Peter G. Stone and Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly— 2011 James R. Wiseman Book Award
The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to present the 2011 James R. Wiseman Book Award to Peter G. Stone and Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly for The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq (Woodbridge 2008).
In this book, Stone and Bajjaly present a collection of 28 essays that offer a compelling account of the events in Iraq beginning in 2003, set against the backdrop of broader issues such as Iraqi cultural heritage, the looting of archaeological sites, the trade in illegal antiquities, and the efforts by individuals and organizations to protect cultural heritage. The book is a collaborative effort by people from a variety of disciplines and cultural perspectives, including the former director of the Iraqi Museums and members of his staff, archaeologists, academics, civilian consultants, journalists, lawyers, museum professionals, members of the military, and international law enforcement from the United States, Europe, and the Middle and Near East. The authors tackle difficult topics and provide compelling first-person accounts and thoughtful analysis. They respond to popular perception of events that gained international attention and challenge the reader to fully comprehend the context of each episode. As a result, this book has the ability to open a wider dialogue between specialists and the general public about cultural heritage issues that resonate on a global scale.
In their introduction to the volume, the editors state, “all of the contributors wish that it had not been necessary for it to be written; wish that the events that caused it to be written had not happened.” Their efforts to provide historical and cultural context, personal testimony, and analysis of the events in Iraq, however, have created a compelling account and an invaluable resource with the potential to shape future discourse. For all of these reasons, the Archaeological Institute of America has selected The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq as a most worthy recipient of the 2011 James R. Wiseman Book Award.