AIA News

January 30, 2015

2015 Best Practices in Site Preservation Award Presented to the Temple of the Winged Lions Cultural Resource Management Initiative


BOSTON-January 30, 2015—The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and the AIA Conservation and Site Preservation Committee presented the 2015 Best Practices in Site Preservation Award to the Temple of the Winged Lions Cultural Resource Management  (TWLCRM) initiative at the Institute’s 116th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The TWLCRM initiative was launched in 2009 as a cooperative project by the American Center of Oriental Research, the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, and the Petra Archaeological Park to rescue the Temple of the Winged Lions, a majestic Nabataean temple built on a promontory overlooking Petra’s city center. The Temple of the Winged Lions had not been thoroughly conserved or restored. As a result, the building’s structural elements suffered severe deterioration from wind, water, and use-related erosion, solar radiation exposure, rising damp and salt efflorescence, geological action, and vandalism.

The project, directed by archaeologist Christopher Tuttle, was developed to stabilize, conserve, and protect the monumental temple and its precinct; rehabilitate the surrounding landscape; develop and implement a comprehensive presentation strategy for the temple and its environs; publish the data derived from both the original excavation and the new project; develop guidelines and manuals for different aspects of cultural resource management work; and build local capacity for undertaking cultural resource management efforts.

The project employs a holistic, grassroots model that emphasizes a social engagement approach which directly involves members of the local communities in nearly all aspects of the work. More than 250 local people have participated in the initiative. Impressively, about 50 percent of local team members have been women. TWLCRM’s efforts are an inspiration to others as they look for ways to preserve archaeological heritage.

About the Archaeological Institute of America

Founded in 1879, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization. Today, the AIA has more than 200,000 members belonging to over 100 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The organization promotes public interest in the cultures and civilizations of the past, supports archaeological research, fosters the sound professional practice of archaeology, and advocates for the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage. The organization hosts archaeological fairs, lectures, and other events throughout North America; publishes Archaeology magazine and the American Journal of Archaeology; awards fellowships and honors; and leads global archaeological travel excursions.

For more information and images, please contact:

Ben Thomas, AIA Director of Programs – bthomas@archaeological.org

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