Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Boin on Archaeological Ethics and the 'Grey Areas of Papyrology'

One of the forthcoming Penn Cultural Centres' 'Brown Bag Lectures' ('bring a lunch), on November 13, 2014 will be delivered by Douglas Boin, Saint Louis University. He has chosen for his topic: 'See Something? Say Something! Archaeological Ethics and the Gray Areas of Papyrology' and addresses a topic close to my heart - having myself also been the butt of anonymous and other papyrologistical nastiness after querying the origins of items on this particular niche market. Boin notes that:
Many of the ethical considerations that the archaeological community has championed for decades — who found this object? where did it come from? when did it leave its country of origin? — are not being given the same weight by researchers working outside these fields. In this presentation we will look at several high-profile announcements involving material from the Mediterranean — particularly from sites of current turmoil, like Syria and Egypt — as case studies for pinpointing some of the ethical "gray areas" that are the source of current conversations and debate between archaeologists, classicists, papyrologists, and ancient historians, and religious scholars. To conclude, I suggest how the cultural heritage community at large can take the lead in helping the members of these overlapping academic professional organizations, and even journalists, to establish a consistent set of guidelines for researching (and reporting on) their next "exciting" discovery.
For some of Boin's views see 'Papyrus, Provenance and Looting' (PACHI Monday, 3 March 2014).

Then just a while later there will be a presentation from the Trafficking Culture people from Glasgow

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