All are welcome to attend our free event. The lecture will be followed by a reception with light refreshments. Please register by Tuesday 24 August 2021. 

About the lecture

Archaeological heritage has been big news lately, as the impact of Rio Tinto’s Juukan Gorge debacle continues to reverberate around the planet, hard on the heels of the deliberate destruction of sites in conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. That said, archaeology has been prospering in most parts of the world with the ascent of the heritage industry. A prodigious amount of archaeological work is undertaken every day right around the planet in the name of heritage, employing vastly more archaeologists than all the universities and museums in the world combined. Driven directly or through ‘trickle-down’ by factors such as the rapid growth of UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the wide influence of the World Bank’s heritage and other safeguards, the future for ‘archaeology-as-heritage’ looks bright. But what is this so-called ‘progress’ doing to archaeology as a discipline? Our claims to scholarly authority and professional integrity are under ever-increasing pressure from planners and developers, descendants and locals, looters and collectors, and politicians and diplomats, few if any of whom have any real understanding of or sympathy for the basics much less the nuances of our craft. So what should we do? This lecture will canvass some of the possibilities, with a focus on Australia’s role on the global stage.

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