. The site was abandoned and has remained uninhabited since the Seventh Century. In 1995, Lixus was proposed for World Heritage listing.

As the local and national government institutions in Morocco have no capacity to initiate such a program on their own, the Dutch partners were welcomed to develop a strategy for the conservation and restoration of Lixus and the development of a museum in Larache. The program will lead to a long lasting relationship between The Netherlands and Morocco in terms of knowledge exchange about cultural heritage.

For more information, please have a look at www.heritage-activities.nl

New From Left Coast Press, Inc. WAC members receive a 20% discount on hardcovers and a 30% discount on paperbacks (insert discount code L187 at checkout)

From the World Archaeological Congress Research Handbooks in Archaeology…

Envisioning Landscape: Perspectives and Politics in Archaeology and Heritage

Dan Hicks, Laura McAtackney, and Graham Fairclough, eds.
JUST RELEASED! Published March 2008, 400 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
ISBN 978-1-59874-281-7
A primary characteristic of landscape archaeology is the diversity of its regional traditions, which reveals a range of methods, field locations, disciplinary influences and contemporary voices. Drawing together perspectives from New York to Northern Ireland, from West Africa to the Mediterranean, and from central Europe to Zanzibar, this volume explores the many different ways in which landscapes are envisaged in world archaeology and world heritage. The volume demonstrates how landscape archaeologies can be used to highlight both the different material situations and the alternative political standpoints from which archaeologists work in the contemporary world.

From the One Word Archaeology Series…

Living under the Shadow: Cultural Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions
John Grattan and Robin Torrence, eds.
JUST RELEASED! Published March 2008, 416 pages, $79.00 Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-59874-268-9

Popularist treatments of ancient disasters like volcanic eruptions have grossly overstated their capacity for death, destruction, and societal collapse. Contributors to this volume– from anthropology, archaeology, environmental studies, geology, and biology — show that human societies have been incredibly resilient and, in the long run, have often recovered remarkably well from wide scale disruption and significant mortality. They have often used eruptions as a trigger for environmental enrichment, cultural change, and adaptation. These historical studies are relevant to modern hazard management because they provide records for a far wider range of events and responses than have been recorded in written records, yet are often closely datable and trackable using standard archaeological and geological techniques.

These titles from the One Word Archaeology Series should be available at WAC-6 in Dublin:

Archaeologies of Art: Time, Place, and Identity

Inés Domingo Sanz, Dánae Fiore, and Sally K. May, eds Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59874-264-0

Underwater and Maritime Archaeology in Latin America and the Caribbean
Margaret E. Leshikar-Denton and Pilar Luna Erreguerena, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59874-262-6

Landscapes of Clearance
Amy Gazin-Schwartz and Angele Smith, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
ISBN 978-1-59874-266-4

Kennewick Man: Perspectives on the Ancient One
Heather Burke, Claire Smith, Dorothy Lippert, Joe Watkins, and Larry Zimmerman, eds
Coming Soon! Expected publication June 2008, 320 pages
ISBN 978-1-59874-347-0

To order or for more information on additional WAC-sponsored titles, visit our website at:
For more information, contact Caryn Berg at archaeology@LCoastPress.com

5 (a)  SALON

Salon 187: 28 April 2008
Editor: Christopher Catling

Third International Congress on Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA3)

Under the patronage of UNESCO, the Third International Congress on Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA3) will be held in London from 9 to 12 July 2008. Organised by the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS), the Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA) and the Institute of Archaeology University College London (UCL), and supported by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives of NAS, IFA, UCL, DEGUWA, DAI, HWTMA, GSU, Verband der Landesarchaologen, English Heritage and Historic Scotland, IKUWA3 will be the largest conference on underwater archaeology ever held in Britain. More than 120 papers will be delivered on topics as diverse as ‘Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology’; ‘Traditional Indian Boat Carpentry’; ‘Fresh Water Archaeology’; ‘Maritime Landscapes’; ‘Managing Underwater Cultural Heritage’; and ‘The Ethics and Economics of Recovering Material from the Sea’.

For more information, please visit the IKUWA3 website

Salon 186: 14 April 2008

Draft Heritage Protection Bill

The draft Heritage Protection Bill for England and Wales was published on 2 April 2008, and comments are being invited as part of the process of pre-legislative scrutiny (for copies, see the DCMS website). The draft Bill itself contained few surprises, as the new legislative framework that it describes has been well trailed and was the subject of lengthy and extensive consultation.

Beneath the Stonehenge turf

No human remains were found in the historic excavations at Stonehenge that Geoff Wainwright, and Tim Darvill hav
e just completed.  However, Stonehenge now has an entirely new phase: the excavation found robber trenches containing late prehistoric and early Roman pottery. It is not yet clear whether this represents simple quarrying, curiosity, or some form of ritual reuse of the site, but it adds a further chapter to the Stonehenge story.  Tim believes that this Iron Age/Roman activity might well represent people coming back to Stonehenge to find chunks of bluestone left in the ground from earlier phases of the monument, which would confirm the idea that bluestone is held to be special, celebrated and re-used many times over.

Video interviews and coverage of the excavation can be found on the BBC website and on the English Heritage website.

Salon 185: 31 March 2008

Draft Heritage Protection Bill

A milestone in heritage protection reform was to be reached on 2 April 2008 with the publishing in draft form of the new Heritage Protection Bill for England and Wales. The overall aim of the bill is to put in place a unified heritage protection system, remove the distinctions between different designation regimes and deliver a system that works for the whole historic environment, maximising opportunities for public involvement. Specific measures include a statutory requirement for local authorities to have access to Historic Environment Records, and the revocation of Class I Consents, permitting the destruction of sites under cultivation.

5 (b)  ICOMOS Australia

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 332

Society for American Archaeology – abstracts for 2009 meeting

Society for American Archaeology
SAA 74th Annual Meeting
April 22 – April 26, 2009

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Abstract Deadline September 10, 2008

The abstract submission system for SAA’s 2009 annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia (April 22-26) is now available on SAAweb!  

Access the web-based system by visiting the SAAweb homepage at www.saa.org and clicking the “2009 Annual Meeting Submissions” button on the right-hand side of the page, or link directly from this email to:


The deadline for submissions for Atlanta is September 10, 2008.

Tobi A. Brimsek
Executive Director

Opportunity to contribute to restoration of the PNG Old House of Assembly

PNG’s Minister of Culture and Tourism and the Director of the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery are seeking the assistance of interested parties in the restoration work of the PNG Old House of Assembly.

For further information, please email Michael Kisombo, mkisombo@hotmail.com.


Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 331

VIIIth Conference on Military Monuments – new deadline for submitting paper extracts

THEME: “Sea Coast Fortification: from the onset to modern times”

New deadline for submitting paper extracts: 31 MAY 2008

27-29 November 2008, The Algarve University, Faro, Algarve, Portugal

The Conference on Military Monuments has been promoted by the Portuguese Association of the Castle’s Friends since 1982 with seven editions since then.

In celebration of the Castle’s Friends 25th anniversary, the VIIIth Conference is brought to an International level that is reflected in the theme’s choice: “Sea Coast fortification: from the onset to modern times”. This theme will permit the presentation of a wide variety of situations and pave the way to an international debate about the future of this type of fortification.

For more information, visit

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 330

MayDay! MayDay! MayDay!

MayDay aims to raise awareness about disaster preparedness and to encourage people to perform at least one disaster-preparedness task in May each year. There are many types of emergencies that we can be better prepared for, from the potential impact of faulty electrical wiring in the building next door, to bushfires, cyclones or even internal or external floods.

The MayDay concept originated with the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 2006. Heritage Preservation (HP) partners with the SAA to promote MayDay and to provide some useful learning resources for American organisations.

The May/June 2007 issue of the SAA newsletter Archival Outlook contained an article titled ‘MayDay Focuses on Emergency Preparedness’ which described some of the activities undertaken by organisations across America for their annual MayDay campaign. Please see: http://www.archivists.org/periodicals/ao_backissues/AO_May-June07.pdf . The article also welcomed the “land Down Under” to the initiative in 2007. It is the Australian committee for the Blue Shield that promotes the MayDay concept in Australia.

What is the Blue Shield?

The Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is the symbol specified in the 1954 Hague Convention for marking cultural sites to give them protection from attack in the event of armed conflict. It is also the name of an international committee set up in 1996 to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters.

Blue Shield Committees around the globe comprise four international cultural heritage ‘pillar’ bodies –

International Council on Archives (ICA);
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS);
International Council of Museums (ICOM); and
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

In Australia, these pillar bodies are represented respectively as follows: Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA); Australia ICOMOS; ICOM Australia; Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

International Conference VSMM 2008 – Call for Papers/Participation

Digital Heritage: Our Hi-tech-STORY for the Future

Technologies to Document, Preserve, Communicate, and Prevent the Destruction of our Fragile Cultural Heritage

October 20–26, 2008
Limassol, Cyprus

You are kindly invited to submit a paper to the VSMM 2008 joint conference which will provide an opportunity to exchange research results, opinions, experiences and proposals on the best practice and hi-tech tools from Information and Communications Technology to document, preserve, manage and communicate Cultural Heritage (CH). The main goal of the event is not only to illustrate the programs underway but also excellent work wherever it is located and however it is supported, in order to promote a common approach to the tasks of
e-documentation of World Cultural Heritage. Furthermore, regional capacities in the area of Cultural Heritage and IT will be facilitated in advancing their know-how through the exchange of information and generation of new ideas and cooperation’s, where the world meets the finger prints of several ancient civilizations on earth.

To reach this ambitious goal the topics covered will include experiences in the use of innovative recording technologies & methods and how to
take best advantage to integrate the results obtained to build up new tools and/or experiences as well as improved methodologies for documenting, managing and communicating CH.

The VSMM 2008 joint event will focus on interdisciplinary and multi- disciplinary research concerning both cutting edge Cultural Heritage Informatics and use of technology for the representation, documentation, preservation, archiving and communication of CH knowledge. The scope includes every phase of CH information technology: initial data capture/digitization, information/data processing, reconstruction, visualization and documentation as well as dissemination of results to the scientific and cultural heritage communities and to the general public (Multilingua, Multimedia Digital Library). We are also interested in aspects of the wider legal and ethical responsibilities of Cultural Heritage Informatics. Research subjects parallel the interests of VSMM, CIPA, ISPRS and EuroMed including culturally significant monuments, artefacts and sites as well as the activities of museums, libraries, archives, and organizations involved with their care.

For more information about the joint conference please visit http://www.vsmm2008.org/
or directly contact the chair of the event at: chairman@vsmm2008.org


Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 329

News from ICCROM


ATH R: Conservation and management of heritage sites in the Arab Region
Applications are now open for the course on Conservation and management of immovable cultural heritage’, to be held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates from 27 October – 4 December 2008.
Application deadline: 6 June 2008

Management Planning for Cultural Heritage
Applications are now open for the course on ‘Management Planning for Cultural Heritage’, to be held in Shanghai, China from 24 November – 6 December.
Application deadline: 1 June


Next issue: June 2008
Sue Nugent
Email: s.nugent@uq.edu.au