The Protection of Cultural Heritage and Archaeological Sites in Conflict Zones: The Case for Iraq

A paper by Andrea Argiridis, University of Melbourne, for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 14 August in Theatre C, Old Arts.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has operated in many theatres of operation, especially in the Middle East. The historical and archaeological wealth of tribal nations, such as Iraq, cannot be disputed and it is extremely distressing to have witnessed the horrible impacts of war upon these ancient lands, with not only the loss of human life, but also the destruction of cultural and archaeological heritage. This presentation will explore a number of key issues pertaining to the protection of cultural heritage and archaeological sites in conflict zones and how best the ADF can protect such heritage during armed conflict. This is a topic that is particularly relevant for current and future operational practices for deployed forces. This presentation will be presented not just from the perspective of an archaeology major completing a PhD, but it is also from a military officer who has had three tours of duty to the Middle East.