News

Independent Scholar, Washington D.C.

What: "Rogues, Ruffians, and Reformers: The Struggle to Preserve the World's Archaeological Heritage"

Where: Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201/Classroom E), Truman Wesley Collins Legal Center, Willamette University (245 Winter Street)

When: Thursday, April 11, 2002, 7:30 p.m.

The lecture is free and open to the public as well as to the Willamette University community. Hot coffee, various teas, and delicious cookies will be served.

Dr. Ellen Herscher received her B.A. in Classical Studies from the Honors College at Michigan State University in 1967, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Classical Archaeology in 1978. She also studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. She has also held two Fulbright Fellowships to the Republic of Cyprus where she worked as a researcher in the Department of Antiquities (1972-1974) and as a Senior Lecturer (1990-1992). Dr. Herscher has taught at Cornell University and at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has served as the Director of International Programs for the American Association of Museums (1984-1990) and is currently an archaeological consultant and a contributing editor to Archaeology magazine (since 1992). Dr. Herscher's research focuses on Cyprus where she has participated in numerous archaeological excavations. She has published more than 30 scholarly books and articles on Cypriot sites and antiquities. Dr. Herscher has also published more than 20 articles on issues relating to archaeological practice and ethics and the international struggle to preserve the world's archaeological heritage. She has served on the Society of American Archaeology's Committee on Ethics (1991-1996), as Chair of the American Schools of Oriental Research's Subcommittee on the Preservation of Archaeological Resources (1992-1996), and as a representative of the AIA to the Board of the Society of Professional Archaeologists (1989-1991). She is currently serving as Chair of the AIA's Cultural Property Legislation and Policy Committee (since 1997) and as the AIA representative to the Board of the United States Committee of International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS).

From the jungles of Central America to the smoke-filled rooms of Capitol Hill, a war is being fought that will determine the survival of the world's archaeological heritage. The issues involved are large, numerous and often conflicting: third-world poverty, the free-market system, national rights to self-determination, ethnic identity, increase of knowledge, private property, international cooperation, the good of the "public"--to name just a few! In the meantime, archaeological sites are being plundered at a rate that only accelerates as new technologies become available. Dr. Herscher's lecture will review the historical factors--and some of the colorful participants--that have brought about the current situation, such as 19th-century collecting, the emergence of archaeology as a scientific discipline, the rise of post-World War II nationalism, and the evolving role of museums (especially in the U.S.) as cultural institutions. Looting in various parts of the world will be examined, along with an assessment of how information about the past is being lost as a result. Finally, current efforts to stop looting and protect the world's archaeological heritage will be summarized. This summary will include examples of some of the most famous legal cases and accounts of what U.S. laws and those of other countries do, and do not do. Dr. Herscher has been an active participant in many of these efforts, and will give a first-hand insider's view of the difficulties as well as causes for hope.

For more information, contact Ann M. Nicgorski at anicgors@willamette.edu or (503) 370-6250.

04-03-2002