SPI to Sponsor ‘Archaeology and Economic Development Conference’ this Fall!

While the Sustainable Preservation Initiatives counts on donors like you to support our projects that preserve archaeological sites and transform lives, we also hold ourselves accountable for investing in valuable projects for the future.This fall, SPI will sponsor the ‘Archaeology and Economic Development’ Conference at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (UCL).

Registration for the conference is now open! To be held in London over two days, September 21st and 22nd 2012, this major international conference has attracted a range of experts to discuss the theoretical, practical and ethical issues surrounding the use of archaeology and heritage in projects for economic development.  For full information on the conference themes, program, speakers, and for details of registration, please visit the conference website at www.ucl.ac.uk/aed2012. For any further information or questions please contact aed2012conference@gmail.com. As space at this conference will be limited, conference organizers Peter Gould and Paul Burtenshaw encourage you to register early. We look forward to welcoming you to London in September!

Photo of the Week

One of several large pyramid structures from the site of Coba, Mexico. This Pre-Colombian Maya monument is located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, about 90 km east of the Maya site of Chichen Itza, and about 40 km west of the Caribbean Sea.

Photo of the Week

Holy Huaca!

This photo, taken by SPI Executive Director Larry Coben during a visit in 2011, shows the stunning size of the main mural at the ancient Moche site of Huaca de la Luna (and, yes, that’s a person on the fourth register).

Most scholars agree that Huaca de la Luna was the central ceremonial and religious site of the Moche, an ancient civilization that flourished from 100 – 800 AD on the northern coast of Peru. San Jose de Moro, SPI’s first project site, features another smaller Moche ceremonial site and cemetery.

“Rainforests and Ruins”: SPI at the Milken Institute Conference in 2011

Want to learn more about the Sustainable Preservation Initiative and how we both preserve cultural heritage AND transform impoverished communities?

Check out SPI Executive Director Larry Coben in this video from the Milken Institute Conference in 2011!

“The whole issue of cultural and ecotourism, while it may seem a rather small item in the world financial market scheme of things, in international development is the hottest concern right now,” says Brent Lane, Director for the Center for Competitive Economies at the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina. With fellow panel members Uri Dromi (Director General, Mishkenot Sha’ananim), and Crawford Hill (CEO, Chill Expeditions), and Brent Lane, SPI’s Larry Coben discusses CONCRETE SOLUTIONS for helping developing countries preserve their undervalued and underutilized cultural heritage as an economic asset. SPI believes that by quantifying these assets and channeling capital to them, we can preserve endangered archaeological sites in a sustainable way that transforms the lives of poor communities.

Photo of the Week

Excavated ceramics discovered at the archaeological site of San Jose de Moro, Peru!

Check out the most recent update on our project at San Jose de Moro that is both transforming the community and preserving its cultural heritage here.

SPI’s Artisanal Products Span the Globe!

An update from Solsire Cusicanqui, who leads our project at San Jose de Moro, Peru:

Last week, SPI and the company Tesoros (http://www.tesoros.com), led by Jonathan Williams and Kisla Jímenez, held a cocktail event to display the handcrafted products of San Jose de Moro’s artisans. The event brought together a diverse set of organizations, from The Field Museum in Chicago to Arcadia Homo to Poco a Poco Imports, among others.

Solsire Cusicanqui (far right) and representatives from various organizations take a look at replica ceramics made by local artisans in San Jose de Moro, Peru.

Representatives were greatly impressed by our artisans’ work, created in centers built with the help of SPI, finding both the work itself and what it supports appealing. While some lauded the fact that San Jose de Moro’s artisans work “with identity,” others noted the contribution the sale of such work makes: “By buying one of these products, you are not only helping the artisan, but also preserving the archaeological sites of Peru. This motivates us to work with them,” said Dawn Kikel of Arcadia Homo.

We’re looking forward to seeing the work of local artisans supported by SPI and its message of sustainable preservation continue to span the globe!