132 Archaeology and Community in Jordan and Greater Syria: Traditional Patterns and New Directions
Bert de Vries
From its inception, archaeology was perceived as the domain of expert practitioners of the scientific method. The history of disjuncture between archaeological site research and local community development springs from the myths of Western scientific superior knowledge. The archaeologist-scientist-expert came armed with scientific method to excavate samples and take his reports back to Europe/America for fellow scholars. The early stereotype of the negative relationship between archaeology and community was passed on from the colonial period to the era of nationalization. The new national antiquities authorities inherited the disconnection between archaeology and local communities as the status quo. Though treated in a global context, this paper focuses on the history of this stereotype in the Levant, but gives an optimistic view of the present and future trend towards greater inclusion, using the Umm el-Jimal Project as a case in point
142 through the Azraq Community Archaeology Project
Alison Damick and Ahmad Lash
The Community Archaeology in Azraq Program (ACAP) seeks to better understand different ways of knowing the past through its work with community members and archaeological projects in Azraq, Jordan. This article explores how the activities and themes of ACAP are useful for thinking about hte broader meaning of community archaeology in Southwest Asia. Specific themes explored include visibility, accessibility, fragility, and narrative.
152 Practice and Local Communities in Southeastern Turkey
Melissa Rosenzweig and Laurent Dissard
Archaeologists often come across human burials during excavations. Less often, however, do human burials come across archaeological excavations. This happened though, at a site in southeastern Turkey a few years ago. When a funeral procession interrupted operations on the mound of Ziyaret Tepe, archaeologists confronted the dilemma of maintaining an excavation site as a scientific space in real-world contexts that are anything but sterile (void of contemporary meaning) or controlled (void of competing claims). The funeral event exposed the salience of the mound as both a sacred and scientific landmark, and brought to the fore numerous historical, political and cultural factors that rarely receive acknowledgement in the field or in publication. We outline these various influences on archaeological practice at Ziyaret Tepe, and use this unexpected funeral to advocate for a community archaeoly that broadens the value of excavation by respecting a site’s valence as something other than a scientific space.
159 Tomato Season in the Ghor es-Safi: A Lesson in Community Archaeology
Morag M. Kersel and Meredith S. Chesson
From January to March of 2011 the Follow the Pots project embarked on a field project at the Early Bronze Age site of Fifa on the Dead Sea Plain in Jordan. Fieldwork embodied a two-part approach to recording the landscape: archaeological and ethnographic. We had no problem at all carrying out the archaeological ground truthing and mapping of the looted cemetery at Fifa – producing detailed maps and successfully testing a theory about the uses of Google Earth in monitoring archaeological site looting. As a second prong of this project we sought input from interested communities, those who may be directly or indirectly associated with the looting of the area. We were unsuccessful at engaging with local communities – they were all busy harvesting tomatoes, something we had not factored into our “collaboration.” Our take-home message from this project is that community engagement is situational, context-dependent, and a negotiated process between equal partners.
166 Fitting In: Archaeology and Community in Athienou, Cyprus
Derek B. Counts, Elisabetta Cova, P. Nick Kardulias, and Michael K. Toumazou
To what extent do archaeologists distance themselves from the modern people in whose communities they reside while they study the region’s past in habitants? While many projects live and work rather anonymously in communities during field projects, the Athienou Archaeological Project (AAP) has cultivated and benefited from a remarkable, mutually supportive relationship with the town of Athienou, Cyprus. This article highlights four points of com munity engagement that both govern and structure our relationship with the town: administrative, economic, social, and cultural. Through these points of exchange, AAP has become well integrated with the local community. Through the town’s support, we have forged a unique model of archaeology and community that positions the project through our scientific exploration of the region’s past as an active agent in illuminating, displaying, and preserving Athienou’s rich cultural heritage.
178 Joint Custody: An Archaeological Park at Neolithic Ghwair I, Jordan
Alan H. Simmons and Mohammad Najjar
Archaeological parks have enjoyed considerable success in both presenting excavation results to the public and, often, in benefiting local communities. While many such parks focus on large and visually impressive sites, smaller sites also can benefit from this approach to archaeological presentation. Here, we present the results of a modest park at the PrePottery Neolithic site of Ghwair I in the remote Wadi Faynan of southern Jordan. The park was constructed after several excavation seasons, and consists primarily of a simple series of trails and signage, accompanied by a brochure in both Arabic and English. This article addresses how Ghwair I fits into broader ecotourism of the Wadi Faynan area and examines some of the pragmatic issues that were faced, including funding and maintenance.
186 The “Jordanian” Roman Complex: Reinventing Urban Landscape to Accommodate Globalization
Shatha Abu-Khafajah and Rama Al Rabady
The central urban landscape of Amman, including the archaeological sites of the Roman Theatre, Odeon and Forum, has played an essential cultural, political, social, and economic role in local identity and memory since the establishment of the Emirate of Transjordan in 1921. This research is an ethnographic study of this urban landscape. It combines local people’s responses to recent governmental interventions to develop the downtown area around the Roman Complex. We document how the Roman Complex “grew” as a feature of a modern Jordanian landscape, not just a reminder of the Roman imperial past. The study investigates conflicting perspectives that have arisen between local community members and recent development projects. In these projects local people’s memories, feelings, knowledge, and activities related to the Roman Complex are sacrificed in order to present an image of Amman that can be perceived globally.