WAC February 2009 eNewsletter – Volume 26


Volume 26 February 2009

Click here to download PDF

1. Executive News

Dear all,

Welcome to the first E-Newsletter of 2009.  Though it is early in the year, some programs have taken place already, or been developed, while others are planned for during the year.
The first thing we would like to do is to thank the editor of the newsletter, Suzanne Nugent, for her efficiency and patience with the various aspects of newsletter production.  After having produced this newsletter since 2007, Suzanne has decided to concentrate on completing her doctoral research.  The Executive is now calling for expressions of interest from people who might wish to consider taking on this voluntary task (see below).

Archaeologists without Borders 
The Archaeologists without Borders Program was run at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria 18-22 February. Professor Peter Schmidt (University of Florida, U.S.A.) presented the 9th Bassey Andah Memorial Lecture on the topic of African Archaeology and the Ancestors’, and participated in a workshop organised by WAC Vice-President, Professor C.A. Folorunso (University of Ibadan).  Feedback on the program has been very positive and a report will go on the WAC web site.

Report on the WAC Website
A report on the development of the members-only section of the WAC website has been posted on the web, and is included in this newsletter.  An enormous amount of work has gone into developing this part of the site.  We hope to have this operational in the next few weeks.

WAC Inter-Congress: Overcoming Structural Violence’
The WAC Inter-Congress ‘Overcoming Structural Violence’ will be held at Ramallah, West Bank, on August 8-13, 2009.  This Inter-Congress will focus on focus on the powerful relationship between archaeology, heritage and politics.  The archaeology of the West Bank and its surrounding region is particularly significant as the location where the three monotheistic faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—trace their origins.  Yet the archaeological and cultural heritage of this region suffers constant and extensive damage from political and ideological struggles to control the region.

Sessions and panels for this Inter-Congress will be held on August 9th and 10th.  August 11th and 12th are reserved for workshops, ‘hands on’ experiences and tours of the region by regional cultural heritage non-government organizations. Closing sessions and consideration of Inter-Congress resolutions will take place on August 13th.

Pacific Island Archaeology in the 21st Century Conference
WAC is supporting the ‘Pacific Island Archaeology in the 21st Century: Relevance and Engagement’ conference and an associated museum exhibit in Koror, Palau on July 1-3, 2009.  The Belau National Museum, the Palau Bureau of Arts and Culture and Garcia and Associates are hosting the conference.  It will examine how natural and cultural heritage studies and archaeology are relevant to the sociopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges facing contemporary and future societies in Pacific islands and present practical methods for encouraging and developing opportunities for community-based heritage preservation and management. Academics, governmental agencies, indigenous groups, and cultural resource professionals from Oceania, the Pacific Rim, and the U.S. will collaborate in a series of forums and symposia where interactive discussion is a key feature.  The web site for this conference is: www.pacificarchaeology2009.com, or www.worldarchaeologicalcongress.org/site/confer_affi.php

WAC Inter-Congress: Archaeology in Conflict

6-10 April 2010
Vienna International Center, UN-City, Vienna, Austria, EU

Powered by
the World Archaeological Congress and
the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield in cooperation with learned societies from all over the world

Organized by
Friedrich T. Schipper, University of Vienna, and Magnus T. Bernhardsson, University of Iceland & Williams College

Hosted by
the United Nations Youth and Student Association – Austria

More information coming soon.


WAC e-Newsletter Editorship
The WAC Executive is calling for expressions of interest from people who might like to take on the voluntary task of editing the WAC newsletter.  The editor puts the newsletter together for circulation every two months.  The position involves gathering and editing material representing the diverse interests of WAC members.  Duties include inviting WAC members to submit items for the newsletter, selecting extracts from three other newsletters and liaising with the WAC webmaster and Executive. The current editor, Suzanne Nugent, has provided detailed guidelines for the next person, and will mentor them in the production of their first issues.  Anyone interested in this position should email the WAC Secretary, Ines Domingo Sanz (Ines.Domingo@uv.es).

The Executive would like to express their gratitute to Suzanne for her assistance with the newsletter, which is a major form of communication between WAC governance and members.  We wish Suzanne all the best with her studies.


Claire Smith, for the Executive

2. WAC News

Report on the website of the World Archaeological Congress

Michael Ashley
Internet and Global Communications Task Force Chair
World Archaeological Congress

Several dimensions of the website for the World Archaeological Congress have been under review and development for the past 18 months. There are several factors that have resulted in the much needed changes taking much longer than anticipated or desired. This report outlines some of the plans, challenges, and steps we are taking to build out the website and communication tools in service of the WAC community.

Current State, brief history of the WAC Website
The WAC website has been volunteer managed and operated for as long as WAC has had a digital presence. In late 2003, a small Internet and Global Communications Taskforce was created after WAC-5 was held in Washington, DC. A web designer/programmer was contracted to create a new web presence for WAC in 2006 and the website underwent a thorough review and redesign. More than just a cosmetic makeover, all of the content in the site was scrutinized, and the overall user interface has been designed to be much more accessible and user friendly (and multi-lingual). The site launched on 4th August, 2006. Some of the key features included:
* New server – The main site was moved to a major web hosting company that provides substantial speed improvements.
* Standardized and easy-to-use navigation – the content of every section and page of the WAC website is accessible using the navigation panel on the left side of each page.
* News updates – The top WAC news stories are selectable on every page in the site.
* Multi-lingual support – Due to the simplified and standardized code structure, the site is easily translatable to other languages. Initially, we are using Babelfish to offer translation.

While the site has been stable and served us well for these past few years, it has been the intent of the Internet and Global Communications Taskforce to completely update the site to take advantage of several ‘Web 2.0’ features, and to make the site a true hub of communication for the WAC community.

In late 2007, a members area was established on the WAC site to offer surveys, a forum tool and access to the Springer journal, Archaeologies. However, the members section of the site was really set up as a temporary measure (primarily to offer up a secure link for the Springer journal) until such time as some budget could be found to make the formidable changes required for the transmogrification.

In 2008, Paul Saeki was contracted to assess and develop an overall communications plan for WAC, including reviewing the mailing list, members database, survey and forum capabilities. The members section of the WAC site: http://www.worldarchaeologicalcongress.org/members/
was fleshed out to include a survey tool, forum, documents management system, and several user access enhancements. A full report was submitted to the Executive in June, 2008.

WAC-6 and the Digital Heritage Working Group
At WAC-6, held in Dublin in July 2008, the Internet and Global Communications Taskforce held a set of public meetings solicit ideas for the WAC site, and to create a new group in service of WAC, the Digital Heritage Working Group. Over 50 people attended the meetings, and 36 people agreed to co-found the working group. Together, we worked on several resolutions to bring to the WAC plenary session, which were overwhelmingly approved. See the press release, here, http://www.worldarchaeologicalcongress.org/site/wacpress_07.php

The establishment of this group was essential in order to extend participation in the site development, but also in garnering interest and support for developing a digital community for WAC.

Immediately following WAC-6, plans to act on the feedback from the working group meetings were developed, modest funding approved, and work began. The plans include:
1.      Server migration and optimization
2.      Transition from static site to open source content management system, capable of multi-lingual and web accessibility support.
3.      Migration of members database to web-based, MySQL system
4.      Re-establishment of robust forum system
5.      Establishment of secure survey tool
6.      Integration of forum with mailing (discussion) list
7.      Additional members services, including the capability to list/browse job postings, browse/download WAC publications, and vote/participate in policy polls.

Since WAC-6, the Digital Heritage Working Group has been tasked with very little, and this is my (Michael Ashley) fault, primarily due to changing jobs twice since July. Apologies to the group for radio silence, but this will be changing very soon.

The Task Force would also like to apologize to the WAC Community generally, since we should have done a much better job communicating the work being done to develop our digital infrastructure, as well as the difficulties and delays.

Security, Usability, Transparency
I would like to take a moment to address the complexities of this undertaking, and the concerns that have been raised about the forums and discussion list, at least in terms of the technical plans for WAC communications, and related policies for information and privacy protection. Perhaps the most critical requirements for the new site architecture, and why we have been slow to launch the new site, are our commitments to security, usability and transparency.

Developing a roadmap and technical implementation plan to serve 3,000 members worldwide in over 20 languages is a challenging, especially for a volunteer group. We have always moved slowly and cautiously with major changes to the site, and this is our largest (although much needed) undertaking to date. As we progress, we have filtered our decision making progress by considering

* Security: User privacy is a paramount concern. Web-based databases and content management systems are constantly subject to malicious attack. To date, we’ve kept the members database offline for this reason, despite the inconveniences of maintaining online and offline versions of user information. We will still maintain sensitive information offline (financial, personal email and other contact info), but we are pleased to have expert support to facilitate the establishment of online user services.
* Usability: It would be easier to define a members-only silo, but we have opted for the more community-friendly approach of pushing as much of the site into the public domain as possible. We’ve needed to establish several levels of access to achieve this, and it is far from perfect. But, we hope that over the next year, the WAC site will become an enjoyable portal for the WAC community, including support in many languages, community contributed news stories, and a thriving online forum and discussion lists.
* Transparency: The current WAC architecture lacks even basic tools for auditing, tracking and archiving changes to the site. The discussion list does not have functions for archiving discussions, or fine-level controls for managing content. In planning the new web services, we solicited expert advice to assure we would have these features built-in. For example, the new survey tool is actually a hosted, enterprise-level service that will provides full audit capabilities and will allow WAC committee members to set up their own surveys, and for users to see the results and process firsthand.
* Community Involvement: Above all, the new WAC services are designed with community involvement in mind. Policies, terms of service and user agreements are only as good as the community they serve. With the establishment of the Digital Heritage Working Group, consultation from other major archaeological societies (Society for American Archaeology – SAA; Society for Historical Archaeology – SHA; Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology – CAA; International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage – VAST), and some expert professional advice and development, we anticipate that the changes we are making together now will have long lasting and positive impacts for years to come.

Why Is It Taking So Long to Get This Done, and What Progress is Being Made?
We subdivided the work into three phases. The first phase, which would bring about the changes listed above, was scheduled to be completed by the end of the year (December 2008). Working on a small budget with otherwise volunteer effort, we ran into a few formidable obstacles that impeded the progress we hoped for. Our web programmer became gravely ill and needed to undergo treatment that prevented him from working more than a few hours per week throughout most of November/December, and while we muddled along, we were unable to move forward as we needed. He has since recovered and most of the difficult work is now behind us, including:

* Server migration, optimization, CMS installation
* Migration of members database to web-based system
* Establishment of forums
* Establishment of survey tool
* Establishment of document management system
* Integrated search capabilities (finally) for WAC site
* User management services

There is work to be done, quite a lot actually, but our best estimation is we should launch the WAC beta members section in three weeks, by the end of March. This is two months later than anticipated. Once launched, we will be requesting the WAC community to participate in a series of surveys and activities to help shape the site into something we will all enjoy using, and hopefully, depend on and be proud of.

Should you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please feel free to get in contact.

Michael Ashley

The World Archaeological Congress is delighted to announce that we now offer a small selection of WAC-inspired products for sale, on-line through the WAC website at http://www.worldarchaeologicalcongress.org/site/wac_merchandise.php. There are hemp hats that are perfect for the field and a variety of bags – briefcases, computer bags and field bags. These items make great gifts and all (small) profits go towards supporting WAC activities and projects.

3. New publications by WAC members

Alice Kehoe has advised of her book Controversies in Archaeology, published by Left Coast Press in March, 2008 and priced at $29.95 (paperback) or $65 (hardback).

Atlantis, ancient astronauts, and pyramid power – archaologists are perennially bombarded with questions about the ‘mysteries’ of the past. They are also constantly addressing ore realistic controversies: origins of the First Americans, the ownership of antiquities, and national claims to historical territories.  Alice Beck Kehoe offers readers a method of evaluating and assessing these claims about the past in a reader-friendly, concise text. She shows how to use the methods of science to challenge the legitimacy of pseudoscientific proclamations and develop reasonable interpretations on controversial issues. Not one to shy away from controversy herself, Kehoe takes some stands – on transpacific migration, shamanism, the Kensington Runestone – that will challenge instructor and student alike, and foster class discussion.

4. News Items

Indian Ocean Studies Workshop
Studying the Indian Ocean: New Methodological Approaches and Writing Connected Histories
New Delhi, India
30 November – 4 December 2009

By suggesting new theoretical frameworks, this workshop will address issues such as how were identities forged in the Indian Ocean, and what role did religious, commercial and media networks play in the process. The workshop will be organised around lectures by senior international scholars in the mornings and discussions of presentations by the participating students in the afternoons.

The workshop will be held at the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India. SEPHIS will take care of air travel, accommodation and local transport expenses for the participants. A subsistence allowance to cover living expenses will also be provided.

Eligibility: Pre-doctoral and early doctoral students from universities in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Applications in English and inquiries are to be directed to:
Lakshmi Subramanian
Coordinator, IOSP,
Jamia Millia Islamia,
New Delhi 110025,
Email: iosp.jamia@gmail.co, or nilgin98@gmail.com

Cseh Fruzsina, Archaeolingua Foundation, Budapest Hungary, has advised of a new book by Gábor Schreiber:

The Mortuary Monument of Djehutymes II.

Finds from the New Kingdom to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty

224 pp., with illustrations
ISBN 963 9911 02 4
Price: € 88
Theban Tomb 32, excavated between 1983 and 2006 by the mission of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, was constructed for Djehutymes, a high-ranking official in the reign of Ramesses II. Consisting of three large forecourts, a mud-brick pyramid and fifteen rooms in the tomb interior, TT 32 gives a sophisticated and in some ways unique example of Ramesside tomb architecture. The excavations in and around TT 32 yielded a large amount of archaeological material ranging in time from the early Eighteenth Dynasty to the Ottoman Period. This book, published as the second volume of Studia Aegyptiaca Series Maior, offers a detailed analysis of the finds dating from the earliest occupation of the site to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, including the objects from the Eighteenth Dynasty shaft tombs and two hypogeum tombs of the late Third Intermediate Period discovered at the base of el-Khokha hillock.

Advanced Course in Ethnic and Racial Studies

Theme: Body, Power and Identity

The Federal University of Bahia announces the Twelfth Factory of Ideas course, a course that seeks to contribute to the training of researchers who are dedicated to studying processes of racialisation and ethnic identity formation. Special emphasis is given to black-white relationships and the production of black cultures in Latin America, Africa and the African Diaspora.

The course will be held in Salvador da Bahia at the Centre of Afro-Oriental Studies (CEAO) of the Federal University of Bahia and at the Federal University of Reconcavo (UFRB) in the colonial city of Cachoeira, also in the stat of Bahia, from 3rd to 21st August 2009.

Enrolment requirements:
Candidates should be at graduate level or higher.

Candidates interested in participating are required to fill out the electronic from at www.fabricadeideias.ufba.br between 10th and 30th March 2009.

Ines Domingo Sanz (Secretary of WAC), Juan Salazar (archaeologist) and José Azkárraga (photographer) are the curators for the exhibition Tribal Worlds: an ethnoarchaeologial perspective, held at the Museum of Prehistory (Valencia, Spain) between the 5th October 2008 and the 22nd March 2009.

The exhibition uses ethnography to illustrate the validity and limitations of archaeology. Through the analysis of structures and material culture recovered in archaeological sites archaeologists attempt to reconstruct the ways of life of past human groups. However, when studying societies with perishable material culture, or when trying to reconstruct religious and symbolic beliefs and practices archaeology has are critical limitations. In this context, ethno-archaeological studies, or the confluence between ethnology (the study of alive cultures) and archaeology (the study of past societies), can expand our perspectives and enhance our analyses of the archaeological record and our understandings of the richness and variability of human cultures.

The exhibition uses 100 objects, 130 photographs and short films to provide an opportunity for viewers to travel through three cultural areas where ancestral ways of life and ancient traditions are still alive: Lower Omo (Ethiopia), Papua (Indonesia) and Arnhem Land (Australia).

More than simply comparing traditional cultures with the economic systems evident through local prehistory, the Museum invites visitors to think about the contemporary situations of Indigenous cultures, and the social and political commitments needed on the part of both Indigenous peoples and government institutions to guarantee the survival of these cultures.

Images of the Exhibition can be seen at:
The catalogue is available at:

The Boyne Valley Research Project

The Boyne Valley Research Project is set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Boyne Valley, Ireland.  The Boyne Valley has an unparalleled complex history of human settlement along the banks of the River, from the time before the Neolithic tombs were built, to the major European wide struggle played out by William of Orange and James of England.  We would like to invite you to take part in the project, which aims to explore this area using the latest archaeological techniques.

This year’s research programme will run from the 29th June to the 7th August 2009, and will focus on archaeological excavations at Bective Abbey, a Cistercian abbey founded in 1147 AD.  In addition to excavation, you will also have the opportunity to take part in field walking, geophysical survey, architectural heritage survey, riverine archaeology and post-excavation analysis. Finally, there will be weekly tours to famous archaeological and historical site such as Newgrange, Tara and Trim, as well as hidden gems.

For further details and costs please email info@crds.ie, putting ‘Boyne Valley Research Project’ in the subject field.

The Maritime Archaeology Program at Flinders University is pleased to announce the 2009 Flinders University Intensive Program in Underwater Cultural Heritage Management (UCHM). This program, funded in part bytheAusAID Australian Leadership Awards-Fellowship Program, brings 19 mid-career professionals involved in maritime archaeology from the Asia-Pacific region (represented nations include Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines) to Australia for a six week intensive training program from 19th January 2009 to 2nd March 2009. The Australian Leadership Awards – Fellowship are a component of a regional program that aims to develop leadership and build partnerships and linkages with the Asia-Pacific. They are intended for those who are already leaders or have the potential to assume leadership roles that can influence social and economic policy reform and development outcomes, both in their own countries and in the Asia-Pacific region.

While in Australia, the ALA Fellows will undertake a one-week intensive topic in vessel construction and analysis, a one-week intensive topic in underwater cultural heritage management and a two-week intensive field school at Mount Dutton Bay, South Australia. These topics provide ALA Fellows the credentials needed to achieve a Graduate Certificate in Maritime Archaeology (GCMA) from Flinders University. The program also allows for ALA Fellows to receive AIMA/NAS Part 1 Training and DAN Asia-Pacific First Aid and O2 certification.

Following the field school, ALA Fellows will undertake a two-week placement (internship) with a museum, underwater cultural heritage agency or related organisation. Partner agencies include Heritage Victoria, Heritage South Australia, Australian National Maritime Museum, New South Wales Heritage Office, Western Australian Maritime Museum, and the Department of Environment & Heritage, Canberra. The 2009 Flinders University Intensive Program in UCHM will be managed by Flinders Partners, the Department of Archaeology, and Flinders University of South Australia in partnership with the ALA Fellows overseas counterpart organisations.

México D.F. Julio de 2009

Coordinadores del Simposio:
Henry Tantaleán (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona/CENFOTUR)
Miguel Aguilar (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)

La Arqueología Social Latinoamericana (ASL) ha sido durante las últimas tres décadas motivo de una serie de discusiones en torno a su filosofía (Valdés 2005), teoría (Patterson, McGuire y Navarrete) y su relación con los estados y los nacionalismos (Tantaleán, Aguirre Morales 2001). Sin embargo, más allá de dichas historiografías, defensas, críticas o puestas al día, hasta el momento no se ha manifestado cómo se debería o se ha llevado a la práctica la arqueología social latinoamericana. Para el materialismo histórico, fundamento epistemológico de la ASL, la praxis es el único medio por el que conocer la realidad. Aunque esa intención de praxis se ha manifestado desde diferentes posiciones (desde la arqueología postprocesual pasando por las arqueologías inspiradas en las teorías sociales de Bourdieu o Giddens), dichos planteamientos han asumido básicamente una discusión ontológica. Por el contrario, en este simposio se espera plantear cómo el conocimiento de la realidad a través del materialismo histórico puede producir conocimiento objetivo y, al hacerlo, crear condiciones para el cambio de la realidad social.
El simposio tendrá como objetivo conocer el estado de la práctica de la arqueología social en Latinoamérica y los nuevos rumbos por los que debería desarrollarse en los siguientes años. De esta manera, se conseguirá insertar dentro de este debate a nuevas generaciones de arqueólogas y arqueólogos y superar ese halo mitológico que parece haber cubierto (y estancado) a la posición teórica de la ASL. Se espera realizar un balance de las propuestas originales de esta escuela de pensamiento (Lumbreras 1974) y sus escasos intentos para llevarla a la práctica, y presentar a la comunidad académica latinoamericana a las nuevas tendencias, sus críticas y planteamientos de aplicación del conocimiento social producido.

En este simposio se espera, asimismo, superar las barreras nacionales que durante tanto tiempo han apartado a los especialistas de los diferentes países donde se ha manifestado una intención de desarrollar una arqueología social y militante. Debemos señalar que este simposio se realiza en honor al arqueólogo Thomas Patterson, por su inspiración y consecuencia en la arqueología basada en el marxismo en todo el continente americano.

Lic. Miguel Aguilar Díaz
Universidad de los Andes
Departamento de Antropología, Programa de Posgrado
Bogotá D.C.

CODESTRA/SEPHIS Lecture Tour 2009 Call for Applications

The Lecture Tour series serves as an opportunity for Southern institutes or universities to invite a scholar with an established reputation from another area of the South, affiliated to a historic school or specific research approach, to present a series of public lectures and seminars on a chosen theme. The 2009 Lecture Tour session is scheduled for May 2009 and will cover the Southern African region. This year’s theme is Women’s Movements in the History of the South.

Additional information ia available at:

All applications or requests for more information should be addressed to:

Omobolaji Ololade Olarinmoye PhD
‘CODESTRA/SEPHIS Lecture Tour 2009’
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop, angle Canal IV
BP 3304, Dakar, Senegal
Fax: (221) 8241289
Tel: (221) 8259822/23
Email: lecture.tour@codestra.sn

CODESTRA/SEPHIS Faculty Exchange Programme

The launch of the Faculty Exchange Programme, aimed at fostering knowledge and understanding between two departments in different continents in the South, is scheduled for May/June 2009. The programme will start off with one fellow.


  • Eligible as hosts are social science and history departments in African universities
  • Eligible as visiting faculty are historians and historically oriented social science scholars from continents in the South other than Africa

Application procedures and further details are available at:

The Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) is offering a SEPHIS fellowship to a PhD student from the South to study in Bangalore, India for one year, or register in their country for the CSCS coursework for two semesters.

The many areas of research at CSCS include:

  • Culture and colonial histories
  • Law and society
  • Political studies

The deadline for applications is March 21, 2009. Applications should include a sample of writing such as a term paper, a current CV, two letters of recommendation, transcripts of the last two degrees obtained and proof of eligibility, and be forwarded to:

Dr Rochelle Pinto, PhD Committee
Centre fro the Study of Culture and Society
No 827, 29th Main Rd,
Poornaprajna HSBC Layout
Bangalore – 560 061

Email: Rochelle@cscs.res.in
Telephone: 91-80-26423268

For further details, visit the WAC website (under ‘Opportunities’) at: http://www.worldarchaeologicalcongress.org/site/home.php

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)

The wait is over…From the Handbooks in Archaeology Series:

Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology
Soren Blau and Douglas H. Ubelaker, eds
WILL BE RELEASED IN MARCH 2009! 800 pages, $129.00 Hardcover
ISBN:  978-1-59874-074-5

Over the last 10 years interest in the disciplines of forensic anthropology and archaeology has exploded. In order to provide archaeologists and their students with a reliable understanding of these disciplines, this authoritative volume draws contributions from fifty experienced practitioners from around the world to offer a solid foundation in both the practical and ethical components of forensic work. Over 40 chapters weave together historical development, current field methods in analyzing crime, natural disasters and human atrocities, an array of laboratory techniques, key case studies, legal, professional, and ethical issues, and promising future directions, all from a global perspective. This volume will be the benchmark for the understanding of anthropological and archaeological forensics for years to come.

From the Archaeology and Indigenous Peoples Series:
Indigenous Archaeologies: A Reader on Decolonization
Edited by Margaret Bruchac, Siobhan Hart, and H Martin Wobst
COMING SOON! 304 Pages
Relationships with indigenous peoples have become a key issue in the practice of archaeology worldwide. Collaborative projects, or projects directed and conducted by indigenous peoples themselves have become a standard feature of the archaeological landscape, community concerns are routinely addressed, oral histories incorporated into research. This reader of original and reprinted articles—many by indigenous authors– is designed to display the array of writings around this subject from around the globe, many difficult to access in standard academic settings. Cases range from Australia to Arctic Russia, from Africa to North America.

From the One World Archaeology Series:
Archaeologies of Placemaking: Monuments, Memories, and Engagement in Native North America
Edited by Patricia E. Rubertone
ISBN: 978-1-59874-155-1
This collection of original essays explores the tensions between prevailing regional and national versions of Indigenous pasts created, reified, and disseminated through monuments, and Indigenous peoples’ memories and experiences of place. The contributors ask critical questions about historic preservation and commemoration methods used by modern societies and their impact on the perception and identity of the people they supposedly remember, who are generally not consulted in the commemoration process. They discuss dichotomies of history and memory, place and displacement, public spectacle and private engagement, and reconciliation and re-appropriation of the heritage of indigenous people shown in these monuments.

This is a sampling of WAC-sponsored titles.  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

Join Left Coast Press online at:

5. Excerpts from other archaeological associations’ newsletters (used with permission)

5(a)  SALON

Salon 208: 2 March 2009
Editor: Christopher Catling
Shopping is ‘throwback to days of cavewomen’

The Oldie magazine in its column highlighting self-serving research has reported on the findings of a study commissioned by the Manchester Arndale shopping centre. It appears there is a link between shopping and a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The study (by Dr David Holmes, of Manchester Metropolitan University) claims that women can’t help but shop as they are using instincts they learnt from their Neanderthal [sic] ancestors – such skills include ‘gathering in caves with fires at the entrance’, which is why, apparently, we seek the comfort of warm cave-like shopping malls. The study also finds that ‘hunter-gatherers sifted the useful from things that offered them no sustenance’.

2,500 languages under threat

Unesco has launched its first comprehensive database of endangered languages with a warning that 2,500 languages are at risk of extinction, including more than 500 considered critically endangered, 199 of which have fewer than ten native speakers.

Christopher Moseley, Editor-in-Chief of the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, said that ‘each language is a uniquely structured world of thought, with its own associations, metaphors, ways of thinking, vocabulary, sound system and grammar’, which we need to cherish ‘in the same way as we should care about the loss of the world’s variety of plants and animals, its biodiversity’.

Moseley blamed globalisation for the death of languages and said the problem was at its most acute in India and Brazil, which are both undergoing rapid economic transformations. What is lost, he said, was not just a language, but traditional ways of life; ‘language reflects political, cultural and social ideologies; subtleties of thought and perception are lost when people believe it is necessary to speak a dominant language for full civic participation and economic advancement’.

Indeed, he compares the spread of ‘killer’ languages, such as English, French or Spanish, to the diseases that wiped out whole populations when Europe and the New World first came into contact in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The community’s own lack of pride in its heritage can be an important part of the problem, Mosley believes, citing Papua New Guinea as a shining example of a nation that enjoys the greatest linguistic diversity on the planet, yet has relatively few endangered tongues because the island’s people value their ability to speak in the tongues of their ancestors.

Salon 207: 16 February 2009

22—27 September 2009: Across the North Sea: later historical archaeology in Britain and Denmark c AD 1500—2000

To be held in Odense, Denmark, this conference on post-medieval archaeology in Britain and Denmark is being hosted jointly by the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA), the University of Southern Denmark, Odense City Museums and the City Museum of Copenhagen. A call for papers at http://www.spma.org.uk/events.php has been issued.

Salon 206: 2 February 2009  
Darwin’s home and workplace nominated for World Heritage Site status

Down House, Charles Darwin’s home and workplace near Orpington in Kent, has been chosen as the UK’s 2009 nomination for WHS status. The nomination also includes Darwin’s experimental garden and seven hectares of the countryside immediately around the property, taking in farms, fields and woods in the Downe and Cudham valleys of the Kent North Downs where Darwin would walk every day as he collected evidence for his world-changing ideas on mechanisms of speciation.

The Maya suffered for their looks

Norman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent of The Times, reported in his 13 January article on the extreme lengths to which the Maya went to transform their bodies. Today’s Botox injections, nose reshaping and surgical face-lifts are nothing compared to the ancient practice of inlaying one’s teeth with precious minerals. This procedure, probably part of a rite of passage to adulthood, involved filing and notching the upper incisors and canines then drilling a shallow hole into the front face of the tooth enamel (using a reed or bone hollow drill and an abrasive such as sand or jade dust), and cementing small discs of green jade, red obsidian or black haematite into the holes.

According to Professor Mary Miller, writing in the journal Archaeology, skull-reshaping was also practised by the Maya in order to make their rulers look more like corn-on-the-cob. As an example, Professor Miller cites K’inich Janaab’ Pakal, who ruled the western Maya city of Palenque from AD 615 to 683, and after his death at the age of 80 was interred in a great carved sarcophagus below the Temple of the Inscriptions. His skeleton shows that, soon after his birth, his head was strapped between two cradle-boards to compress it from back to front. A stucco portrait head found below the sarcophagus shows that Pakal’s hair was cut in a series of bluntly trimmed tresses, with longer strands on top flopping forward, like the corn silk on a maize plant — Pakal was thus shown symbolically to be ever-youthful, like the maize that springs up anew each year.

Salon 205: 19 January 2009
Chemical warfare in ancient Persia

Simon James, Reader in the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, has uncovered evidence of ancient chemical warfare in Syria. At the recent meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Simon presented evidence that some twenty Roman soldiers, found in a siege-mine at the city of Dura-Europos, met their deaths as a result of inhaling clouds of choking gas.

During AD 256, the Roman city of Dura-Europos was besieged by Sasanian Persians who excavated tunnels that undermined the city walls. Excavations during the 1920s and 1930s, renewed in recent years, found evidence that the Roman defenders responded with ‘counter-mines’ to thwart the attackers. The remains of some twenty Roman soldiers were found in the 1930s piled up in one of the galleries, disposed in such a way as to lead Simon to conclude that, when mine and countermine met, the Romans lost the ensuing struggle and the corpses of the victims were piled up to create a wall of bodies and shields, keeping Roman counterattack at bay.

‘But for the Persians to kill twenty men in a space less than 2m high or wide and about 11m long, required superhuman combat powers – or something more insidious’, Simon told the conference. He then revealed that bitumen and sulphur crystals had been found in the tunnels, and that their combined use to generate choking smoke in siege-mines is mentioned in Classical texts. ‘I think the Sasanians placed braziers and bellows in their gallery, and when the Romans broke through, added the chemicals and pumped choking clouds into the Roman tunnel’, Simon said, adding that: ‘The archaeological evidence at Dura shows that the Sasanian Persians were as knowledgeable in siege warfare as the Romans.’

Armenian cave yields 6,000-year-old human brains

At the same annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Gregory Areshian of the University of California, Los Angeles, reported the finding of a preserved human brain. The brains come from the Areni-1 cave, excavated during 2007 and 2008, which is located in south-eastern Armenia, just across the Arpa River from Iran.

As well as yielding an extensive array of Copper Age artefacts, dating to between 6,200 and 5,900 years ago, excavators also found three skulls, each buried in its own niche inside the 600-sq m cave. The skulls belonged to girls aged about twelve to fourteen, and fractures on two skulls indicated that they were killed by blows from a club. Remarkably, one skull contained a shrivelled but well-preserved brain from which red blood cells have been extracted for analysis. It is hoped that this study will throw light on the origins of the people who frequented Areni-1: the pottery assemblage from the site includes material from west-central Iran, the Maikop culture of southern Russia and south-eastern Europe and the Kura-Arax culture that flourished just west of Maikop territory in Russia.

A basin two metres long found inside the Armenian cave and surrounded by large jars and the scattered remains of grape husks and seeds apparently belongs to a large-scale winemaking operation. Additional discoveries include metal knives, seeds from more than thirty types of fruit, remains of dozens of cereal species, rope, cloth, straw, grass, reeds and dried grapes and prunes, all preserved, like the young girl’s brain, by the extreme aridity and stable temperatures inside the cave.

Archaeologists uncover 700-year-old Maori home

Otago University archaeologists have identified the site of early settlement in New Zealand at the Wairau Bar in Marlborough. The find comes as a result of an agreement between local iwi Rangitane, Canterbury Museum and Otago University that enables archaeologists to undertake the first fieldwork at the site for almost half a decade in return for the re-interment of Maori bones excavated some decades ago. Team leader Richard Walter described the main focus of the current excavation as a mound of earth known by Rangitane as Mohua, where the remains of a house had been uncovered that could have been the home of a professional adze-maker.

The Wairau Bar is considered to be one of New Zealand’s prime archaeological sites. A thin slice of land separating a lagoon from the open sea just east of Blenheim, it was settled about AD 1300. Bones and artefacts uncovered at the site in the 1940s and 1950s provided the first direct evidence to link the settlement of New Zealand with people from the islands of east Polynesia. Walter said the team had already gained a fuller picture of the site’s original inhabitants: ‘What we are finding now is evidence of the structures, the layout; we are beginning to uncover the plans of the village itself.’

Salon 204: 5 January 2009
For sale: one dodgy Viking sword

Alan Williams and Tony Fry, a researcher at England’s National Physical Laboratory, have discovered that Viking warriors literally took their lives in their hands as a result of medieval sword forgers who passed off fake Ulfberht swords made from iron mined in northern Europe as genuine Ulfberhts, made with steel imported from Afghanistan and Iran. The problem for the Viking warrior was that the difference would not be apparent until the sword was used: both bore the Ulfberht name in raised letters at the hilt, but one would shatter as soon as it was struck while the other would remain intact and sharp through many a battle encounter.

Dr Williams, archaeometallurgist and consultant to the Wallace Collection, and Tony Fry, senior researcher at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, made the discovery as a result of trying to work out why some Ulfberht swords survive intact, but others are found as fragments on battle sites or in graves. Tests at the NPL showed that the genuine ones were made from ingots of crucible steel with a carbon content higher than that of modern carbon steel, whereas contemporary fake Ulfberhts were made of iron hardened by plunging the red-hot blade into cold water, which enabled a sharp edge to be given to the blade but left it brittle.

Site of unrecorded Roman battle found in north Germany

Archaeologists in Germany have found a battlefield strewn with hundreds of Roman artefacts dating from the third century AD at Kalefeld, about 100 kilometres south of Hanover. The Romans were thought to have vacated the area after thousands of Roman soldiers were slaughtered in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, near modern-day Bremen, more than two centuries earlier.

Henning Hassmann, the Lower Saxony Conservation Department’s lead archaeologist, announced last week that 600 artefacts, including axe heads and wagon parts, coins and arrowheads, a hippo-sandal, sandal nails and spear points had been found on a forested hill called the Harzhorn. The site first came to light when local metal detectorists reported finds they had made back in 2000. Working with the detectorists, archaeologists found evidence for a battle fought over more than a mile of what is now dense forest. The battle’s epicentre was marked by large numbers of ballista arrow points, 80 per cent of which were oriented in the same direction, indicating that the Roman attack came from the north as they were on their way home from a mission even further into German territory. One arrowhead contained enough of the original wooden shaft to provide a radiocarbon date some time between AD 200 and 250.

The specialised artillery and hundreds of Roman sandal nails is a good indication that the combatants were Roman, not barbarians using Roman weapons. Friedrich Lüth, head of the German Archaeological Institute’s Roman German Commission, said: ‘Roman sandals on German feet doesn’t make sense, at least not in that quantity’. Full-scale excavation is expected to start in March 2009.

Transactions of the Geological Society go online

The Geological Society has put some of its earliest publications online. The Transactions of the Geological Society were published from 1811 to 1856 and featured some 350 papers, including the first full description of a dinosaur, by the Revd William Buckland. Buckland worked within a Biblical framework for the history of the earth, arguing in an 1821 paper that strata he recorded at Lickey Hill in Worcestershire were evidence of a ‘universal and recent deluge’. The Transactions also contain an early paper by Charles Darwin, ‘On the formation of mould’. Darwin later devoted his last scientific book, published in 1881, to the same subject, in a work entitled The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits.

2009-10 day and weekend courses from the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education

‘The Medieval Chantry in England and Wales’ is just one of several courses on offer from the OUDCE in 2009—10, that include ‘The Archaeology of the Holy Land’ (24 January), ‘The Archaeology of the Great War’ (28 Feb), ‘Towns in Britain AD 300 to 700’ (27 to 29 March), ‘Buildings and Farming’ (8 to 10 May), ‘Markets and Market Places’ (25 to 27 September), ‘Buildings for Worship in Britain: Celtic and Anglo-Saxon’ (8 to 10 January 2010), and ‘Technical Innovation in the Country House and its Estate’ (7 to 9 May 2010). Full details from the OUDCE website.

Salon 203: 22 December 2008
WMF 2010 Watch nominations sought

The World Monuments Watch is seeking nominations for cultural heritage sites under threat. The Watch list identifies places of significance in need of timely action. Every two years, WMF accepts new nominations, from which one hundred are selected for listing. Watch listing provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness. The Watch nomination process also serves as a vehicle for requesting World Monuments Fund assistance for selected projects. More than 500 sites from over 110 countries have benefited from the seven cycles of the Watch so far and nearly half of these have received WMF grants totalling US$50 million. Guidelines and Nomination Forms are available on the WMF website.

Iron-Age brain found in York pit

An intact human brain has been found inside a skull excavated from a pit on an Iron-Age site at Heslington, the site of the University of York’s planned campus extension. The find was made by Rachel Cubitt while cleaning the skull. Confirmation of the find came from Consultant Neurologist at the local hospital, Phillip Duffey, who used a CT scanner to take a closer look.

Dr Sonia O’Connor, Research Fellow in Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford said: ‘The survival of brain remains where no other soft tissues are preserved is extremely rare; this brain is particularly exciting because it is very well preserved’. The skull comes from an Iron Age farming landscape dating back to 300 BC. A team of experts from universities across northern England is now lined up to undertake further tests. The skull and two vertebrae came from a small pit; one of the questions that will now be asked is whether there is evidence of decapitation.

5(b) ICOMOS Australia

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 377

Community Heritage Grants

The National Library is calling for applications for the 2009 Community Heritage Grants. Grants of up to $15 000 are available to community groups around the country to help preserve and manage locally held, nationally significant cultural heritage collections for future generations.

Community organisations such as historical societies, museums, public libraries, archives, Indigenous and migrant community groups which provide public access to their cultural heritage collections are eligible to apply.

A wide range of projects may qualify for grants, including: significance assessments; preservation needs assessments; conservation and preservation activities and collection management training.

Applications close on 5 June 2009.

For further information, including the Guidelines and Application form, please visit http://www.nla.gov.au/chg or phone the CHG Coordinator on (02) 6262 1147 or email chg@nla.gov.au.

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 376

ATHAR: Conservation of Stone and Earthen Structures: Traditional Bonding Materials in Masonry and Conservation of Damp Buildings and Sites
Applications are now open for the SOIMA 2009 course on ‘Conservation of Stone and Earthen Structures: Traditional Bonding Materials in Masonry and Conservation of Damp Buildings and Sites’, to be held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates from 30 September – 29 October 2009.
Application deadline: 20 May 2009

URUSHI 2009 – International Course on Conservation of Japanese Lacquer
Applications are now open for the URUSHI 2009 – International Course on Conservation of Japanese, to be held in Tokyo and Joboji-Hiraizumi, Japan from 2 – 15 September 2009.
Application deadline: 15 March 2009

Bibliographies by the Documentation Centre

  • World Heritage Cultural Landscapes bibliography – Updated /  Paysages Culturels du Patrimoine Mondial – Mise à jour (feb. 2009) http://web.archive.org/web/20110927101801/http://www.international.icomos.org/centre_documentation/bib/culturallandscapes.pdf

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 375

Australia ICOMOS New Membership Applications

If you have been considering joining ICOMOS or know someone who has been thinking of joining, now is the time!

  • ICOMOS Members are eligible for discounted registration for the (Un)Loved Modern Conference 2009 in Sydney, Tuesday 7th July- Friday 10th July.
  • Also if you register early for the conference you can get early bird rates.
  •    If you join ICOMOS soon, you may be eligible for 15 months for the price of 12 months as well…..

The membership forms and details are available on the web page www.icomos.org/australia and from Georgia Meros at the Secretariat, phone (03) 9251 7131 or austicomos@deakin.edu.au

13º Curso Práctico de Arqueología Subacuática

Centre d’Arqueologia Subaquàtica de Catalunya- MAC.
Information available online here

Centre d’Arqueologia Subaquàtica de Catalunya
Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya.
Pedret, 95
17007 Girona
Tel: +34 972 20 66 31
Fax: +34 972 21 04 54
Website: http://www.mac.cat/cat/Seus/CASC

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 373

Call for Papers: 3rd International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology
17 – 21 August 2009, Tamil Nadu, Tiruchirappalli (India)

The 3rd International Conference will be organized jointly by Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, the University of California, Merced and Berkeley, the University of Siena (Italy) and the REACH Foundation, Chennai.

Innovative contributions, case studies, research projects and posters are invited under the following themes and related topics:

  • Aerial archaeology: satellite, aerial photography and airborne scanning
  • 3D remote sensing: technologies and archaeological interpretation
  • Close-range aerial photography: mast, balloon, kite, blimp, UAV, helikite…
  • Ground-based sensing archaeology
  • Integrated remote sensing technologies for the interpretation of landscape ecosystems: confronting scales of detail.
  • Issue of archaeological interpretation of remote sensing data
  • Cyber archaeology and 3D landscapes visualization through the time
  • Issues of quality framework in archaeological remote sensing: defining high standards
  • Experience of archaeological remote sensing from commercial sector

Special sessions will be addressed to archaeology in the digital age and heritage management:

  • Digital Cultural Atlases (projects and prototypes) and cultural atlas components (gazetteers, time-periods, biography and social networks, thesauri, technical infrastructure, content sources and display models)
  • National and Trans-National Historical GIS
  • Conservation Issues: methods, environmental issues, causes/remedies, legal status, traditional and international norms, integration
  • Cultural and natural sites resource management
  • Sustainability, utility and management of Heritage sites

Important dates:
Deadline for Abstract submission (max 500 words): 28 February 2009
Send abstracts by E-Mail to: cliuzza@ucmerced.edu
Notification of acceptance: 15 April 2009
Deadline for Full Papers (Camera ready) 1 June 2009

Further Information is available on the Conference Website:


Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 372

URUSHI 2009 – International Course on Conservation of Japanese Lacquer
Applications are now open for the URUSHI 2009 – International Course on Conservation of Japanese, to be held in Tokyo and Joboji-Hiraizumi, Japan from 2 – 15 September 2009.

Application deadline: 15 March 2009

Heritage news in the media worldwide
A monthly compilation of media articles on heritage topics. Obviously, these all reflect the viewpoints of the authors.
January 2009.

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 371

News from the ICOMOS Documentation Centre

INORA, the International Newsletter on Rock Art, under the auspices of Comité International d’Art Rupestre (CAR–ICOMOS), Union Internationale des Sciences préhistoriques-Protohistoriques (UISPP) and Association pour le Rayonnement de l’art pariétal européen (ARAPE), is now available online in the website of the UNESCO-ICOMOS Documentation Centre.

Edited by Dr Jean Clottes, Former Director of the Chauvet Research Team, funded (or subsidized, or sponsored) by the Ministère de la Culture and the Département de l’Ariège, the newsletter presents the latest discoveries of rock art from around the world. It provides a platform for discussion and debate of current theories and controversies. It examines past, present and future documentation and dating techniques, and their interpretation.

All the issues of the newsletter – apart from those published in 2007 and 2008 – have been digitized by the UNESCO-ICOMOS Documentation Centre and made available on the website. From now on, the full text of the newsletter is available at the following address:


Next issues of the newsletter will be made available on the website in full text.
However, the newsletters published during the last two years will not be available online. To get access to the most recent issues, people will need to subscribe.

For more information about the subscription to INORA, please write to Dr. Jean Clottes (j.clottes@wanadoo.fr)

Dr. Jean Clottes (INORA Editor)
Jose Garcia Vicente (Manager of the UNESCO-ICOMOS Documentation Centre)

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 370

News from the Ename Centre

To view the latest news from the Ename Centre, visit

Introducing ”African Journal of History and Culture”

Dear Colleague,

The African Journal of History and Culture (AJHC) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published that will be monthly by Academic Journals (http://www.academicjournals.org/AJHC). AJHC is dedicated to increasing the depth of the subject across disciplines with the ultimate aim of expanding knowledge of the subject.

Editors and reviewers
AJHC is seeking qualified researchers to join its editorial team as editors, subeditors or reviewers. Kindly send your resume to AJHC@acadjourn.org.

Call for Papers
AJHC will cover all areas of the subject. The journal welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence, and will publish:

  • Original articles in basic and applied research
  • Case studies
  • Critical reviews, surveys, opinions, commentaries and essays

We invite you to submit your manuscript(s) to AJHC@acadjourn.org for publication in the Maiden Issue (April 2009). Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within four weeks of submission. Following acceptance, a paper will normally be published in the next issue. Instruction for authors and other details are available on our website; http://www.academicjournals.org/AJHC/Instruction.htm.

AJHC is an Open Access Journal
One key request of researchers across the world is unrestricted access to research publications. Open access gives a worldwide audience larger than that of any subscription-based journal and thus increases the visibility and impact of published works. It also enhances indexing, retrieval power and eliminates the need for permissions to reproduce and distribute content. AJHC is fully committed to the Open Access Initiative and will provide free access to all articles as soon as they are published.

Best regards,

Precious Ejegi
Editorial Assistant
African Journal of History and Culture (AJHC)

E-mail: AJHC@acadjourn.org

Australia ICOMOS E-Mail News No. 369

Heritage news in the media worldwide
A monthly compilation of media articles on heritage topics. Obviously, these all reflect the viewpoints of the authors.
December 2008.

New: AFRICA 2009 Newsletter
ICCROM is pleased to announce the publication of a bilingual (English-French) edition of AFRICA 2009 Newsletter 8.

2010 Watch nominations are now being accepted – deadline for nominations is 15 March 2009

Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the World Monuments Watch calls international attention to cultural heritage around the world that is threatened by neglect, vandalism, conflict, or disaster. The 2010 Watch will continue this tradition of identifying endangered sites, while also encompassing sites with compelling issues or progressive approaches that could inform the field at large.

Watch listing provides an opportunity for sites and their nominators to raise public awareness, foster local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions. The Watch nomination process also serves as a vehicle for requesting WMF assistance for select projects.

Since the program’s inception, 544 sites have been included on the seven Watches. Nearly half the listed sites, representing 79 countries, have received WMF grants totaling $50 million. These WMF monies have leveraged an additional $150 million in assistance from other sources.

As the flagship advocacy program of the World Monuments Fund, the Watch is emblematic of WMF’s commitment to inspiring heritage stewardship, forging partnerships, and advancing conservation.

In sponsoring the Watch program, WMF seeks to highlight emerging issues and opportunities in the field, confront urgent challenges, foster community engagement, and build capacities and constituencies for sustaining heritage protection in the long-term.

Additional information about the 2010 World Monuments Watch and downloadable PDFs of the Guidelines and Nomination Forms are available at http://web.archive.org/web/20090227032100/http://wmf.org:80/watch.html .

Adobe Reader version 9.0 is required for the PDFs and may be downloaded for free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Questions or concerns about the nomination or electronic submission process should be directed to watch@wmf.org.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts: Media Release –
Museum archaeologists confirm historic shipwreck site on Barrier Reef

Australian National Maritime Museum archaeologists working off the coast of North Queensland are now convinced they have located the site where HM Colonial Schooner Mermaid ran aground and broke up on the Great Barrier Reef  in 1829.

Surveying the site on Flora Reef, some 20 km out from Cairns, they have found further metallic objects including heavy copper sheathing that they are convinced came from the ship’s hull.

Along with the copper sheathing, the latest finds include sheathing nails, ship’s fastenings and lead patches, all of which conform to documented information on the wooden schooner. The divers have also found a quantity of canister or casement shot, ball-bearings of the type fired from the cannon known to be on board Mermaid, along with a pulley sheath stamped with a broad arrow, the 19th century mark of government ownership – and Mermaid was a government ship. Most of the objects will be left in place, but a few will be removed for closer laboratory investigation.

HMCS Mermaid ran aground and was wrecked on an unidentified reef on 13 June 1829. The captain and crew took to the ship’s boats and were rescued 11 days later by a passing merchant ship, the Admiral Gifford. The 21-metre wooden vessel was already well known in Australian waters, having circumnavigated the continent on a voyage of exploration under the command of Lieutenant Philip Parker King RN.

For further information, see earlier News Releases on the Australian National Maritime Museum website at http://www.anmm.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=403
Next Issue:  April 2009
Sue Nugent