Interview with a Chotuna-Chornancap Project Weaver

SPI has interviewed one of the weavers at Chotuna-Chornancap
El SPI ha realizado una entrevista a una de las tejedoras de Chotuna-ChornancapImage

Weaver/TejedoraFILOMENA PINGO TEJADA

How has the project transformed the lives of people in the community? What changes have occurred with the project so far?
The Chotuna Project has transformed the lives of the people in the community by offering work and as such more families are benefiting. Our children are also interested in learning more about our history.
¿Cómo el proyecto ha transformado la vida de los pobladores en la comunidad? ¿Qué cambios han ocurrido en el proyecto hasta ahora? 
El Proyecto Chotuna ha transformado la vida de los pobladores brindando trabajo y con esto más familias se ven beneficiadas, además nuestros hijos sienten un interés por aprender más sobre nuestra historia.

What benefits do you feel are happening with the Project? Do you think new opportunities have been created for the women in the community?
Yes, in this case it has allowed us to regain our identity, customs and the art of weaving.
¿Qué beneficios cree usted que estén ocurriendo con el proyecto? ¿Cree usted que ha generado nuevas oportunidades a las mujeres en su comunidad? 
Si, en este caso nos ha permitido recobrar nuestra identidad, las costumbres y el arte de tejer.

How do you feel, has your quality of life improved?
The economic aspect has improved, as well as the role of mother and teacher as we have begun to teach weaving to our daughters and sisters.
¿Cómo se siente usted, ha mejorado su calidad de vida?
Ha mejorado en el aspecto económico y además a tener un rol de madre y maestra pues hemos comenzado a enseñar a tejer a nuestras hijas y hermanas.

Do you feel that the community is empowering itself? Do you find that these initiatives should continue?
Yes, they should continue. We still have many different designs and types of weaving (such as for purses) to learn.
¿Siente que la comunidad se está empoderando? ¿Le parece que estas iniciativas deberían seguir? 
Si, deberían de seguir, falta por aprender muchos diseños y diferentes formas de tejidos (bolsos).

Could you send a message to other women in different parts of the world?
That they regain their customs and seek their historical past, this way they will see that women are and will always be indispensable.
Podría mandar un mensaje a las otras mujeres en diferentes partes del mundo?
Que recobren sus costumbres, que busquen su pasado histórico pues así lograrán ver que la mujer es y será siempre indispensable.

 

Pachacamac Project developments

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We’ve attached some pictures to show you another face of the Pachacamac project: how we’re transforming the lives of local women. Last Saturday (March 15) 50 women attended our first art workshop. Art teachers from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú held a workshop on Pachacamac art and iconography in order to help the women create products for sale in the following months.

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Interestingly, many of the women who attended are illiterate and were attending a class for the very first time. Some women were over the age of 50! The comments made by the women were very positive and they were thankful for the opportunity.

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It’s important to mention the work and effort put in by the director of the Pachacamac site museum, Denise Possi-Escot and the Pachacamac project coordinator Lorena Best. Before the workshop began, Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of Peru, Luis Jaime Castillo Butters, invited the women to the Grand National Theatre to attend a show portraying traditional Peruvian dances. This show was very inspiring to the women—for most of them, it was their first ever visit to a theatre.

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As members of an organization that truly transforms peoples lives, its important you realize all the changes you are creating for these women, their communities and our country.

Thank you for your support,

SPI-Peru

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Interview with Denise Pozzi-Escot

For International Women’s Day, SPI has interviewed Pachacamac Museum director Denise Pozzi-Escot, an empowered woman and a fighter.
Por el día de la mujer el SPI ha realizado una entrevista a un ejemplo de mujer empoderada y luchadora: la directora del Museo de Pachacamac, Denise Pozzi-Escot.

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What do you think of SPI as an organization?
SPI has allowed us to do, with flexibility and ease, some of the work that couldn’t be done from the Ministry. We have implemented workshops, we have your support on the issue of trade, and especially the possibility of giving the people living in the outskirts an alternative to improve their quality of life. That’s the idea. We can preserve the sites, but with alternative development for the population so that they too are committed to site conservation. That’s the idea of SPI projects, and it aligns perfectly with our management plan.
¿Que piensas del SPI como organización?
El SPI nos ha permitido hacer una parte del trabajo que no podíamos realizar desde el Ministerio, con bastante flexibilidad y facilidad. Hemos implementado talleres, tenemos el apoyo de ustedes para ir trabajando sobre el tema de comercio, especialmente la posibilidad de darles a la gente que reside alrededor una alternativa para mejorar su calidad de vida, esa es la idea. Que nosotros podamos conservar los sitios pero con un desarrollo alternativo para la población y de esta manera esta se compromete a la conservación del mismo. Esa es la idea de los proyectos del SPI que se alinea perfectamente a nuestro plan de manejo.

How has the project transformed the lives of people in the communities? What changes have occurred with the project so far?
Although we are just starting our third month, we have been working with the community since last year, preparing them for this year’s project. First off, the women who are part of the workshop have to visit the archaeological monument. They must know what is next to their homes. This is extremely important because there are people living around the sanctuary who have never visited it. We are also raising awareness through the project and promoting cultural heritage education. This has helped improve the women’s self-esteem, as they have discovered skills they did not know they had. There are some who had never painted in their lives, never worked as part of a team. That is an important part of the project, learning to share, getting to know one another. There are fights between Lurin and Pachacamac and, on account of the project, we are gathering women from these districts, women who are generally confronting each other.  We are trying to use the museum and the project as a means of improving their relations.
¿Como el proyecto ha transformado la vida de los pobladores en las comunidades? ¿Que cambios han ocurrido con el proyecto hasta ahora?
Nosotros recién estamos comenzando nuestro tercer mes, pero hemos venido trabajando desde el año pasado con la comunidad, preparándolos para el proyecto de este año. Primero las señoras que son parte del taller deben de realizar una visita al monumento arqueológico, deben de conocer lo que se encuentra al lado de sus casas. Esto es importantísimo pues hay gente que vive alrededor del santuario pero que no lo conocía. Nosotros estamos también concientizando, haciendo educación patrimonial a partir del proyecto. Por otro lado, es importante como ha contribuido a mejorar la autoestima de las señoras pues han descubierto habilidades que ellas tenían y no conocían, hay gente que en su vida había pintado, que en su vida viene y trabaja en equipo, eso también es parte importante del proyecto, que aprendan a compartir, que se conozcan, porque hay peleas entre Lurín y Pachacamac y que gracias al proyecto estamos juntado mujeres de estos barrios que normalmente se están enfrentando. A partir del museo y del proyecto estamos tratando de que las relaciones mejoren.

Do you think new opportunities have been created for the women in the communities?
I think we are beginning to create them. The project is just beginning. Hopefully by the end of the year we still have the same presence. We started with over 50 people, so many that we had to tell them that we were at capacity. We have some goals for the end of the year and we hope to perform real changes in the lives of these women. Can you imagine for these women who are always used to chopping onions, cooking, being at home and cleaning, that they are given the opportunity to leave? To come to another place, to have their own space… this space is for them. They come here and have a quiet place with another sense of spirit, they will realize that there is a world beyond the four walls of their house, a world which is located here at the site and that this project will open up other doors for them.
¿Cree usted que se ha generado nuevas oportunidades para las mujeres de las comunidades?
Yo creo que estamos comenzando a crearlo, el proyecto recién esta comenzando. Ojala que a fin de año tengamos la misma presencia, comenzamos con mas do 50 personas, tanto que tuvimos que decirles que ya no vengan mas porque ya no había mas cupo. Tenemos unas metas hasta fin de año que esperamos realicen cambios reales en la vida de estas señoras. Te imaginas para estas mujeres que siempre están acostumbradas a picar cebolla, a cocinar, estar en su casa limpiando que le den la oportunidad de salir. Que vengas a otro lugar, que tengas un espacio propio; este espacio es el espacio de ellas. Ellas vienen y tienen acá un lugar tranquilo donde hay otro espíritu, entonces también ellas se dan cuenta que hay un mundo mas allá de las cuatro paredes de su casa, que se encuentra acá en este sitio y que este proyecto les puede permitir abrirles otras puertas.

How do you think the relationship between the museum and the community has changed?
The past four years we have been working with the community, but we worked with children, because it allowed us to get to the adults. Our activities were focused with students, with children, and in passing they brought their parents. We are now working in parallel: we have an educational project with children, and also directly with the women. In some cases they are bringing their husbands. There was a woman who realized this was lovely and invited her husband to accompany her and see what was being done. We are now going to work with adults, which was not the focus of our program.
¿Como cree que ha cambiado la relación del museo con las comunidades?
Nosotros de todas maneras desde hace unos 4 años estamos trabajando con la comunidad pero teníamos básicamente trabajo con los niños; porque eso nos permitía llegar de alguna manera a los adultos. Nuestras actividades estaban centradas en los escolares, en los niños, y ellos de pasada traían a sus padres. Ahora estamos trabajando en paralelo, están los niños, tenemos un proyecto educativo pero ahora también directamente son las mujeres que se relacionan acá y que también en algún caso están trayendo sus esposos. Había un señora que descubrió que esto era lindo, precioso y entonces invitó al esposo para que la acompañe y vea lo que se esta haciendo. De alguna manera ahora estamos entrando a trabajar con adultos que no estaba muy enfocado en nuestro programa.

During the inauguration of the workshop some community members described the project as a dream come true, as they had always expected an economic opportunity, but until now did not have the resources or training. How does it feel to know that the community is responding very positively to the project?
It is vital to us. When I began to study archeology we concentrated on hard research. Now, 30 years later, we realize that if the community does not participate, it is useless to continue doing archeology. I think through archeology we are opening spaces for these women, for these people, to have a chance to improve their quality of life. And also, as I previously mentioned, they know there is a space for them, a space that’s their own, a nice space, where they are happy to share with others. I think that they are also starting to believe that, because of their relationship with the museum, they will have other possibilities. Can you imagine? That’s our dream: to help improve their lives. Through painting they get their therapy. They are happier and so are we. You feel good, you go back home with different sense of spirit. I think these women have high expectations and that’s a very important responsibility for us.
Durante la inauguración del modulo algunos miembros de la comunidad describieron el proyecto como un sueño hecho realidad, ya que siempre habían esperado una oportunidad económica, pero hasta ahora no tenían los recursos ni la formación. ¿Como se siente saber que la comunidad esta respondiendo de forma muy positiva al proyecto?
Es fundamental para nosotros. Cuando yo comencé a estudiar arqueología nos concentrábamos en la investigación pura y dura. Ahora 30 años después, nos damos cuenta que si la comunidad no participa, de nada sirve que sigamos haciendo arqueología. Creo que a través de la arqueología estamos abriendo espacios para que estas señoras, que esta gente, tenga una posibilidad de mejorar su calidad de vida. Y que además, como mencione, que sepan que hay un espacio para ellas, un espacio propio, un espacio lindo, ellas vienen felices a compartir acá, y creo que ellas también están creyendo que a partir de su relación con el museo van a tener otras posibilidades. Te imaginas, ese es el sueño de nosotros: contribuir a mejorar sus vidas. Pintando tienen su terapia, son más felices y nosotros también, te sientes bien, tu regresas a tu casa con otro espíritu. Creo que estas mujeres tienen muchas expectativas y eso es una responsabilidad muy importante para nosotros.

For international women’s day, could you send a message to other women in different parts of the world.
To continue to believe in our dreams. I have been here in Pachacamac for the past 5 years, and the whole team has always wanted to contribute something to society from the museum. We, as archaeologists, can do something to make this world better! I think this is an opportunity that has been presented to us, that Pachacamac is giving us the opportunity to contribute our grain of sand to make a better world for us, because as a woman I am happy to help other women use their heritage to obtain and achieve dreams they never imagined.
Por el día de la mujer, podría mandar un mensaje a las otras mujeres en diferentes partes del mundo.
Que sigamos creyendo en nuestros sueños. Yo estoy aquí en Pachacamac hace 5 años y todo el equipo siempre quiso que desde el museo podamos aportar en algo a la sociedad. Como nosotros, como arqueólogos, podemos hacer algo para que este mundo sea mejor! Creo que este es una oportunidad que se nos presenta, que Pachacamac nos está dando la oportunidad de que contribuyamos con un granito de arena para que tengamos un mundo mejor, para nosotros, porque yo como mujer también estoy feliz de contribuir a que otras mujeres también puedan conseguir y alcanzar sueños que ni siquiera imaginaron a partir de su patrimonio. 

SPI inaugurates new community development workshop space at the site of Pachacamac

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Community members painting the walls of the new Workshop space with Pachacamac iconography. Miembros de las comunidades pintando los muros del nuevo módulo con iconografía Pachacamac.

On Saturday, SPI and the Pachacamac Site Museum inaugurated the new community development workshop space at the Pachacamac archaeological site. Workshops at this space are already training members of the community in subject areas including tourism, management, graphic design and product creation. Our launch was possible thanks to the support of the museum and the donation made by Grupo MAESTRO.

Ayer el SPI y el Museo de Sitio de Pachacamac inauguraron el nuevo módulo para la promoción de desarrollo comunitario en el sitio arqueológico de Pachacamac. En este taller se viene capacitando a los pobladores en temas de turismo, gestión, diseño grafico y creación de productos. Esto fue posible gracias al apoyo del museo de sitio y la donación del Grupo MAESTRO. 

ImageLarry Coben helping out with the painting. Larry Coben ayudando a pintar.

Patrons of the inauguration were the Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of Peru, Luis Jaime Castillo and Christian Manrique, Brand and Communications Manager for Grupo MAESTRO.

Los padrinos de la inauguración fueron el Viceministro de Patrimonio Cultural e Industrias Culturales del Perú, Luis Jaime Castillo y Christian Manrique, Gerente de Marca y Comunicaciones del Grupo MAESTRO.

ImageFrom left to right – De izquierda a derecha: Luis Jaime Castillo (Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of Peru – Viceministro de Patrimonio Cultural e Industrias Culturales del Perú), Christian Manrique (Brand and Communications Manager, Grupo MAESTRO - Gerente de Marca y Comunicaciones, Grupo MAESTRO), Denise Pozzi-Escot (Director, Pachacamac Site Museum - Directora del Museo de Sitio de Pachacamac), Larry Coben (Executive Director, SPI - Director, SPI).

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GUEST BLOG POST: A Cultural Heritage Management Plan for Mudurnu, Turkey: Forging Heritage-Led Sustainable Development Strategies

From time to time we ask heritage practitioners to share their stories. Placing them on our blog is not an endorsement of their work or underlying paradigm. Here, heritage planner Dr. Ayse Ege YILDIRIM of Koc University, Istanbul shares a case study about A Cultural Heritage Management Plan for Mudurnu, Turkey.

By Dr. A. Ege YILDIRIM
Heritage Planner, J.M. Kaplan Senior Fellow for Archaeological Site Management, Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC), Koç University, Istanbul 

While Turkey has a great wealth of cultural heritage sources and quite an established legal and institutional tradition of their conservation, the country is now witnessing a new paradigm in the national sphere of historic preservation, namely that of site management. High-profile, often World Heritage sites like the historical areas of Istanbul or the neolithic site of Çatalhöyük have been the focus of site management plans in recent years, but sites that are of more modest scale but spread throughout the country in greater numbers, also warrant attention in terms of site management, both as prescribed in current national legislation and by nature of their own characteristics and needs.

The historic Silk Road town of Mudurnu, in the northwestern Anatolian province of Bolu, is one such modest but significant site. In my doctoral research (2008-11) examining governance in urban conservation projects, I had observed some noteworthy instances of collaboration between stakeholders for the conservation of the town’s cultural resources, and I returned to Mudurnu this year as part of my research fellowship for site management at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) of Koç University.  The research project, to create a Cultural Heritage Management Plan For Mudurnu, aims to contribute to the nascent literature of cases where site management legislation is applied in Turkey and to produce a tangible project that will assist a small municipality in realizing their aspirations for sustainable tourism and development.

Mudurnu: A remarkable history and a wealth of heritage assets

Mudurnu, with a population of around 5,200, lies along its namesake river and forms part of the Sakarya Basin, along with other similar towns situated along the historic Silk Road. Known in antiquity as Bithynia, the region around Mudurnu holds traces of the Hittite, Phrygian, Lydian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljukid and Ottoman cultures. The first settlement of the town itself is known to have been around the citadel built in the name of Moderna, daughter of the local Byzantine governor. Mudurnu became a major Ottoman trading and crafts center, owing to its strategic location along trade routes, which has left a rich legacy of traditional timber-frame residential architecture. This dense fabric forms a powerful ensemble together with the town’s natural setting by a rocky river valley. Beside the Byzantine citadel, the monumental architecture of Mudurnu features Ottoman works such as the Yildirim Beyazit Mosque and Baths; Sultan Suleyman Mosque, the 288-shop Bazaar (‘Arasta’), the hill-top Clock Tower and numerous tombs for dervish saints. Complementing the built heritage is a strong intangible heritage element, reflected in the strong tradition of commerce dating back to the 13th century and still surviving through the guild culture (‘Ahilik’), in the various artisanal crafts and cuisine of the region, in the proud role Mudurnu played in the Turkish War of Independence of 1919-20, and in the famous son of Mudurnu, Pertev Naili Boratav, ethnologist and founder/ director of the Turkish Studies centers in Stanford and Paris-Sorbonne Universities. Furthermore, the town is surrounded by a range of natural heritage assets, including thermal springs and lakes, a popular holiday destination among them being Lake Abant. Almost the entire existing settlement area is designated as an urban conservation site, with 215 designated historic buildings, and a Conservation Plan was prepared in the mid-1990s, adding another 138 buildings to be protected by zoning.

Despite its rich array of heritage assets, Mudurnu’s livelihood and modern-day reputation have been founded on the poultry industry, led by Mudurnu Tavukçuluk, an easily recognized brand name in the Turkish retail market. The predominantly mountainous, woodland terrain of Mudurnu district has supported the traditional economic sectors of agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry, while tourism has not been as prominent. Things changed for Mudurnu with Turkey’s economic crisis of 2001, which dealt a blow to the poultry industry, causing a stream of emigration and a deep sense of loss in the community.

Efforts for Revitalization in Mudurnu since 2003

Efforts to find a way out of this state of affairs were soon begun, and around 2003, under the leadership of mayor Mehmet Karakasoglu, a new initiative to revive the economy through cultural and eco-tourism, sought in a way to ‘reinvent’ Mudurnu’s identity. First, local stakeholders came together for the 3T Project, based on tourism, textile and agriculture (‘tarim’), and then focused on the ‘Project for Tourism-based Revitalization of Traditional Architecture’, featuring restoration and adaptive reuse of some 30 historic houses, rehabilitation of several streets and the historic Arasta and some public realm improvements. This latter project, which won an award from the Turkish Union of Historic Towns (TKB), had a strong governance aspect, involving coordination between the Municipality, Bolu Province Directorate for Culture & Tourism, the Ministry of Culture & Tourism and local homeowners. Concerted local efforts were continued under mayor Mehmet İnegol, with the Mudurnu Workshop organized by the Bolu AIB University in 2010, and the creation in 2011 of the Silk Road Tourism Development Union formed by municipalities of the region, which is currently developing a Silk Road Tourism Corridor Action Plan. Other recent initiatives for culture and nature tourism have been an agro-tourism training program funded by the East Marmara Development Agency, the creation of an archeological park displaying classical era artefacts, a City Museum displaying ethnological features and early 20th century photographs, and the P.N. Boratav Culture House converted from the old district governor’s office. Beside these sustainable tourism projects, other noteworthy investments in Mudurnu have been the Sarot thermal resort 30 km north of the town and the housing units of TOKİ (Turkish Mass Housing Administration) southwest of the existing settlement.

As one can see above, substantial efforts have been made in the past decade to channel Mudurnu’s heritage assets into economic development by way of cultural tourism. As a result of historic mansion conversions and other hotels that started operating, Mudurnu has attained one of the highest levels of bed capacity within its region and is continuing to see increased visitor numbers, reaching more than 160,000 in 2012. However, a true breakthrough in sustainable tourism has not yet been truly achieved, and more remains to be done for the town and its district to adequately preserve its heritage assets and to fully realize its sustainable development potential. While the local officials cite insufficient financial resources and sponsors for projects, as well as a lack of motivation in the community, other risks to emerge may be the increasing tourism activity reaching a level that is hard to manage and damaging to Mudurnu’s environment and authentic character, and the migration of residents from historic homes to new housing and leaving the historic buildings to decay or change authentic functions.

Enter the Management Plan

This makes it an opportune time for well-planned heritage management practices in Mudurnu, which would go hand in hand with sustainable tourism strategies. An effective management plan could help mitigate risks such as cited above, bring together and coordinate all initiatives under one vision, facilitate information sharing, optimize economic resources, enable all stakeholders to take part in the process and create synergy toward a shared strategic vision.

This has been the context for the Mudurnu Cultural Heritage Management Plan, the goal of which can be summarized as ‘developing and implementing a strategy for sustainable development in Mudurnu that balances conservation and development, protects the town’s heritage resources and benefits the local community’.

 As the key stakeholder in this process, Mudurnu Municipality and I have been working together since September 2013, with Mudurnu District Governorship (Kaymakamlık), Mudurnu Civic Council (Kent Konseyi) and the Mudurnu Culture, Tourism and Solidarity Association (MUKTUDER) having come on board as Project Partners. Since an essential condition for a successful site management plan is a strong culture of solidarity and cooperation, it appears we have caught a favorable wind in Mudurnu.

 The Mudurnu Cultural Heritage Management Plan, following global best practice and national legislation and adapting their appropriate tools for the particular context of Mudurnu, strives to provide ‘a roadmap for how the site’s significance will be preserved together with stakeholders of the site’. Since its emergence in the latter part of the 20th century, site management is a method of strategic planning used mainly for protected areas, aimed at efficient use of resources, adapting to changing circumstances and more effectively reaching planning targets. The most important features of a management plan are recognized as a focus on ‘process’ rather than ‘end result’, and ‘participation’ of all stakeholders. Site management entered the Turkish legal sphere in 2004, after its importance was understood as a requirement of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Turkish historic preservation law defines management plans as a method to be applied for all protected urban, archaeological and historical sites and their influence zones, with the coordination of official authorities and non-governmental organizations, comprising conservation and development projects, along with their yearly and five-yearly implementation phases and budgets, to be reviewed every five years. Accordingly, the major management planning phases for Mudurnu are formulated as:

  • Establishing the Strategic Framework
  • Identifying Project Partners and other stakeholders, holding information and consultation meetings
  • Preparing the Draft Plan Report: Inventory of cultural assets of the site, site significance, appraisal of existing conditions, Plan Vision, Principles and Targets, Action Plans
  • Completion and approval of Final Plan Report based on review by stakeholders
  • Implementation process: Forming a permanent local team and an implementation- control mechanism, commencing the cycle of implementation, monitoring and plan revision

At this early stage of planning works, a key concern that emerges is for the plan to be viable, with sufficient stakeholder buy-in and financial resources for implementation. The first major milestone that would be achieved is the completion of the Plan Report as a tangible output. But the real measure of success will be when the Plan is put into action by a local team. In this regard, the local government elections coming up in three months is an important milestone that needs to be safely passed, as managerial continuity is often a risk to urban governance projects.

One way to overcome the funding question and ensure a solid foundation for the management plan could be taking it to a broader level. The ‘regional basin model’ advocated by the TKB can be taken as reference, and the Silk Road Tourism Development Union platform can be used to apply for funds of regional development agencies. Another dimension of the broad level approach would be to integrate the protection of cultural heritage with those of natural assets through eco-tourism. In this way, the cultural heritage management plan can become the initial step of a larger process.

It is our hope that the right answers to the above questions will be provided by the process itself as it moves forward. We believe that a sustainable development strategy that protects the town’s cultural identity while elevating its economic prosperity can be achieved with the support of the people of Mudurnu.

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Mudurnu townscape with Yildirim Bayezit Mosque

Mudurnu 4- Haytalar Mansion

Delegation visiting Haytalar Mansion, Mudurnu

 

Mudurnu 6- Fertility Prayer

The Fertility Prayer of the merchants, made on Friday mornings as per ‘Ahi’ guild tradition

Mudurnu 8- Archaeological DisplayArchaeological Park display in Mudurnu

Photo of the week: Mural painting at the elementary school in the village of San José de Moro

This week we bring you a photo of an amazing mural painted at the elementary school in the village of San José de Moro. Image

The mural was made by participants of the San José de Moro Archaeological Field School,  Art teachers from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and the elementary school children. The theme of the mural is what is San José de Moro for you? Past and present.

Watch this space for more updates on San José de Moro’s project and the latest developments from our other projects!

 

SPI inaugurates new project at the site of Bandurria – Huacho

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Yesterday SPI and the Archaeological Project Bandurria – Huacho inaugurated the new reed and rush exhibition and store module located at the archaeological site of Bandurria – Huacho. The workshop will benefit 23 families living in the area, promoting responsible and sustainable tourism at the site, generating unique experiences with visitors, rescuing local traditions and promoting ecologically feasible craftsmanship with the wetland of El Paraiso.

Ayer el SPI y el Proyecto Arqueológico Bandurria – Huacho inauguraron el nuevo taller artesanal de totora y junco ubicado en el sitio arqueológico de Bandurria – Huacho. El taller beneficiara a 23 familias que viven en los alrededores, promoviendo el turismo responsable y sostenible en el sitio, generando experiencias con los visitantes, rescatando tradiciones locales y promoviendo el trabajo artesanal ecológicamente viable con el humedal de El Paraíso.

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Women artisans working with local reeds. 
Mujeres artesanas trabajando con junco y totora.

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Alejandro Chu (Director of Archaeological Project Bandurria – Huacho), Luis Jaime Castillo (Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of Peru), Gary Urton (Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies at Harvard University), José García Espinoza (Director of Tourism of the Lima region).

Patrons of the inauguration were the Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of Peru, Luis Jaime Castillo and Gary Urton, Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies at Harvard University.

Los padrinos de la inauguración fueron el Viceministro de Patrimonio Cultural e Industrias Culturales del Perú, Luis Jaime Castillo y Gary Urton, Profesor de Estudios Precolombinos de la Universidad de Harvard.

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Waking Sleeping Giants: Archaeology and Local Benefit in Wadi Faynan, Jordan

There exists an astounding hidden economic potential within the archaeological sites of the Wadi Faynan region in Jordan. The following post written by Dr. Paul Burtenshaw imparts his work and insight into the potential for preservation and development in this area. Currently a Research Fellow at the Centre of British Research in the Levant, Amman, Jordan, Paul completed his PhD looking at the economic value of archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. This research explored conceptual approaches to archaeology as an economic asset, the role it plays in motivating preservation and how it is measured and managed. Paul has completed economic impact assessments of archaeology in Scotland and Jordan, is the group leader of the Archaeology and Development Research Network and has worked for several years in the heritage, and wider, tourism industry.

‘[It is] one thing to discover [archaeological sites] and then leave them to sleep, it is another to make tourists come and make money for the community’ – Wadi Faynan resident

More than 25 years of research in Wadi Faynan – a spectacular landscape in southern Jordan between the Edom Mountains and the Israeli border – has uncovered some of the most significant archaeology of the Middle East.  However as one member of the local community there described to me, these giants of archaeology remain asleep; a resource with great potential to benefit their lives, but one which currently rests unused.

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Wadi Faynan. (Photo credit: P. Burtenshaw)

Jordan is famous for its ancient sites, none more so than Petra, hailed as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders’ of the world.  However tourism in Jordan can often focus on only the most iconic sites, leaving vast archaeological riches unheard of, and greatly limiting the communities that may benefit from the industry. As the projects with which SPI is involved demonstrate, a great variety of archaeology has the potential to bring economic benefits to communities though tourism, and in doing so can help ensure the long-term survival of the archaeology itself.  While some sites grab tourists’ attention with visually spectacular monuments, the appeal of many places lies in the stories they tell, about the people of the past and of their role in shaping the world we inhabit in the present. In Wadi Faynan, it is the strength of these stories which gives the archaeological remains the potential to be of service to local people today.

Wadi Faynan can lay claim to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, and indeed there is evidence of some of the very first settlements humans ever created. Starting over 11,000 years ago, the Neolithic was one of the most important shifts in human history when the innovations of permanent settlements, agriculture, domestication and communal religion mutually informed each other. Remains at the site of ‘Wadi Faynan 16’ date from the very beginning of this process and include a unique, spectacular ‘amphitheatre’, purpose built for gatherings that formed the basis of the development of some of the world’s first communities. The abundance of Neolithic sites in the area means visitors can follow the increasing complexity of these communities, tracing how their social experiments gave us the foundation for the lives we know today.

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Remains of the ancient ‘amphitheatre’ at Wadi Faynan 16. (Photo credit: The Wadi Faynan Project)

The area also played host to another revolution in human society – a technological one. Wadi Faynan is the best preserved landscape of ancient mining and metallurgy in the world. Metal dominates our modern lives and its exploitation began in this region with copper. The raw material was first taken from the earth here as early as the 5th millennium BC and the landscape is littered with hundreds of mines from this and later periods. By the Iron Age (1200-500BC), a time period associated with Old Testament biblical sources, the mining and smelting of copper had reached industrial scales and hundreds of furnaces would have illuminated the ancient night sky. Visitors today can witness the sheer energy of this production in the form of deep mines, giant mountains of processed materials, and fortresses built to protect the valuable commodity.  But the production left another, human, and more immediate legacy: Wadi Faynan has been identified as biblical Pinon/Phaino, where Christian slaves were sent to their deaths to serve the Roman Empire’s appetite for copper. It subsequently became a place of pilgrimage, attested to by the remains of three churches built on the Roman city and an extensive cemetery which mixes the bones of travellers with those they came to honour.

The preservation of the varied archaeology of Wadi Faynan owes much to the lack of modern mining in the area. However the prospect of mining remains a possibility and could have a significant impact on the area’s potential as a heritage and ecotourism destination, as well as affecting the lifestyle of the community, and the archaeology itself. Many sites suffer from casual, but persistent, looting. Wadi Faynan belongs to one of the most economically poor areas in Jordan and from the community’s perspective the jobs mining may offer are certainly welcome. However, through tourism the archaeology itself may offer a resource than can be ‘mined’ more sustainably and over the long-term. The survival of the archaeology depends on it being wakened from its slumber to become an economic and social asset for local people.

Waking sleeping giants must be done with care.  The small numbers of tourists to the area currently walk and relax in the environment, unaware of the dynamic layers of history around them.  Due to the spectacular but fragile environment, the area cannot host large numbers of tourists – economic benefits will come from encouraging longer stays and increased spending on local guides, accommodation, transport and souvenirs. My research in the area has shown that different communities currently benefit very differently from existing tourism, and so any use of the archaeology will have to be carefully designed to ensure that benefits are not isolated to the few.  Many of the tourists I interviewed in the region are intrigued by the archaeology, however they insist on good presentation and good ‘stories’ if they are to visit the sites.  If they can be persuaded to come and stay, there is good evidence that the archaeology will benefit – nearly 70% of local people said that the value they place on the archaeology lay in the economic benefits it could bring them, suggesting that realising its potential through tourism provides a strong incentive for preservation.

The stories, however, are not just told to attract tourists, but to awaken the sites for local residents as well. The knowledge created by archaeologists is currently almost invisible to the local communities and for many people the ruins around them are empty of any meaning.  Over 40% of residents saw value in the archaeological sites as sources of knowledge, but the vast majority of them have not been able to access that knowledge. Having the stories of the past embedded in local people offers another path to the preservation of sites – as one community leader remarked to me, ‘if you know the story you will recognise and respect’.

Over the next few months, a project supported by the Centre of British Research in the Levant, will begin to wake the sleeping giants of Wadi Faynan by translating the vast library of academic knowledge into headlines and stories that will connect with tourists and local people. Through events, posters and talks the project will spread the stories amongst local people and schoolchildren, creating new connections to the sites. Working with local hotels, community leaders and guides, these stories will promote the area and give local guides the capacity to bring the sites to life for visitors. Ultimately the project will provide the ‘fuel’ for local tourism based on the archaeology, making it a resource to sustain the community and the sites themselves.

Five to Follow: Sustainable Development

Over the past number of years SPI has reached out to become one in a network of other individuals and groups working towards economic development, sustainability and the preservation of cultural heritage. People Not Stones is featuring those who work towards goals similar to ours and who are proponents of the ideas behind our paradigm the world over in the area of Sustainable Development. Whether it’s through their promotion of ideas, the facilitation of partnerships or their direct action, the following five work to promote enduring development and to end global poverty. In the words of One Day’s Wages Founder Eugene Cho (read on to find out more about ODW):

“There are some incredible organizations and individuals doing amazing work…we are certainly not the first and thankfully, we are not the last to care about these issues.”

Kiva

Having just celebrated its eighth anniversary, Kiva is a non-profit organisation. By seeking lenders of small funds, this capital is used to catalyse local development and micro businesses, to alleviate poverty and most importantly to empower those in poorer socio-economic situations to improve their quality of life for themselves. Based in California, it operates in over 70 countries around the world. Click here for an explanation of the life of a Kiva loan.

In their own words:

“We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.”

The Milken Institute

The Milken Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan think thank, aims to improve lives by advancing innovative solutions to promote prosperity and combat social issues the world over. Milken runs a research program with the main focus on the three areas of Human Capital, Health Economics and Regional Economics front and center. Milken operates with an extremely impressive array of experts which analyze issues facing policy makers in all fields today, in addition to decision makers who transform these ideas into action to have an impact globally. These experts and decision makers are convened in a number of events, perhaps most impressively at the Milken Annual Global Conference.

In their own words:

“Whether the issue is building a more sustainable energy future or ensuring that entrepreneurs can access the credit they need to grow their companies and create jobs, our objective is to advance solutions that create prosperity in all corners of the globe.”

Click here for a video of SPI Executive Director Larry Coben speaking at The Milken Global Conference in April. (Begins 42.40)

 

Katerva

Katerva is a not-for-profit ‘social venture’ which aims to ‘identify, evaluate and accelerate’ innovation and sustainability on a global scale. Named after the Latin term for crowd, it acts upon knowledge of a global network of experts to find and promote the greatest social innovations on the planet. Acting in many broad areas from ecosystem conservation, to human development, and gender equality to food security and urban design, Katerva has the entire span of global sustainable development covered. Katerva engages most with its community by offering an annual award for the newest ventures in sustainability the world has to offer.

In their own words:

“The world is full of remarkable world-changing innovations. Individuals and organizations are eager to find, invest and help the best of these innovations thrive and scale. Katerva connects the dots.”

 

Intelligent Travel Blog and the Center for Sustainable Destinations – National Geographic

Many of us are aware that increased footfall to high-profile archaeological sites can cause significant damage. National Geographic is known the world over for its investigation into everything related to the world and now its offering online provides not one but two ventures into the world of sustainability and economic development with a focus on travel. Intelligent Travel is a blog that not only aims to highlight some of the most spectacular places to visit on the planet (many of which are sites of archaeological importance) but also promotes a sustainable attitude to travel which enables us to preserve these gems for generations to come.

The Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD) via National Geographic is another online initiative which promotes sustainable tourism and the oft forgotten destination stewardship around the world. Aside from their articles on responsible tourism and a web of expertise for both travellers and professionals, CSD runs a number of projects such as an initiative for creating ‘GeoTourism’ Maps and devising GeoTourism strategies for hotels and others alike. Both initiatives float the important message of responsible tourism and highlight that heritage sites are a non-renewable source that need to be interacted with in an appropriate way for their continued existence.

In their own words:

“We believe that to know the world is to change it. We’re on the front lines of travel that illuminates, celebrates, and preserves irreplaceable places.”

 

One Day’s Wages

Last, but without a doubt not least, is the non-profit group One Day’s Wages. ODW’s main goal is to facilitate partnerships in developing regions affected by extreme poverty. The organisation looks for donations of small amounts, typically each giver’s wages for a day of work which is then in turn used to stem sustainable relief in some of the world’s poorest areas. ODW strives to collaborate and partner with other non-profits such as SPI with similar goals and to make use of the collective opportunities therein to end global poverty. ODW only invests in sustainable projects which continue to be affective for future generations reaping the benefits of these donations.

In their words:

“It was seeing organizations and women, men, and children do amazing and arduous work to uplift themselves out of poverty – if only given respect, dignity, and opportunities. It’s by far more complex but it’s also very simple: We have the capacity to end extreme global poverty.”

 

Unlisted 3 Now Listed

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In case you missed it last Spring, the videos for the Third Annual Unlisted Conference are available for viewing online! Check them out at the AIRC’s page here on YouTube.

Run by the American Institute for Roman Culture, each year the conference brings together a range of stakeholders to discuss new ways to preserve global cultural heritage sites that are not named on the UNESCO World Site List.

The First Annual Unlisted Conference in 2011 was centred on the sustainable preservation of cultural heritage where, unsurprisingly, SPI’s Executive Director Larry Coben spoke. In 2012 the second sitting of Unlisted offered the theme of ‘Enhancing Visibility’ of the past leading nicely onto this year’s theme:

Cultural Heritage in Digital Media: Conversation for Conservation, Sustaining Global Storytelling Online”

Unlisted 3 focused on ‘’the sustainability of conservation through wider engagement with a more diverse community and with a broader spectrum of resources including digital and social media, digital resources and ‘edutainment’.’’ This year’s conference had an extra dimension of live streaming, ensuring that the conference organisers practised what they preach by making the day-long conference sessions available in real time to anyone unable to attend.

At SPI we use a range of digital media to spread information about our work. Throughout our 2013 crowd-funding campaign we utilised these media to spread the word, raise funds and find others with a similar mission to our own. We know there is no limit to the amount of people who believe that ending poverty and protecting the world’s cultural heritage is important. Luckily, through digital media we can connect with them!

Conference speakers were recruited from the world of global storytelling featuring photographers, documentary film makers, journalists and social media aficionados. Some speakers, such as Sam Horine categorised as a ‘visual storytellers’, even had their personal Instagram follower number listed in the programme.

Click here to read the reaction of AIRC Director Darius Arya to the success of this year’s conference.