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ARCHAEOLOGY AS A PRACTICE OF CULTURAL IDENTITY: The Work of Archaeologists in Yemen

Date:

04/11/2016


ARCHAEOLOGY AS A PRACTICE OF CULTURAL IDENTITY: The Work of Archaeologists in Yemen

ON VIEW - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: APR 11 - MAY 18 (Monday to Friday from 10am-12noon/2pm-4pm)

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: email reservations requests at iicwashington@esteri.it When you email your reservation request, please provide the following:

  1. date
  2. time
  3. name of each guest 

 PLEASE NOTE: the date and time you request may not be available. You will receive a confirmation email. Not open on weekends or holidays.

 

Archaeologists have always been fascinated by the impressive remains of monumental architecture, sculptures and artefacts of South Arabia’s past. Cities like Marib, Aden and Sanaa have inspired teams to explore the past of Arabia Felix, as it was called in ancient times.

The panel discussion will feature the archaeologist and author Sabina Antonini de Maigret current Director of the Italian archaeological mission in Yemen (Monumenta Orientalia), Michael Harrower Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Department of Near Eastern Studies at John Hopkins University, Iris Gerlach, Director of the German Archaeological Institute in Sanaa, and Doctor Alexander Nagel, Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of Natural History.

The event will also inaugurate the photographic exhibition “South Arabia Revisited: The Work of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen”, which will highlight stories from the field and collaborative efforts. Archival documents, photographs, notebooks and drawings which will be showcased are the legacies of archaeological fieldwork, documentation and restoration at important archaeological sites like Barāqish and Tamnaʿ.

The Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen was launched in 1980 with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Coordinated by Professor Alessandro de Maigret (1943-2011), the Mission initiated a series of archaeological fieldwork projects with the foremost goal to establish a reliable historical chronology for the past cultures of Southern Arabia.

The initiative will be a tribute to the work of Alessandro de Maigret, a prominent Italian archaeologist who was a pioneer in coordinating the work of the Italian archaeological mission in Yemen since its start in the year 1980.

This event, part of the series "Protecting Our Heritage", is organized by the Italian Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Italy, in collaboration with Monumenta Orientalia and the German Archaeological Institute.

This evening event will honor the memory of archaeologists who worked in Yemen. What is the current role of archaeology in our understanding of South Arabia’s long and rich history? How can archaeological research in Yemen contribute to diplomacy and what do we know about the archaeological sites, history and do we develop a framework to solve the challenges of the current situation on the ground? Learn about past and present initiatives and collaborations, when experts and researchers discuss the current challenges in Yemeni archaeology.

LOCATION 
Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008

 

 

MORE INFO

 

Archaeology as a practice of cultural identity: the work of international archaeologists in Yemen.

A tribute to Alessandro de Maigret at the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC, to honor the work of archeologists in areas of crisis.

The Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington DC will host a panel discussion and exhibition opening on the work of international archaeologists in Yemen. The event is part of the “Protecting our Heritage” series of events, launched by the Washington chapter of the network of the European National Institutes of Culture  (EUNIC Washington DC), supported by the UNESCO. The initiative will be a tribute to the work of Alessandro de Maigret, a prominent Italian archaeologist who was a pioneer in coordinating the work of the Italian archaeological mission in Yemen since its start in the year 1980.

The panel discussion will feature the archaeologist and author Sabina Antonini de Maigret current Director of the Italian archaeological mission in Yemen (Monumenta Orientalia), Michael Harrower  Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Department of Near Eastern Studies at John Hopkins University,  Iris Gerlach, Director of the German Archaeological Institute in Sanaa, and Doctor Alexander Nagel, Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of Natural History.

The event will also inaugurate the photographic exhibition “South Arabia Revisited: The Work of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen”, which will highlight stories from the field and collaborative efforts. Archival documents, photographs, notebooks and drawings which will be showcased are the legacies of archaeological fieldwork, documentation and restoration at important archaeological sites like Barāqish and Tamnaʿ.

The exhibit will remain on display at the Embassy until May 18, 2016. To view please request an appointment at iicwashington@esteri.it between Monday and Friday, 9:30AM to 4:30PM.

The Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen was launched in 1980. His Director Alessandro de Maigret set out to investigate the ancient peoples and cultures of Southern Arabia prior to the first millennium BC and to establish a reliable archaeological chronology for this historical period. He developed a new basis for documentary evidence that was multidisciplinary in nature against which previous data, mostly inferred from inscriptions, could be compared.

Initiated under the aegis of the Istituto per l’Oriente in Rome with the support from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Archaeological Mission envisioned and organized a remarkable series of systematic fieldwork and restoration projects.

In partnership with scholars and members from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, and the General Organization of Antiquities and Museums in Yemen, Italian archaeologists and restorers have since been able to make groundbreaking contributions and refining our understanding Yemen’s history, and to recreate some of its marvelous architectural wonders from both pre-Islamic and Islamic cultures.

Yemen’s vast and beautiful cultural landscapes are considered world heritage. They are being cared for by many people in the world. In peaceful times, Italian and Yemeni colleagues have produced a considerable wealth of information through collaborative efforts and research. Although the current political situation does not allow for actual field research, the Italian Mission has maintained its vigorous commitment to the protection of the Archaeological Heritage in Yemen through the program Monumenta Orientalia.

 

About the speakers:

Since 1984, Sabina Antonini de Maigret has participated in numerous archaeological excavations and surveys in Yemen with the Italian Archaeological Mission, first directed, from 1980 to 2010, by Alessandro de Maigret. Having actively pursued her research interests at important archaeological sites in Yemen, including the Bronze Age settlements, Yalā, Barāqish and Tamnaʿ, she is the current director of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen (Monumenta Orientalia) and a member of the French Archaeological Missions in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. Antonini is the author of numerous monographs and articles on South Arabian Archaeology and Art History including “South Arabian Art. Art History in Pre-Islamic Yemen” (Paris: De Boccard: 2012).

 

Iris Gerlach has been head of the Sanaa (Yemen) branch of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute since 2000. Director of various archaeological projects in Yemen, Ethiopia and Qatar, her research interests are South Arabian and pre-Aksumite archaeology; cultural contacts, especially trade and migration; temples and religion; ancient water management; burial rites; and art history. She heads restoration and capacity building projects in Yemen and Ethiopia. In 2011, she became director of monitoring and awareness-raising projects dealing with the looting of museums, illegal excavations of archaeological sites and other destruction of cultural heritage in Yemen.

Michael Harrower is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University. His research, including fieldwork from 2000 to 2008 in Yemen, concentrates on long-term histories from the beginnings of agriculture through the rise of ancient states across Southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa. His current fieldwork in Oman and Ethiopia integrates research into long-term water histories of early civilizations using a combination of archaeological survey (exploration) and satellite imagery analysis. 

 

Alexander Nagel is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Originally from Berlin, Germany, Nagel received an MA from Humboldt University Berlin in 2003, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2010. He has worked on the site of Persepolis in Iran, curated a number of exhibitions on ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology in Washington, DC, and is supporting the work of communities who document heritage and preservation of sites in Yemen, Greece, Iran and the Middle East.

 

Information

Date: From Monday, April 11, 2016 to Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Time: At 7:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto

In collaboration with : Monumenta Orientalia, German Archaeological Inst.

Entrance : Free


Location:

Embassy of Italy

815