Local resident and artisan Ivan de la Cruz, a master in gourd carving and etching teaches students at the new SPI-supported artisan training center near Pampas Gramalote, Peru. The sale of carved and decorated gourds will create sustainable income for the community.
With large stone busts looking on in the Palazzo Mattei in Rome, Italy, a diverse panel of experts convened last weekend to discuss how to preserve the world’s smaller, lesser-known cultural heritage sites. The conference’s title, “Unlisted,” was indicative of these places that have not been given official world heritage status by UNESCO, yet are still essential to preserve.
David Nelson Gimbel, founder and Director of Archaeos, Inc., in particular stressed the importance of preserving cultural diversity: “Even if we don’t like a culture, we need to preserve it because in the end, it makes us all better,” he said. How can we preserve these sites? What is the best way to go about it? Other speakers, from fields as diverse as business, law, academia, and technology, addressed the issue with a variety of ideas and anecdotes.
“It’s all in the packaging,” said Darius Arya, Executive Director of the American Institute for Roman Culture, emphasizing the need for presenting information through the preferred medium of this generation: social media. “I want to make cultural heritage cool,” Arya said. “If you can tell a good story, you can engage the public through the same imagery, video, and articles that the media and alarmed experts and their organizations are using,” he added.
Ben Lee, Classics Professor at Oberlin College, and Joshua Neckes, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Group Commerce, Inc., presented their ideas for how to bring together e-commerce firms—experts in disseminating culture—with experts of culture and cultural history. “Cultural knowledge and heritage brings legitimacy and meaning to our lives,” they said, “and it’s to a business’s advantage to invest in it.” Both businesses and cultural heritage can benefit from such a relationship and Lee and Neckes emphasized the importance of leveraging dominant media to bring about this enriching arrangement.
Another highlight of the conference was the presentation of Stefano Baia Curioni of Bocconi University in Milan. His frustration with the way the less-frequented cultural heritage sites in Italy are managed was palpable: “the asymmetrical distribution of visitors and revenues has concentrated the investments in the development of auxiliary services on important cultural centers, leaving most archaeological sites a marginal role in this process,” he said. How to fix it? “There must be multiple stakeholders in a site,” he emphasized. In other words, the local community and government and visitors all have to care, an idea that we here at SPI fully embrace.
The endings to the stories of many of these “unlisted” archaeological sites have yet to be written. Yet, the story itself, the medium through which it is told, and who must be connected and engaged in it were all points of emphasis throughout the conference. And emphasized they must be for such sites to be preserved for future generations to study and enjoy.
Thank you to Darius Arya for assembling such a variety of perspectives and hosting a fruitful discussion!
Preserving smaller, lesser-known cultural heritage sites that do NOT have the benefit of UNESCO’s world heritage status. This is the focus of the second annual “Unlisted” Conference taking place this weekend in Rome, Italy. Hosted by the American Institute for Roman Culture and the Italian Ministry of Culture, the conference brings together cultural heritage and archaeology experts from around the globe to discuss new and innovative ways to preserve such endangered archaeological sites.
Friday, March 23rd, will feature presentations and roundtable discussions and Saturday, March 24th, a guided visit to the Villa of the Quintilii and the bath complex at Capo di Bove. As a ground-breaking and driving force in the preservation of these smaller and lesser-known sites, SPI looks forward to contributing to and learning from the dialogue!
We will be live tweeting from the event both Friday and Saturday, so make sure to follow us @SPInitiatve and #UNLST2012 for updates!
The event will also be live-streaming from 9:30am – 12:30pm EST Friday, March 23rd. Click here for more details.
Via the American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC): Please take a look at Dr. Bernard Frischer’s plea and i-petition to protect Villa Adriana. Located in Tivoli, Italy, this endangered archaeological site (the creation of a massive landfill a few hundred meters away threatens the site) was once the sprawling villa of the second-century Roman emperor Hadrian.
Originally posted on American Institute for Roman Culture:
We are proud to publish Professor Bernard Frischer‘s op-ed piece on Protecting Hadrian’s Villa, an i-petition created by Frischer and sponsored by the American Institute for Roman Culture. In less than a week, we have generated more than 2000 signatures, and are at 3650 signatures and counting.
Rome has long used a garbage dump at a place called Malagrotta. In June 2011, the EU Commission ordered Malagrotta closed because of various violations of EU environmental regulations. Since then the Region of Lazio (the governmental unit in charge of Rome’s waste disposal) has been trying to find a new site. In September 2011, just two months before it fell from power, the Berlusconi government appointed Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro to be Extraordinary Commissioner of Waste Disposal for Lazio with special powers to confront the emergency situation. In October 2011 Pecoraro announced a plan to install a new 400-acre garbage dump at a locality called Corcolle, which is less than one mile from the site of Hadrian’s Villa. Needless to say, the prospect of bringing Rome’s daily garbage to the very doorstep of a precious World Heritage Site was greeted with alarm and opposition. The Italian Ministry of Culture and the Province of Rome are on record in opposition to the proposal as are various nearby cities (including Tivoli) and citizen groups.
“GARBAGE EMERGENCY, A ‘YES’ OF THE TECHNICAL EXPERTS PUTS CORCOLLE AT RISK
by Maruro Evangelisti
“March 17, 2012, ROME – Among the documents which the collaborators of the Commissioner for Waste Disposal, Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro, are examining in meetings with the Director of the Ministry of the Environment and representatives of the Province of Rome, City of Rome, and Region of Lazio, there is a site plan. It shows the area of Corcolle (selected to be one of the new temporary garbage dumps) at a distance of 2 kilometers from Hadrian’s Villa. The land parcel belongs to the corporation Pozzalana srl.
“In another site plan the boundaries of the UNESCO site of Hadrian’s Villa are only 1200 meters away. And in the dossier of the staff of the Commissioner there is also a document dated 15 June 2010 from the Archaeological Superintendency of Rome in response to a request to install a rubbish dump in which the Superintendency affirms that the land is ‘archaeologically sterile.’ And the Superintendency expressed its approval.
“In contrast, in the course of the meeting of specialists which blocked the choice of Corcolle [i.e., several days ago--BF], the Cultural Ministry vetoed the choice of Corcolle.
“In a nutshell: for Pecoraro the candidacy of Corcolle has NOT been discarded. It is the only site among the seven under consideration that permits creation of the garbage dump by this autumn, if Corrado Clini, Minister of the Environment, gives his approval.
“Let’s be clear: suppose that on March 22, 2012 the government says ‘yes’ to the areas chosen by Pecoraro (Corcolle and Riano). For Corcolle there is already a preliminary plan of action. Land expropriation and a call for bids will be set in motion. The winner will have to present a final proposal. An environmental impact report will have to be filed.
“Before October-November 2012 the new garbage dump [at Corcolle- Hadrian's Villa--BF] will not be ready. For that to happen, an additional month will be needed. If the options of Corcolle and Riano are rejected and if a different site is chosen, then the whole process starts over from the beginning and much more time is needed [to get Rome's new garbage dump up and running]. In that case, even an extension until December 2012 of the use of the current dump site at Malagrotta would not be enough.”
A student from the School of Arts (left) interviews young students of the pottery workshop. Educators aim to insert the Mochica pottery workshop into the curriculum of local schools at primary and secondary levels. The main objective in this case is to generate educational workshops that will focus on the cultural history of the town and region in order to increase local awareness of the cultural heritage of the area.
Check out our most recent update from the endangered archaeological site of San Jose de Moro, Peru here.
Below, an update from Solsire Cusicanqui, our director at the endangered archaeological site of San Jose de Moro, Peru.
San Jose de Moro Archaeological Program (PASJM) and Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI) have established an agreement with the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) to work in social development projects associated with archaeological sites. The main objective is to make an umbrella development project with people living around an archaeological site in danger. This project emerges from the need to create an interdisciplinary work model appropriate to the context of the Peruvian coast.
In a context like this, where you can easily find many modern settlements on or near archaeological sites, it is imperative to formulate proposals for a mutually beneficial coexistence.
Recently, a working group, consisting of two professors from the Faculty of Arts, two professors from the Faculty of Education, a professor from the Faculty of Architecture, two archaeologists from the Archaeological Program of San Jose de Moro, and the Sustainable Preservation Initiative representative in Peru, congregated for a 5-day long visit to the archaeological site.
This visit had the following objectives:
• Visits to local institutions among the community such a group of mothers, local government representatives, members of the community.
• Meeting with the principals from the local schools (primary, primary, secondary) at the settlement of San José de Moro.
• Visual and written information survey including photographs and videos to record the interviews.
• Visit to the workshops of local producers to get to know the workshops and the environment in which they operate and the final product offered by artisans.
• Train local craftsmen in the use of economic tools and product improvement, in order to increase the quality standards and the value of what they offer.
• Create public spaces that include a relationship with the Moche culture (iconography, colors).
• Implementation of activities to increase local awareness about the potential of the site.
• The application of the above strategies and programs as a model that can be replicated in other communities.
The working group achieved all objectives, with emphasis on working with the craftsmen, especially the students from the pottery workshop. Also, members of the team had several meetings with the authorities and the Mayor of Chepén and Pacanga.
Check out our photo gallery and slide show below!
Artisans in training at Pampas Gramalote, Peru. After gourds are peeled and dried, artisans pencil various designs onto the gourd, which will then be carved and painted. These hand-made gourds will be sold in the artisan and visitor center, providing a sustainable income for the surrounding community.
Our new project at the endangered archaeological site of Pampas Gramalote is underway!
As you read in our recent newsletter, our newest initiative invests in locally-created and -run businesses in Huanchaco, Peru, whose financial success is tied to the preservation of the archaeological site of nearby Pampas Gramalote. One part of this initiative is the construction of gourd carving and totora reed and junco reed artisanal workshops, where expert craftsmen will train new artisans to create hand-made traditional carved gourds and woven reed mats and baskets. These will be displayed and on sale for visitors to the site, creating a sustainable source of income for the local community.
Training has begun and has included a lecture on the history and use of gourds at Pampas Gramalote by Yale archaeologist Gabriel Prieto, as well as informational demonstrations on the intricate process of peeling, drying, and designing gourds by Professor Ivan de la Cruz.
Take a look at our photo gallery and slideshow below and check back for more updates!
Hand/Eye, a magazine about connecting different cultures and inspiring social action, recently featured SPI’s work at San Jose de Moro and the hand-made ceramics of its artisans!
Check out the article and magazine here: http://handeyemagazine.com/content/people-not-stones