In this recent study, author Kate Clancy describes the multiple reports of abuse in the field of archaeology. As part of larger study involving surveys and phone interviews, these preliminary findings present some shocking details about harassment and abuse in the field that will hopefully lead to some fruitful discussions.
This interview was conducted last year but provides some valuable insights into archaeology, heritage and tourism in Ethiopia. He also touches on some of the challenges involved in training more Ethiopian archaeologists.
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Wearing full-skirted white dresses and turbans, the religious leaders chanted blessings and sprinkled water on the concrete floor of a modest house near this city's port. Beneath their feet were the remains of tens of thousands of African slaves who had died shortly after arriving from their horrific sea voyage.
The bodies had been dumped into a fetid, open-air cemetery, often chopped up and mixed with trash. With the 15-minute ceremony this week, the Afro-Brazilian priests were finally giving the slaves at least the semblance of a proper burial centuries later.
"I thank God for this opportunity," said Edelzuita Lourdes de Santos Oliveira, or Mother Edelzuita, a well-known leader of a house practicing the candomble religion. "We honored our ancestors today with songs left by them."
It's been a long journey not just for the slaves but also for the owners of the house and others seeking to recognize the tragic history in a multiracial country that has often avoided its legacy of slavery and racism ...
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ON CRAGGY ROCKS AND IN SILENT GULLIES AT LYNYARD CAY IN THE ABACOS LAY THE FRAGMENTS OF AN AMERICAN-OWNED SLAVE SHIP, THE 129-TON, 88-FOOT SCHOONER, THE PETER MOWELL. Luckily, 390 of the 400 of its human cargo were able to clamber safely ashore – they were quite young: 96 men between 20 and 36 years, 37 women between 20 and 30 years, and 256 children between 6 and 20 years. Thanks to the ever-changing winds of fate, though, they were not to be sold as slaves like the estimated 12-million Africans forced across the Atlantic over the course of the three-and-a-half century slave-trade era. Rather, rescued by Ridley Pinder and other wreckers from Cherokee Sound, they joined some of the last of the 37,000 African-born immigrants who had been rescued in The Bahamas, whose descendants most likely make their homes there today ...
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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Archaeologists said Tuesday that they'll ask the United Nations' cultural agency to bestow world heritage status on Port Royal, the mostly submerged remains of a historic Jamaican port known as the "wickedest city on Earth" more than three centuries ago.
Receiving the designation from UNESCO would place Port Royal in the company of global marvels such as Cambodia's Angkor temple complex and India's Taj Mahal.
The sunken 17th century city was once a bustling place where buccaneers including Henry Morgan docked in search of rum, women and boat repairs.
In recent days, international consultants have conducted painstaking surveys to mark the old city's land and sea boundaries to apply for the world heritage designation by June 2014, said Dorrick Gray, a technical director with the Jamaican National Heritage Trust, a government agency responsible for preserving and developing the island's cultural spots.
Port Royal was the main city of the British colony of Jamaica in the 17th century until an earthquake and tsunami submerged two-thirds of the settlement in 1692. It boasted a well-to-do population of roughly 7,000 at the time, and was comparable to Boston during the same period.
After the quake, the remainder of the town served as a British royal navy base for two centuries, even as it was periodically ravaged by fires and hurricanes.
In his sprawling book "Caribbean," American author James Michener described Port Royal as having "no restraints of any kind, and the soldiers stationed in the fort seemed as undisciplined as the pirates who roared ashore to take over the place night after night. They were of all breeds, all with nefarious occupations."
Now, it's a depressed fishing village at the tip of a spit of land near Kingston's airport. It has little to attract visitors except some restaurants offering seafood and a few dilapidated historic buildings. The sunken, algae-covered remnants of the city are in murky waters in an archaeological preserve closed to divers without a permit.
But in recent decades, underwater excavations have turned up artifacts including cannonballs, wine glasses, ornate pipes, pewter plates and ceramic plates dredged from the muck just offshore. The partial skeleton of a child was found in 1998.
At a Tuesday press conference, experts said it's among the top British archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere and should be protected for future generations.
"There is outstanding potential here. Submerged towns like this just do not exist anywhere else in the Americas," said Robert Grenier, a Canadian underwater archaeologist who has worked closely with UNESCO. He believes the Jamaican site has a strong chance of getting on the world heritage list.
Texas A&M University nautical archaeologist Donny Hamilton said the consulting team has completed the fieldwork for the world heritage assessment and is working on a management plan. He said Port Royal could become a sustainable attraction for tourists but first "there's got to be something above the ground that people are going to want to come and see."
Jamaican officials and businessmen have announced various strategies to renovate the ramshackle town over the years, including plans for modern cruise liners and a Disney-style theme park featuring actors dressed as pirates.
Some area businessmen have grown exasperated with the slow pace of development.
"Somebody has to act with a certain measure of dispatch," said Marvin D. Goodman, an architect with offices in Kingston, across the bay from Port Royal.
Click here for the full article at the Huffington Post.
I apologize for the untimeliness of this message but it took some time for me to collect my thoughts and emotions before I could sit down and write this email. It is with the utmost regret and sorrow that I must inform you all of the passing of Professor Mark E. Mack. As some of you may have already heard, Mack made his transition Friday night, May 11th, 2012 at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. The previous day, after returning from submitting grades and having lunch with his graduating seniors, he was involved in a head-on automotive collision that resulted in severe brain trauma.
Before making his untimely transition, Mack was involved in a number of ventures including continued research of the W. Montague Cobb Collection and one of DC's largest African American cemeteries at the historic Walter C. Pierce Park. Additionally, he was in the process of developing courses in Nutritional Anthropology, Biological History of the African Diaspora, and The Biology of Inequality even as the University was making plans to cut the Anthropology program.
In life he championed for community-driven research and the proper treatment and respect for ancestral remains, stressing the need for an African American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act comparable to NAGPRA. As curator of Howard University's W. Montague Cobb Laboratory and instructor of Human Osteology, Forensic Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, and Biology and Culture since 1993, Mack trained a number of minority and first-generation students who would go on to become future anthropologists, medical doctors, and dentists.
Mack was steeped in a long tradition of scholars who gave themselves entirely to their teaching and family. Caring little for coveted degrees and honorary titles, he sacrificed his time and commitment away from his own PhD research to focus on teaching and community outreach. With a teaching career that spanned more than two decades, his classes and teaching methods were known for their intensity and rigor. He demanded the most from his students - at times dismissing the entire class when it was evident we had not committed ourselves to same level of academic conviction. Mack's passing is a realization of the evermore pressing need for us to continue to be diligent and dedicated in our scholarship.
I am proud to say that for me, and many other students, Mack was much more than an instructor. He was a mentor, friend, and the closest person I had to a father figure while still an undergraduate at Howard University. He personally reached into his pockets when financial difficulties befell me and my family and fostered my early intellectual growth as a young African American in the field of Anthropology.
He was one of the few instructors students respected for his commitment to education as well as the devotion he showed to his family. He instilled in us a dedication to thorough, ethical research and constantly reminded us that research is a selfless endeavor that should honor those who came before us and speak relevancy to the beautiful ones not yet born. His 2-year old daughter Amirah, nephew Kai, and wife Cindy will always have a place in our hearts and homes.
A funeral service will be held at Howard University's Rankin Chapel on Sunday, May 20. The viewing will be held from 1-2pm and the service will immediately follow. If anyone has memories or photos of Professor Mack to share, please forward them to us at email@example.com and we will ensure that the family receives them.
Society of Black Archaeologists
"ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis museum can keep hold of a 3,200-year-old mummy’s mask, a federal judge has ruled, saying the U.S. government failed to prove that the Egyptian relic was ever stolen.
Prosecutors said the funeral mask of Lady Ka-Nefer-Nefer went missing from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo about 40 years ago and that it should be returned to its country of origin. The St. Louis Art Museum said it researched the provenance of the mask and legitimately purchased it in 1998 from a New York art dealer."
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Archaeologists find graves containing bodies of 5,000 slaves on remote
island. These Africans died in custody of Royal Navy in 1800s, after being seized from ships of slave traders, and were buried on St Helena
Checkout the whole article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/08/slave-mass-graves-st-helena-island
"Global Heritage Fund (GHF) is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve cultural sites around the world. GHF projects in Cyrene and Apollonia have stalled as a result of the revolution, but the group has renewed its efforts with the new Libya.A Roman city in LibyaGHF has done its utmost to involve Libyans.
Students from the universities of Benghazi and Baida were and will be involved in the conservation efforts in the framework of their archaeology management studies. I've recently been appointed to help GHF set up its Libyan Heritage Trust. We hope that as Libya prospers and grows, the government will recognize the importance of these sites, as a possible boon to the tourism industry but also as a source of economic diversification and patriotic reconciliation."
Read full article here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/02/opinion/senussi-libya-art/