Dangers of a Militarized Archaeology | Think & Talk | Seminar No. 5

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Oriental Heritage Without Borders e.V. would like to cordially invite you to attend its Fifth Seminar of the “Heritage Seminar Series | Orient in Context”, on Thursday June 13th, 2013 as part of its “Think & Talk” scientific events.

A series of monthly seminars -in form of short scientific lectures/interactive discussion groups- offered to present different facets of the oriental heritage as well as to create an alternative environment for developing interesting and exciting discussions in all aspects of the greater field of heritage studies.

The seminar would take place @ ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL gGmbH, Pangea-Haus, Trautenaustraße 5., 10717 Berlin, between 19:00-21:00, with a presentation entitled “Dangers of a Militarized Archaeology” by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Bernbeck with discussions following afterwards.

This fifth seminar will address two issues concerned with the preservation of cultural remains in situations of armed conflict. Firstly, it will juxtapose two modes of humanitarian work, “humanitarian intervention” and neutral, independent humanitarian relief in conflict situations. And will use these as a backdrop for discussions of tendencies toward involvement in the realm of culture, including “embedded archaeologists” and the “human terrain system” (HTS).

Secondly, it will discuss the specific limits of parallels between humanitarian relief and attempts at salvaging cultural heritage. It will propose a basic set of ethical principles that ought to guide anyone who wants to engage with culture and heritage in times of war. And will draw on examples from the conflict in Afghanistan.

Prof. Reinhard Bernbeck is an Archaeologist at the Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Freie Universitaet Berlin and at Binghamton University, Department of Anthropology. He has executed extensive field research in Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Turkmenistan and Germany. He has published books on the Neolithic of Western Asia, on ideologies in archaeology, and other issues. Mr Bernbeck is very much interested in the emergence of social inequality, museology, the politics of historiography and an archaeology that explicitly addresses political problems. He has also worked repeatedly for a humanitarian organization during the Afghan conflict.