Should I stay or should I go? Ideals and realities of archaeology in the conflict regions.

Bibliographic Information

Article Title

Should I stay or should I go? Ideals and realities of archaeology in the conflict regions.

Journal Title

Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage

Author(s)

Apaydin, Veysel, and Hassett, Brenna

Month of Publication

November

Year of Publication

2018

Volume Number

6

Issue Number

1

Article Pages

36-50

Web Address (URL)

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20518196.2018.1549821

Additional Information

Available Through

Taylor and Francis Online

Language

English

Notes

Through the Ilısu Dam Rescue Archaeology Project, we explore ethical and practical aspects of rescue archaeology in contested territory and areas of conflict, at the mound sites of Başur Höyük and Çattepe in Siirt Province, Turkey. We are excavating the sites ahead of the Ilısu Dam’s construction, a controversial project that the state supports but that others contest. One of the most important characteristics of these heritage sites is their significance for local community identity construction. These places have also witnessed conflict between the state and Kurdish separatists. The project is administered under overlapping hierarchies, which may have different, even competing interests. These manifest in conflicts between ‘top-down’ approaches to rescue archaeology, and an effective public engagement strategy. We discuss how the project can be a positive force, given the impending destruction through dam construction and the location in the middle of an armed conflict; and when it cannot.

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