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Archaeology and heritage in the Persian Gulf states: Past and present asymmetries

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

Daniel Potts - Archaeology and heritage in the Persian Gulf states: Past and present asymmetries

Thursday, November 20, 2011 - 5:30pm

Two phenomena - the relatively late appearance of nation states in the Persian Gulf and the Iranian Revolution of 1979 - have exerted a profound influence on the course of archaeological research, the development of attitudes towards the past, and the emergence of museums in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabi, the UAE, Oman and Iran. The politics of the past is very different on the two sides of the Persian Gulf and varies considerably from country to country on the Arabian side. Approaches to excavation, collaboration with foreign researchers, education about the past and presentation and packaging of archaeology and pre-modern history have followed divergent trajectories in Iran and the Arab states. Geographical imbalances in the professionalization of archaeology and heritage sector work are also profound. This talk will address these issues, in light of over 35 years of archaeological experence in Iran and eastern Arabia.