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Cultural Heritage, Ethics, and the Military

Cultural Heritage, Ethics, and the Military

Volume: 4
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Cultural Heritage, Ethics, and the Military
    Book Description:

    The world reacted with horror to the images of the looting of the National Museum in Iraq in 2003 - closely followed by other museums and then, largely unchecked, or archaeological sites across the country. This outcome had been predicted by many archaeologists, with some offering to work directly with the military to identify museums and sites to be avoided and protected. However, this work has since been heavily criticised by others working in the field, who claim that such collaboration lended a legitimacy to the invasion. It has therefore served to focus on the broader issue of whether archaeologists and other cultural heritage experts should ever work with the military, and, if so, under what guidelines and strictures. The essays in this book, drawn from a series of international conferences and seminars on the debate, provide an historical background to the ethical issues facing cultural heritage experts, and place them in a wider context. How do medical and religious experts justify their close working relationships with the military? Is all contact with those engaged in conflict wrong? Does working with the military really constitute tacit agreement with military and political goals, or can it be seen as contributing to the winning of a peace rather than success in war? Are guidelines required to help define roles and responsibilities? And can conflict situations be seen as simply an extension of protecting cultural property on military training bases? The book opens and addresses these and other questions as matters of crucial debate. Contributors: Peter Stone, Margaret M. Miles, Fritz Allhoff, Andrew Chandler, Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Barney White-Spunner, René Teijgeler, Katharyn Hanson, Martin Brown, Laurie Rush, Francis Scardera, Caleb Adebayo Folorunso, Derek Suchard, Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly, John Curtis, Jon Price, Mike Rowlands, Iain Shearer.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-944-2
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

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  1. xyz
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-ix)
    Peter Stone
  5. List of abbreviations
    (pp. x-xii)
  6. Introduction: The Ethical Challenges for Cultural Heritage Experts Working with the Military
    (pp. 1-28)
    Peter Stone

    In 2003 I was approached by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide assistance with the identification and protection of the archaeological cultural heritage in Iraq (Stone 2005/8). In doing this I had to put aside my own personal opposition to the war and, post-invasion, I had to weather limited, but very vocal, criticism of my actions (see below). This criticism, coupled with my own concerns over providing information to a military involved in what many still regard as an illegal invasion, led me to think far more deeply than I had had time to do in early 2003...

  7. 1 Still in the Aftermath of Waterloo: A Brief History of Decisions about Restitution
    (pp. 29-42)
    Margaret M Miles

    Restitution after war is an old issue, mentioned at least as far back as the reign of Persian King Cyrus the Great in the mid 6th century BC. The Cyrus Cylinder, a terracotta drum found in a temple deposit at Babylon, is incised with an account in the first person of Cyrus’ reforms, including the repatriating of displaced peoples. After expanding his empire into the area of modern-day Iraq, Cyrus allowed the Jewish people found captive in Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their destroyed temple. In biblical accounts he is said to have sent along with them the...

  8. 2 Physicians at War: Lessons for Archaeologists?
    (pp. 43-54)
    Fritz Allhoff

    As an academic philosopher I surely know less about archaeology than anyone else contributing to this book. My research is in various fields of applied ethics, including bioethics and the ethics of war. While these usually occupy separate programmes, they came together during the 2004–5 academic year, when I was on a research fellowship at the Institute for Ethics of the American Medical Association (AMA). Just after I began the fellowship two articles were published in The Lancet by Steve Miles in which he discussed alleged violations of military medical ethics that may have transpired through physician involvement in...

  9. 3 Christian Responsibility and the Preservation of Civilisation in Wartime: George Bell and the Fate of Germany in World War II
    (pp. 55-69)
    Andrew Chandler

    Exceedingly few priests, ministers or counsellors will remark that it is ever helpful, or even relevant, to apportion something called ‘blame’ to unhappy parties in a crisis or dispute. Yet interpreters of the great crises of the 20th century have often set to work with exactly that purpose in view. This has become a fundamental, and inescapable, thread in any discussion of the ‘record’ of churches caught up in a time of dictatorship, persecution or conflict. Popes, archbishops, bishops, and Christians of every kind have attracted a barrage of criticism from observers and journalists for failing to do what they...

  10. 4 Responding to Culture in Conflict
    (pp. 70-78)
    Oliver Urquhart Irvine

    There is potentially no limit to the geographical reach of an organisation that engages in the pursuance of its governing instrument’s obligations. Certainly the concept of ‘cultural diplomacy’, now recently relabelled ‘cultural relations’ (see, for example, Battle of Ideas 2009), is one that permits any organisation whose existence is based in collections of cultural property, however defined,³ to attempt business in another country without apparently falling foul either of the competing interests of public diplomacy or of its own, more narrowly cast, remit. This chapter surveys the reality of responding to conflict around the world, from the Andes to China,...

  11. 5 How Academia and the Military can Work Together
    (pp. 79-85)
    Barney White-Spunner

    The relationship between academia and the military is as important today as it ever has been, but the increasingly complex environments in which we are operating require institutional adaptation in an area where perhaps both sides have drifted apart. The concept of military and academic cooperation on operations is not a new idea; it has worked before, but there is a fine balance of interest to be achieved which can so easily be upset by a lack of unity and cooperation. This unity of purpose was demonstrated during Operation Heritage (a joint project between the British Museum, the British Army,...

  12. 6 Archaeologist under Pressure: Neutral or Cooperative in Wartime
    (pp. 86-112)
    René Teijgeler

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to frequently heated debate in the archaeological community that has touched on issues extensively examined in humanitarian aid. The so-called ‘new wars’ of the 1990s led to a development in humanitarian aid referred to as ‘new humanitarianism’. This human-rights-based policy noted that, in modern conflict, the sovereignty of a state was no longer regarded as sacred, a stance that allowed international civil society to take sides in a conflict and intervene on behalf of those whose rights were being seriously violated. This was diametrically opposed to the views of the proponents of...

  13. 7 Ancient Artefacts and Modern Conflict: A Case Study of Looting and Instability in Iraq
    (pp. 113-128)
    Katharyn Hanson¹

    Early in the Iraq War, media coverage sporadically informed the general public about the looting of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad, yet the continuing issue of cultural property protection (CPP) during wartime has been largely ignored by the media and, as a result, the general public. Protection of museums and archaeological sites in Iraq, as in previous armed conflicts, has been typically seen as a small problem that concerns only overwrought academics. Compared to the more urgent problems during wartime, such as the preservation of human lives, protection of some dusty old trinkets should rightly take a back seat,...

  14. 8 Whose Heritage? Archaeology, Heritage and the Military
    (pp. 129-138)
    Martin Brown

    The UK defence estate includes some 1% (240,000 hectares) of the UK land mass (Defence Estates 2009). Sites range in size from the 28,000 hectares of Salisbury Plain to small airfields and rifle ranges. Unsurprisingly, for a country rich in archaeological heritage, the estate includes a wide range of cultural heritage assets, from Mesolithic flint scatters to farmsteads abandoned during the expansion of military training during World War II. Unlike many other areas of the United Kingdom, land in military use has been protected from intensive agriculture and widespread development and as a result the survival and extent of remains...

  15. 9 Military Archaeology in the US: A Complex Ethical Decision
    (pp. 139-151)
    Laurie Rush

    How did collegial disagreement over the ethics of archaeologists working with the military escalate into a requirement for police protection for speakers at an academic conference (see Introduction)? There is no question that strong personal feelings have a way of derailing collegial discourse. However, no matter where an individual finds themselves on the spectrum of opinion about archaeologists and the military, the irony of avowed pacifists behaving in a way that encouraged violent behaviour has to be appreciated. A major contributing factor to derailment of collegial discourse, no matter what the subject, is often a deficiency of accurate and detailed...

  16. 10 Akwesasne – Where the Partridges Drum to Fort Drum: Consultation with Native Communities, an Evolving Process
    (pp. 152-157)
    Francis Scardera

    The consultation process between a native community and any DoD installation is often accompanied by a palimpsest of discussions where concerns are aired, reassurances are sought, and, when conditions permit, a working protocol is established. From cordial visits and the sharing of information to the more tenuous process of repatriation of ancestral remains, the challenges remain. However, a continuum based on trust, meaningful dialogue, access to archaeological sites and the stewardship provided by on-site, trained cultural resource managers, form the basis of an effective consultation model evolving on Fort Drum.

    Fort Drum, the 10th Mountain Division Military Installation, is located...

  17. 11 Heritage Resources and Armed Conflicts: An African Perspective
    (pp. 158-171)
    Caleb Adebayo Folorunso

    It has been demonstrated that archaeology can contribute to establishing the antiquity of conflict (Stone 2007). The Christian bible has also demonstrated that conflicts leading to the destruction of lives and properties have always been part and parcel of human society, with the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4, 1–15) being one of the earliest of such conflicts. It is therefore obvious that conflicts can occur at different levels, from that between individuals to that within and between groups of peoples, within and between communities, within and between tribes and ethnic groups, and within and between nations. Conflicts...

  18. 12 Human Shields: Social Scientists on Point in Modern Asymmetrical Conflicts
    (pp. 172-181)
    Derek Suchard

    Those who continue to harbour a late 20th-century view of war and the armed forces would be surprised if they were to visit a Western military brigade-level or higher headquarters in any of the several fronts in what has recently been described as the ‘continuous war’ currently on-going. There are some strange people to be found there.

    In addition to the professional – almost exclusively since the abolition or suspension of conscription in most Western countries – military personnel trained in infantry operations, fire-support, PsyOps and the host of other military specialities that one should reasonably expect to find, there are also...

  19. 13 Politicians: Assassins of Lebanese Heritage? Archaeology in Lebanon in Times of Armed Conflict
    (pp. 182-191)
    Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly

    These lyrics from a famous song by Fairouz, Lebanon’s most famous singer and a mainstay of Lebanese folk music, sum up the relationship between the Lebanese people and their heritage. In the collective memory and culture passed down through the generations, archaeology and heritage are seen as knowledge in Lebanon. Moreover, people are in the habit of saying ‘no matter where you dig you will find archaeological remains’. This naïve conception of the importance of heritage has very often been the cause of the destruction of a great number of archaeological sites which are packed into the earth of the...

  20. 14 Relations between Archaeologists and the Military in the Case of Iraq: Foreword
    (pp. 192-192)

    The complex and emotive issues surrounding ‘engagement’ by archaeologists with the military have been recently and vocally aired in a number of different professional forums and media. The Papers from the Institute of Archaeology (PIA) forum editor felt that this topic deserved greater illustration – for and by some of the archaeologists involved – as a series of strongly voiced opinions, some informed and some less so, has been expressed on the open weblist of the World Archaeological Congress (WAC).

    Dr John Curtis, Keeper of the Department of the Middle East at the British Museum, was approached and kindly agreed to be...

  21. Relations between Archaeologists and the Military in the Case of Iraq
    (pp. 193-199)
    John Curtis

    In this short paper I want to consider the controversial question of whether archaeologists should work with the military, principally in Iraq. During the course of 2008, the British Museum and the British Army collaborated in a project to inspect archaeological sites in the south of Iraq and to develop plans for a new museum in Basra. I shall describe the background to this collaboration, and consider the ethical questions arising from this arrangement.

    Firstly, the engagement with the British Army needs to be put into its proper context. Since the invasion of Iraq by Coalition forces in Spring 2003,...

  22. Response to ‘Relations between Archaeologists and the Military in the Case of Iraq’
    (pp. 200-213)
    Jon Price

    My response to this paper is informed by my knowledge and the context to that knowledge. It is not intended as an ad hominem response, but statements in John’s paper are instead taken to stand for and represent similar statements by other commentators made elsewhere.

    I am an archaeologist. A long time ago I studied the Sassanian dynasty of Persia (modern Iran) under Dr Bivar at the School of Oriental and African Studies. The opportunity for fieldwork never arose for socio-political reasons. For a number of years I have worked closely with serving military personnel dealing with military archaeology (the...

  23. Relations between Archaeologists and the Military in the Case of Iraq – Reply to Price, Rowlands, Rush and Teijgeler
    (pp. 214-217)
    John Curtis

    All aspects of the war in Iraq excite strong emotions and argument, and this is particularly true of the role that archaeologists should play in the protection of Iraqi cultural heritage. There has been much debate about whether archaeologists should engage with the military, and if so under what terms, and there is no doubt that such debates will continue in the future. Jon Price reminds us that a session on this subject at the World Archaeology Conference in Dublin in summer 2008 was so controversial that police protection was necessary. Opinion on this and related matters is sharply divided,...

  24. List of Contributors
    (pp. 218-222)
  25. Index
    (pp. 223-228)
  26. Back Matter
    (pp. 229-229)