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Tuesday, May 17 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Collection Care) Building an emergency response plan for archaeological sites

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This paper discusses the unique challenges of emergency response planning for archaeological sites. Field conservation diverges from museum conservation for many reasons. These include the seasonal nature of excavations, limited access to materials and equipment, and the fact that excavated structures and on-site records may be a higher priority for preservation than excavated artifacts. A response plan designed for an archaeological site must therefore take a different shape, structuring itself around the site’s specific preservation goals and taking into account the perspectives of all stakeholders. It must address risks that are unique to the site and region and make use of resources that are readily available. Most importantly, it must be inclusive of the people living in the local area, because they may be the only first responders available at many sites. To illustrate these unique challenges, I will present a case study that details my experience building a response plan for the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology (JIAA) at Kaman-Kalehöyük, Turkey. Located approximately ninety miles southeast of Ankara, the JIAA encompasses a wide range of cultural resources, including three archaeological sites, a library and archive, five storage depots, a museum, and fifty thousand inventoried artifacts. The case study will outline the process of developing a plan that balances the documentary and preservation priorities of the JIAA, presents guidelines for the salvage of materials preserved at the site, and aims to be accessible to both archaeologists as well as local stakeholders. The plan itself is unique to Kaman and its particular risks, resources, and culture. The process of creating such a plan, however, can be adapted to any archaeological site. Specific recommendations include: risk assessment prior to response plan development; formation of a response planning team representing research-, community-, and government stakeholders; creating a priority list of cultural heritage to be preserved; ongoing training, with practice sessions such as tabletop exercises and phone tree tests; and finally, review of plan accessibility – language, value barriers – and outreach effort. At the JIAA, a recent review of the plan has prompted the production of a pocket guide that will provide up-to-date emergency information for first responders. Within the broader framework of site preservation and management, a site-based emergency response plan serves as an essential point of clarity, mitigating loss by defining priorities, outlining specific plans of action, and ensuring effective response through community engagement and direct communication of values.

avatar for Caroline I. Roberts

Caroline I. Roberts

Conservator, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
Caroline Roberts is an objects conservator and a graduate of the Winterthur / University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. As a graduate fellow, Carrie held internships at the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the UK preservation organization English Heritage, and the... Read More →

avatar for Alice Boccia Paterakis

Alice Boccia Paterakis

Director of Conservation, Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology
A MAC graduate of the Queen’s University conservation program, Alice received her PhD in conservation from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, in 2011. She served as Director of Conservation for the Athenian Agora of the American School of Classical Studies... Read More →

Sofia Lo Bianco

Frames Conservator, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sofia Lo Bianco is currently a frames conservator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. She completed her Masters of Cultural Material Conservation at the Melbourne University in 2011 with a specialization in objects. In 2010, Sofia interned at the Japanese Institute of Anatolian... Read More →

Vale Vafaei

MSc. Student, University of Bologna Science for the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage Program
Vale Vafaei is an MSc. student in the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage Program at University of Bologna, Ravenna campus. She was born in Isfahan, Iran. She received her B.A and M.A in conservation-restoration of historical artifacts at Art University of Isfahan.

Tuesday May 17, 2016 11:00am - 11:30am EDT
Room 516 AB