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The Ethics Session of ASOR Call for Papers

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  • mokersel
    THE ETHICS OF COLLECTING AND COMMUNICATING THE NEAR EASTERN PAST: PRESENTING THE PUBLIC FACE OF NEAR EASTERN ARCHAEOLOGY Section Chairs: Ellen Herscher; Patty
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2006
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      THE ETHICS OF COLLECTING AND COMMUNICATING THE NEAR EASTERN PAST:

      PRESENTING THE PUBLIC FACE OF NEAR EASTERN ARCHAEOLOGY

      Section Chairs: Ellen Herscher; Patty Gerstenblith; and Morag Kersel
      Email: mmk29@....

      The fourth year of this section will focus on the ways in which Near
      Eastern archaeology is presented to the public and the roles that
      archaeologists should play.

      The ethical codes of the major archaeological organizations all
      include an obligation to communicate with the general public. The
      Archaeological Institute of America also specifically emphasizes
      archaeologists' "responsibilities to the local communities where they
      carry out research and field work," while ASOR's policy notes that
      the "public is a diverse one." In ethical terms, public communication
      is intended to educate about archaeological methods and
      interpretations and to enlist public support for the preservation and
      scientific study of the archaeological record. To fulfill this
      objective, some approaches to public communication will be more
      effective than others.

      Communicating with the public can take many forms, for example,
      writing and publishing popular and synthesizing materials, site
      presentation, archaeo-tourism, school programs, museum exhibitions,
      film. Do archaeologists compromise their professional standards by
      writing for popular media? What impact does such writing have on
      their professional careers? Does recent negative publicity about
      museums' collecting practices affect the public's perception of
      archaeology? What is being done to communicate with local communities
      in host countries? How can archaeologists cooperate effectively with
      local authorities to play a positive role in site presentation and
      the establishment of local museums? What impact is archaeo-tourism
      having on the public's understanding of archaeological methods and
      interpretations? "How do public attitudes toward archaeology
      influence the establishment of legal protections for archaeological
      sites?" One of the biggest stories about Near Eastern archaeology in
      recent years was the looting of the Iraq National Museum: three years
      later, can we assess what effect this coverage has had on public
      attitudes?

      Deadline for submission of presentation proposals (250 word
      abstracts) is April 1, 2006. Interested parties should go to the
      ASOR website http://www.asor.org/ and/or contact Morag Kersel
      directly at the email address listed above. We welcome the
      participation of an interdisciplinary group.
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