Islamic State Ideology and Cultural Cleansing

Unimaginable loss of human life and cultural heritage are an almost daily occurrence in the conflict zones of Syria and Iraq. Looking back to 2011–2012, like many foreign archaeologists conducting long-term research in Syria, I experienced an initial period of denial and disbelief. Many of us struggled to come to grips with the unfathomable turpitude […]

Using Satellite Imagery to Monitor Syria’s Cultural Heritage

The military conflict that now consumes Syria and neighboring parts of Iraq and Turkey, the northern portion of the Fertile Crescent, are home to an extraordinarily rich archaeological heritage, which now faces a host of threats, including conflict-related damage, looting and intentional destruction.  Over the past two years, media attention has focused almost exclusively on […]

Where We Draw the Lines

Weighing Commitments to Community and Heritage The AAA Statement of Ethics asks anthropologists to “do no harm,” an injunction that is deceptively simple. After all, anthropologists can rarely foresee or influence the potential consequences and unintentional impacts of their research. The AAA’s injunction therefore introduces thorny issues pertaining to the long-term effects of data—the maps, […]