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A Responsibility for the Past: Integrating Conservation and Archaeology

"The devastation along the Nile a century ago was shocking. “It is sickening the rate at which everything is being destroyed, and the little regard paid to preservation,” lamented Egyptologist Flinders Petrie in 1904 in Aims and Methods in Archaeology. Despite vastly improved excavation methods, sophisticated remote sensing techniques, and a battery of scientific approaches, the Nile destruction of Petrie’s time is now global. The nonrenewable record of the human past is evaporating before our eyes in every corner of the world at a dizzying pace. The culprits are easily identified—unprecedented population growth, massive industrialization, urban expansion, strip mining, and deep plowing. Added to this is the damage wrought by looters and professional grave robbers feeding the insatiable international antiquities market. Yet much of the professional archaeological community still pays little more than lip service to conservation."

Author(s):  Fagan, Brian
Format:  Article
Date:  2003
Source:  Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter
Volume Info:  Spring 2003
Volume:  18
Number:  1