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Egypt: Sharing Best Practices for Documenting Cultural Heritage

GlobaJax hosted a delegation of archaeologists and historical conservationists from Egypt to examine best strategies on documenting cultural heritage. Participants learned about current U.S. theory, practice, and application of new technology in cultural heritage protection. The program highlighted methods used by public and private entities to raise awareness of conflict antiquities. Participants met with organizations such as the UNF Digital Humanities Institute, Florida Museum of Natural History, Kingsley Plantation, the Ximenez-Fatio House, and the St Augustine Historical Society to explore research, conservation and preservation techniques, archaeological excavations, new methodologies of archival work, digital archiving, and educational outreach efforts to protect vulnerable cultural sources. The delegation will bring these trainings about documenting cultural heritage back to Egypt.

Egypt is one of the most ancient civilizations whose recorded history has had a prominent influence on the world. Following the Arab Spring revolution of 2011, the majority of Egypt’s key archeological sites have been looted. Around $3 billion worth of Egyptian antiquities have been stolen, flooding the antiquities black market with artifacts of Egyptian origin. Other threats to archaeological sites include land encroachment by residents expanding their properties, or repurposing the land for uses such as solid waste disposal. This harms unexcavated sites and forces archeologists to expedite their work and possibly miss critical discoveries. While the market demand remains strong, Egyptian antiquities are among the most valuable and vulnerable in the world. The Egyptian government has relevant laws and treaties in their Constitution to protect and document cultural heritage. This delegation will apply best practices learned while in Northeast Florida on documenting and preserving cultural heritage upon their return to Egypt.

Sources: Smart History

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