Sponsored by: AIA-Milwaukee Society
Dr. Ömür Harmanshah, Director, The School of Art & Art History and Associate Professor of Art History, The University of Illinois at Chicago, will present the AIA’s Nancy Wilkie Lecture in Archaeological Heritage for the AIA-Milwaukee Society
Archaeological remains and landscapes are witnesses to deep time histories, yet they have increasingly been victims of targeted destruction as well as practices of looting in recent decades. Cultural heritage is always entangled with the politics of the environment, while heritage is always understood as a resource at risk waiting for a salvage operation. A major challenge for archaeologists today is that they have to serve as chroniclers of the unprecedented levels of heritage destruction under the current regime, and to contextualize this destruction within the conditions of precarity, extraction, and dispossession, which are different forms of environmental injustice. Late capitalist management of landscapes in the contemporary Turkish countryside have created disposable landscapes of extreme extraction and large-scale excavation. In his talk, Dr. Harmanshah will focus on various practices of heritage destruction in the western part of Konya province where the Yalburt Yaylası Archaeological Landscape Research Project has been documenting ancient and historical settlements and landscape features, while also keeping an account of ongoing heritage destruction since 2010. He will argue that on the ground fieldwork as a creative practice and collaboration with local heritage communities are essential to perform such work as compared to remote sensing methods.