Archaeological Sites at Risk in both Lebanon and Israel
I need not tell you how badly we all feel about the current situation in the Middle East. We mourn the loss of human life, the suffering of civilians on both sides of the border, and pray that our leaders will beable to bring an end to the bloodshed soon. The impact on archaeology and the cultural heritage of this important area has been significant and on Friday July 21st the AIA and ASOR released a statement to the press callingon all combatants to honor the Hague Convention of 1954, which calls forparties in armed conflict to minimize damage to cultural sites. The joint press release was picked up by many papers and news outlets and appeared inthe New York Times as well as the Atlanta Constitution. The full text of the release was also posted on the AIA and ASOR web sites. What the long term impact of the current crisis will haveon research opportunities in the area and field experiences remains to beseen, but from the vantage point of late July, it does not look good. ASOR and its regional centers are functioning as of this writing and continuing what they do best, promoting scholarship and dialogue on the cultural heritage of the Middle East in all periods and settings, both material and written.
As Kevin Wilson has pointed out in his blog, updates and pictures of the situation at the various digs are updated at the BAS site.