Sicily – Submit an Abstract

Abstract submission for the 2018 ICAHM Annual Meeting has now closed. The corresponding author of each abstract will be notified of acceptance/rejection before 31 May.

The language of this conference is English. All abstracts must be submitted and presented in clear English with accurate grammar and spelling of a quality suitable for publication.

To ensure all authors will present at our meeting, we respectfully request that you register and pay conference fees prior to 1 July, 2018. Those not registered will be removed from our conference program to allow others the opportunity to present. We encourage everyone to register early, Early Bird Registration fee prior to 31 May, 2018.

If you have any queries regarding your submission, please contact:

Although membership in ICAHM is not required to present an abstract in this conference, we strongly encourage participants to join ICAHM.


The emphasis of this meeting will be on: Climate Change and Community Engagement. Furthermore, we intent to organize sessions on: Heritage Tourism, the Africa Initiative and Archaeoastronomy. Non-Invasive Technologies will be approached as an across-cutting theme. Papers with will be assessed by a dedicated scientific panel and then assigned to themes accordingly.

Climate Change
Community Engagement
Heritage Tourism
Continuing the Africa Initiative
Non-Invasive Technologies

Climate Change

The impacts of climate change on heritage sites and landscapes are already observable.  Rising sea levels and storm surge impact coastal sites; increasing aridity degrade cultural and natural landscapes; warmer temperatures effect biotic communities and cause dislocation and migration.  These are but a few of the impacts that are and will bear severely on heritage sites globally.  This session invites case studies of places and sites as well as strategies for sustainability and promoting resilience in the face of climate change.

Session Committee:

William Megarry (chair) – Queens University Belfast
John Peterson, ICAHM President
Anne Jensen – Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation (UIC) Science LLC
Margaret Comer – Cambridge University

Community Engagement

Everybody speaks about the need for a participatory approach to archaeological heritage management, but we have limited experience of practical examples that show the problems of implementation.

We would like to know about specific cases which either illustrate the problems or show effective results that improve archaeological management beyond a simple description of specific actions (the need for participation is obvious, but, what more is required).

It is very important to show what else is needed as a part of the participatory processes e.g. how to:

  • change the narratives of the sites to contribute to multivocal or multifocal discourses;
  • improve aspects of conservation through collaborative or cooperative actions;
  • re-involve local communities with archaeological site that have become tourist attractions;
  • establish new channels of communications among all the stakeholders;

If you have any practical example of these or other actions (not general theory) please give demonstrable examples and describe the mechanisms and specific results in your papers.

In addition, we are also looking for papers that show a comparative analysis of the situation before and after community involvement (or a change in the way of approaching community engagement) over a reasonable time period (more than one year), that illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of new models of work.

From our critical perspective it is clear that participation is regarded as important, but in the global strategy of site management it is often only given a minor or symbolic value today.

We think that it is important to consider whether or not to increase the use of these techniques (especially public studies, focus groups, meetings with communities, etc) and to understand the cost (time and budget) of these methodologies.

Key issues include whether:

  • it is better to subcontract such work, or employ full time staff;
  • public participation and engagement is viable for our kind of sites;
  • sufficient time and training is available to undertake such work;
  • these approaches are realistic in Africa and Asia (the European context is very different);
  • these approaches are sustainable after participatory actions are completed if there are no people who can continue them;
  • politicians can see the advantages of participatory actions or not;All management actions need specific training and adequate time for a good implementation. From a proactive perspective  we would like to rethink with you these kinds of proposal and look for reasonable and realistic actions that can be used in the  long term to change our current and inadequate models.

As a practical result of this session, therefore we would like to develop a strong critique that can be used to instrumentalise and incorporate participatory actions as a new creed or model of archaeological heritage management.

It goes without saying that of course we will take a participatory approach as we develop this session and we intend to be good facilitators.  If you are interested in this topic we would like to invite to you come with us on this very important journey, and to enjoy the benefits of collaborative and participatory working in Sicily this year!

Session Committee:

  • Adrian Olivier – ICAHM Secretary General
  • Margaret Gowen-Larsen – European Association of Archaeologists
  • Alicia Castillo Mena – ICAHM VP for Europe,  Complutense University Madrid
Heritage Tourism

The global tourism industry currently moves 1,2 billion people, and the World Tourism Organization reports that in 2030 tourists will be almost two billion. Today, the business volume of tourism – US$ 1.4 trillion in export earnings in 2016 – equals and even surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles, making this industry one of the major players in ‎international commerce. However, overcrowding in several important tourism destinations and a high environmental impact are changing the perception of the benefits of mass tourism, and highlight the necessity of a change in attitudes.

In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The scope was to raise awareness of the need for the tourism industry to move towards a sustainable model, and to highlight the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public.

The #IY2017 promoted tourism’s role in five key areas. The fourth area related to cultural values, diversity and heritage with the following aims: revive traditional activities and customs; empower communities and nurture pride within them; promote cultural diversity; and raise awareness of the value of heritage.

Although these are among the main issues currently debated in public and community archaeology arenas, the relationship between archaeology, sustainable tourism and development still needs to be examined in depth.

In ICAHM’s session on Heritage and Tourism we shall look at practical examples that combine safeguarding heritage (more specifically archaeological) areas, with the demands of the tourism industry, while promoting a sustainable economic and social development for the local communities.

Following questions will be addressed:

  • How can we contribute to promote a broad stakeholders’ engagement in the planning, development and management of sustainable tourism in heritage / archaeological areas?
  • What kind of policies, strategies, frameworks, techniques and tools are used to foster sustainable tourism in relation to heritage / archaeology? What are the outcomes?
  • How can we, as archaeologists, provide stakeholders with the capacity and the tools to manage tourism efficiently, responsibly and sustainably, based on the local context and needs?
  • How can we promote quality archaeological tourism?

Session Committee:

  • Sebastiano Tusa (chair), Superintendent of the Sea for the Sicily Region | President PAM,    Palermo, Italy
  • Ray Bondin, Chair Scientific Committee ICAHM 2018 Meeting |  Chair Maltese National Commission
  • Valerie Higgins, Associate Professor of Archaeology and Program Director for Sustainable Cultural Heritage at the American University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  • Cynthia Dunning Thierstein, Managing Director ArcheoConcept, Biel, Switserland
  • Marc Kocken, ICOMOS Netherlands | MARC heritage consultants, Bemmel, Netherlands

Archaeoastronomy is a multidisciplinary science that deals with the study of the orientation of ancient monuments (temples, tombs, menhirs, etc.) as a function of celestial phenomena (for example the rising and setting of the Sun or the Moon), but also of the representations of celestial bodies and asterisms in paintings, sculptures and engravings in antiquity, and finally of the reconstruction of astronomical events using observational data from historical times. More recently we talk more about cultural astronomy. There are several groups of scholars who deal with archaeoastronomy,both form Humanities and Natural Sciences. The main international organizations that deal with cultural astronomy are: ISAAC (International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture), SEAC (European Society for Astronomy in Culture) and SIAC (Sociedad Interamericana de Astronomía en la Cultura). In November 2017  ICOMOS-IAU published a book entitled  “Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the Context of the World Heritage Convention”, which examines a number of key questions relating to astronomical heritage sites and their potential recognition as World Heritage.

In this session we will examine the techniques used for archaeoastronomy studies and  we will take a closer look at how archaeoastronomical research at archaeological sites has increased our understanding and knowledge of the sky of our ancestors. Moreover in this session will present case studies of places and sites with archaeoastronomical values.

Session Committee:

  • Andrea Orlando (chair) – INFN — National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Sezione di Catania, Italy
  • Antonio Belmonte – Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife
  • Cesar Garcia – Institute of Heritage Sciences (Spanish National Research Council), Galicia
Continuing the Africa Initiative

ICAHM began the African initiative under the co-Presidency of Willem J.H. Willems and Douglas C. Comer in 2010. This was at the suggestion of Gustavo Araoz, then the President of ICOMOS, who urged ICAHM to assist in identifying archaeological sites in Africa During that year, ICAHM attended the Pan African conference in the Dakar, Senegal, and presented a major symposium in which a panel of archaeologists active in Africa participated. They plenary address was provided by Webber Ndoro who was director of the African World Heritage fund. In the intervening years ICAHM has published two books in its series with Springer Press on heritage management and world heritage in Africa. In 2017 ICAHM held its annual conference in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. At this conference, Webber Ndoro also gave the plenary address and African archaeological colleagues were invited to participate in a meeting that set the stage for mobilizing the African initiative. In December 2017 at the ICOMOS triennial General assembly in New Delhi, US/ICOMOS, the ICOMOS national committee for the United States, arranged a meeting with representation from approximately 20 national committees and persons who had attended the Africa Regional Meeting On New Delhi. National committees are now forming a coalition to move this effort forward, with some differences. Among them are that since 2010, a number of archaeological sites in Africa have been inscribed on the World Heritage List. There is now the sense that other types of sites in Africa should be inscribed.

This session will be divided into two parts: paper presentations and a workshop.

Workshop on the Application of  the Salalah Guidelines for the Management of Public Archaeological Sites.

Workshop Convener:
Douglas C. Comer, Ph.D.
Immediate Past President, ICAHM
President and Chair, United States National Committee for ICOMOS (US/ICOMOS)

The Salalah Guidelines for the Management of Public Archaeological Sites was approved as an ICOMOS doctrinal text at the ICOMOS General Assembly held in New Delhi in December 2017. This workshop will explore the application of those guidelines to one or two Sub-Saharan Africa World Heritage Sites, sites on State Party Tentative Lists, or other archaeological sites open to the public. The workshop convener will review the Guidelines and review how they can assist in developing a sustainable management system for archaeological sites open to the public. Representatives for sites will participate in the workshop by engaging in dialogue with the Convener and workshop attendees. The dialogue will address those studies and activities specified in the Guidelines and how they relate to the selected sites. Notes will be taken on the actions, facilities, studies, programs that should be put in place in order to secure sustainable management.  These notes will be the basis for more formal list of needed steps. This list can thereafter be used when applications are made for the funding needed to realize them, referencing the Guidelines.  While the Guidelines can be used to establish or improve management at any archaeological site open to t public, it will be noted that they would be of great use during upstream efforts at sites that are being considered for nomination to the World Heritage List.

Session Committee:

Non-Invasive Technologies

Keywords: Geophysical prospection tools, remote sensing, decision making

Non-Invasive Technologies will be approached as an across-cutting theme. Papers with will be assessed by a dedicated scientific panel and then assigned to themes accordingly.

It must be an overriding principle that the gathering of information about the archaeological heritage should not destroy any more archaeological evidence than is necessary for the protection or scientific objectives of the investigation. Non-destructive techniques, aerial and ground survey, and sampling should therefore be encouraged wherever possible, in preference to total excavation.
(ICAHM Lausanne Charter, 1990: Article 5)

In line with Article 5 of the World Heritage Convention and the ICOMOS- Lausanne Charter, non-invasive technologies have revolutionized the way we survey, investigate, maintain and conserve archaeological heritage. While traditional techniques remain of central importance, in many cases low-cost platforms, increasing availability of to data, and applicability of specialist software, have changed the relationship between technology and heritage practitioners. This session will explore the application of remote and non-invasive technologies to cultural heritage sites and landscapes including (but not limited to) geophysical prospection, terrestrial and airborne laser scanning, imagery captured by unmanned aerial vehicles and its derivative models, airborne photography and imagery and data captured by satellite platforms. It is particularly interested in how non-invasive technologies can be used as decision support tools in heritage management, and how technologies can be used to address global challenges including climate and rapid landscape change, the damage or destruction of heritage due to conflict, and heritage monitoring in isolated parts of the world.

Session Committee:

  • William Megarry – Queens University Belfast
  • Till SonnemanOtto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
  • Friedrich Lüth – German Archaeological Institute (DAI)