Sunday, October 16, 2005

Progression research proposal for "resolving conflicts over cultural heritage"

Research proposal: "Placing cultural rights: Resolving conflicts over cultural heritage - querying cultures' rights and archaeologists' responsibilities" [written in the summer of 2005; now out-of-date].

Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Sciences in Social Research Methods at the University of Sussex, 2004-2005


This dissertation draws on primary and secondary sources to develop a proposal for research into archaeologists' responsibilities for historical materials and potential resolutions of conflicts over cultural heritage.

As, according to the popular opinion of locals and internationals, the security situation in Kosovo made work there impossible, alternatives were considered and Cyprus and Turkey were chosen. Cyprus and Turkey have both been sites of ethnic cleansing, involving the destruction of cultural heritage and are both sites of conflict over cultural heritage and, as such, are suitable locations.

Archaeology must interrogate itself in order to revitalise itself as a socially relevant, socially responsible enterprise; the proposed research would contribute to this project.


Notwithstanding the robust, engaged literature on archaeological politics, there has been little work done on archaeological ethics and what has been done has focused on protection of Indigenous rights and preservation of archaeological materials.

Using a human rights methodology, informed by interpretive, feminist and community archaeologies, this research will elucidate archaeologists' professional responsibilities and humanitarian duties specifically in violently divided societies and generally to people and the heritage they hold in contestation.

This dissertation draws on primary and secondary sources to develop a proposal for research into archaeologists' responsibilities for historical materials and potential resolutions of conflicts over cultural heritage.

The dissertation: first, relays a rudimentary narrative of Kosovo's history and sketches Kosovo's current context; second, details a feasibility study conducted in Kosovo, performs a practical and ethical risk assessment of carrying out the proposed research in Kosovo at the present time and explores the available alternative locations' suitability for fieldwork; third, identifies the pressing need to investigate professional responsibilities and humanitarian duties in contemporary archaeology and justifies the adoption of a human rights approach to do so; fourth, explores the state of affairs in archaeological practice and examines the ethical crisis in archaeology; fifth, discusses the methodology and sets out a basic timetable for the accomplishment of the project; and sixth, reviews the value of the proposed research.

The idea for this research emerged out of study at the University of Sheffield and University College London and research presented and conversations had at the 5th World Archaeological Congress in 2003.

The design has been shaped by study at the University of Sussex and research presented and conversations had at the 26th Theoretical Archaeology Group Meeting in 2004 and the 70th Society for American Archaeology Meeting in 2005.

I am indebted to Jane Cowan and Marie Dembour for their supervision, to my lecturers, in particular Simon Coleman, Martin Coward, Nigel Eltringham and Ann Whitehead for their teaching and to my fellow students for our conversations.

I appreciate the access granted by the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, in whose library some of the secondary sources were obtained and the assistance given by their employees, Paul Arenson and Jennifer Copithorne.

The people who spoke to me either did so informally or, if they were part of the international administration, off the record, so their names have been withheld, but I am beholden to all of the people in Kosovo who helped me and discussed matters with me.

Kosovo's historical background:

"Kosovo" or "Kosova" (1) is the name given to an area in south-eastern Europe, the borders of which have, like its inhabitants, moved and changed through time; people's definitions of putative communities that they identify themselves or categorise others as being a part of have also changed.

[1: "Kosova" is the Albanian and "Kosovo" the Serbian spelling. Places are first named in Albanian and Serbian and then referred to by the primary local spelling. "Kosovo", however, will be used, as that is the common English spelling and using "Kosova" could be seen as contrived point-scoring.]

However those communities are defined, those people's ancestries are always multicultural, whatever their recent genealogy. There is no direct relationship between those people categorised as Serbs, some of whom lived in Kosovo in the Seventh Century and those, some of whom live in Kosovo in the Twenty-First Century, or between those people categorised as Albanians, some of whom lived in Kosovo in the Sixth Century and those, some of whom live in Kosovo in the Twenty-First Century, except for the fact that for a multitude of reasons, some people in each generation have identified themselves and/or categorised others as being "Serbs" or "Albanians".

Kosovo's population has fluctuated as every population has, although obviously more so in the past century and even more so in the past two decades, but it is currently approximately 88% Albanian, 7% Serb, 1.9% Bosnian, 1.7% Roma and 1% Turkish (Statistical Office of Kosovo, 2003), though even these statistics obscure manipulation of censuses, elisions of distinct communities and disregard of others.

"Roma" are Gypsies associated with Kosovo Serbs and "Ashkali" those associated with Kosovo Albanians, but only "Roma" are mentioned and it is unclear whether the Ashkali have been subsumed within the "Roma" or "Albanian" community or whether the Roma have been subsumed within the "Serb" community and "Roma" used to refer to the Ashkali; these also fail to acknowledge the "Egyptian" Gypsies and are contradicted by Gypsies in Prishtine/Pristina and Prizren/Prizren, who identified themselves as "Roma", but categorised those in Mitrovice/Mitrovica as "Serbs". Some people choose to identify themselves as "Eskimos" in order to eschew ethnic and national labels, but they remain unrecognised officially.

Culture-historical archaeologies have identified Albanian origins in the "Illyrian" community first found in the Twelfth Century B.C.E., the "Dardanians" having formed a kingdom within it. Illyria fell under Roman occupation in the Third Century B.C.E. and Dardania was established as a province of the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century C.E. and with its division, as a province of the Byzantine Empire.

In the 1160s the Nemanjid dynasty, under the Catholic-baptised, Orthodox Stefan, emerged; by 1216 C.E., the Serbian kingdom, under the Orthodox Stefan and his Catholic wife, had enveloped all of Kosovo. The autocephalous Serbian Orthodox Church was established in 1219 C.E., but its archbishopric only moved to Kosovo at the end of the Thirteenth Century and only became a fully independent patriarchate in 1346 C.E. The Nemanjid dynasty was defeated by the Ottomans in 1371 C.E., their territory swallowed up by other, ascending Serbian families, the most powerful of which was led by Lazar.

On the 15th of June 1389, at what came to be known as the Battle of Kosovo, the Ottoman army, which included Serb and Albanian leaders and soldiers, won a Pyrrhic victory over the Serbs' hero Lazar's army, which also included both Serb and Albanian leaders and soldiers. It was the remnants of the equally ravaged Ottoman army that held the field, but it was Lazar's son, Stefan, who ruled the land after the battle - and he did so as a Turkish vassal from 1390.

Quarrels between local and Ottoman elites led the Ottomans to rule Kosovo directly between 1439 and 1444 C.E. and by the 21st of June 1455, a consolidated Ottoman Empire had brought all of Kosovo under direct rule, eliminating the Serbian state outright by 1459. In the meantime, from the 17th to the 19th of October 1448, the second Battle of Kosovo came and went and with it went the Albanians' hero Skanderbeg's opportunity to score a significant victory against the Ottomans; he was defending his northern Albanian territory against the Venetians until shortly before the battle and, meeting routed troops on his way, left before he had arrived, maintaining his territory until his death in 1468.

Rebellions were frequent but fruitless. The Ottoman Empire was only dislodged in late 1689 and only then by the Austrian Empire. The Austrian Empire retreated in early 1690, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church and many Serb refugees following, after which the Ottoman Empire reasserted itself.

A revolt, led by Serbs but involving Albanians, began in 1804; although it extended as far south as northern Kosovo and although the Ottoman Empire retook the territory, renewed fighting led the Ottomans to allow Belgrade district to administer itself, agreed in 1815 and instituted in 1817. Its independence was recognised in 1878.

Cooperation between Serbian and Albanian territories faltered after 1804, when Serbia began to deal with its Muslim and Albanian minorities antagonistically and violently. Ottomans' desire for a control on Slav nationalism and Serbs' desire for a distraction that would facilitate their insurrection led to responses from both that were conducive to, if they did not actively promote Albanian nationalism. Rejecting the option of a unified Albanian vilayet, the Ottomans established the vilayet of Kosovo in 1877; by this time, although Orthodox Serbs constituted a majority in some south-eastern areas, Muslim Albanians were the majority in Kosovo.

In 1877 an "Albanian committee" was set up that sent a memorandum to the Ottomans petitioning for Albanian unification and autonomy. Proposals for Serbian annexation of northern Kosovo and the implementation of a compromise that included excision of the predominantly Albanian Gusinje from the vilayet of Kosovo and its insertion into the predominantly Slav Montenegro in 1878 incited resistance: first the Central Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Albanian Nation, then the Albanian League of Prizren were founded to prevent annexations of Albanian territories.

In 1879, Ottoman administrative and military staff misinterpreted the dominant Albanian position and, misinformed, the Ottomans changed their minds about granting their demands. In 1880, when the Albanian community became restless for change, they wrested control of Kosovo under the League of Prizren and prepared to defend themselves, which appeared to fulfil the Ottomans' staff's prophecies. In 1881, the Ottoman Empire crushed the League and with it organised resistance in Kosovo.

From the late 1880s on, Muslim-Christian relations in Kosovo deteriorated after the Serbian government implemented a policy of ethnic cleansing. It is important to note that, even in 1912, Kosovans who identified themselves as "Serbian" were expressing their religious, more than their ethnic or national identity; in Mitrovice, for example, much to the Serbian government's dislike, some "Serbs" were identifying themselves as "Kosovans" and campaigned for "Kosovo for the Kosovans".

In 1899, Macedonians and Bulgarians started agitating for an independent Macedonia that encompassed Kosovo, as well as predominantly Albanian areas of Macedonia; in their turn, Albanians renewed their campaign for the unification of all predominantly Albanian areas, in either an Ottoman province or an independent state. At this time, the Serbian government sponsored cetas - armed bands - to combat Macedonian and Bulgarian cetas in Macedonia, but some fought against Albanians in Kosovo, so Albanian-Serb relations deteriorated further.

In 1908, the Young Turks enlisted Albanian support by pretending to share their desire for secure autonomy under the Sultanate, but in 1909, their real intentions were laid bare when they replaced the Sultan with a puppet. Along with tax collection, press-ganging and other equally unpopular actions, the Young Turks elicited Albanian revolts, which they managed to suppress.

In the spring of 1910, another tax revolt initially succeeded and spread across Kosovo, but by the summer it was quashed. By the autumn a comprehensive disarmament programme had driven the Albanians to dependence upon the government of Montenegro, which was fomenting rebellion to enable it to grab land; the government of Serbia, however, apprehensive about an expansive Austria-Hungary and reliant upon arms imported through Thessaloniki, rekindled relations with the Ottomans.

In the spring of 1911, the Montenegro-funded Albanian rebels rose up, but again, by the summer they had been subdued and by the autumn, Italy was at war with the Ottoman Empire and fearful of Christian conquest, the Albanians too accepted Ottoman rule.

In the spring of 1912, armed by the governments of Montenegro and Serbia, the Albanian rebels rose again against the Young Turks, but this time, the Ottomans couldn't subjugate them and on the 18th of August 1912, acceded to Albanian demands for autonomy. The success of the Albanian insurrection encouraged Balkan states to revolt and weakened the Ottoman Empire to the point that they were able to succeed, but that, paradoxically, led to the loss of Kosovan Albanians' autonomy.

As well as arming the Albanian rebels, Serbia and Montenegro disseminated propaganda against them, created violent incidents and stepped up their cetniks' activities. As the Ottomans withdrew, Serbia accused them of advancing and soon after, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece were at war with the Ottoman Empire; the Ottomans gradually withdrew and the Albanian fighters were overwhelmed.

During and after - and even, in the cases of surrender, without - conflict, both fighters and civilians were subjected to gross abuses, ethnic cleansing and extermination and the appropriation and destruction of Muslim and Albanian cultural heritage.

In December 1912, the Great Powers discussed how to settle the territorial disputes, and in March 1913, negotiations between Austria-Hungary and France and Russia ended in the independence of Albania, but the cession of Kosovo to Serbia and Montenegro; peculiarly, Peje/Pec was ceded to Montenegro, not Serbia, which had excused its conquest primarily by citing the rights of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate to Peje.

On the 28th of July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia; by the end of 1915, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria occupied Kosovo, Bulgaria then conducting a programme of Bulgarianisation of its Slav subjects as Serbia had a programme of Serbianisation before. By mid-1918, Austria-Hungary and its allies were retreating and by late 1918, Serbia had reoccupied Kosovo.

On the 1st of December 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (that became Yugoslavia in 1929), was established, comprised of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia; Kosovo was included by default, though it had not been legally incorporated into Serbia and later was only incorporated into Yugoslavia.

Subsequently, there was colonisation of predominantly Albanian areas, persecution of Albanians, suppression of Albanian cultural life and denial of the existence of an Albanian community, their identity dismissed as the false consciousness of fellow Serbs.

Consequently, the existing resistance to the return of Serbian rule was reinforced. The Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo led the resistance, campaigning diplomatically and coordinating kacaks, its rules ordering first that members did not harm Serb civilians and second that they did not destroy cultural property; when the Serbian government started creating local Serb cetas, the kacaks started attacking local Serb villages.

Colonisation of predominantly Albanian areas was facilitated by the expropriation of rebels' land and its redistribution to loyal locals, both Serb and Albanian, but also, chiefly, to the settlers, who were given larger parcels of land as well as many other benefits denied to the loyal locals; the unfair treatment commonly led to unity of local Serbs and Albanians against settler Serbs.

In 1929, in response to a murder in the Yugoslav parliament, the king implemented a more centralised, authoritarian system, with the territories reorganised to cut across customary borders; Kosovo was cut up and joined to three areas, one largely Serbian, one largely Montenegrin and one largely Macedonian.

In 1939, emulating German-Austrian Anschluss and fortifying itself against the resultant power, Italy annexed Albania; in 1941, being directed by the Nazis and trying to build a rapport with its new subjects, Italy collaborated in the invasion of Yugoslavia. Kosovo was again divided up, slivers of the north and the east taken by Germany and Bulgaria, respectively, whilst the majority of Kosovo was taken by Italy and put under the civil administration of Albania, where it stayed under the control of the Nazis when Italy surrendered in 1943.

Whilst the cetniks and the Communists played an insignificant part in the Second World War in Kosovo, because they were perceived as Slav organisations committed to Yugoslav unity, the Allies were seen as forces that could be used to achieve Albanians' liberation and were collaborated with. Notably, the Axis Powers were also seen in this way and instrumentalist collaboration with the Nazis was unusually common in Kosovo; however, the Albanian Skanderbeg volunteer SS division, which committed the most disgraceful act of that war in Kosovo when it deported 281 Jews, was still so hampered by desertion and disobedience that the Nazis judged it of no military value. After the Nazis retreated, the Partisan, Russian and Bulgarian troops occupied Kosovo.

Under Tito, colonisation of Kosovo and suppression of Albanian culture were ended and Kosovo was made relatively autonomous; nevertheless, it was also under Tito that Muslim culture was suppressed, that an imbalance of power induced reactive community politics in Kosovo and that a collapsing economy in a dysfunctional state [was created, which later] enabled Milosevic to come to power in Yugoslavia.

On the 3rd September 1945, it was written into law that Kosovo was an autonomous region in Serbia in Yugoslavia, different aspects of the processes of determining its status and implementing that determination having been taken up since by Serbian and Albanian nationalists; however, all of the relevant decisions on Kosovo's status were made undemocratically and whatever legal force they may have carried was simply a product of the power of the dictatorship that made the law as it chose.

As the rest of Yugoslavia produced more and earned more, the underdeveloped and under-funded Kosovo became relatively poorer. At the same time as clamping down on Islamic life, identification as "Turks" - a term popularly used as a synonym for Muslims - was encouraged and many duly adopted it; in 1953, a treaty between Yugoslavia and Greece and Turkey enabled a mass emigration of Yugoslav Turks and so a mass reduction in the Albanian community in Kosovo, suggesting a long-held plan coming to fruition.

In 1963, constitutional changes appeared to imply that Kosovo was merely a region of Serbia, but in 1966, the Serbian nationalist Minister of the Interior was dismissed and in response to protests in 1968, further constitutional changes established the autonomous provinces as "socio-political communities" like the republics and, in 1974, established the units' equality in nature and rights.

On the 11th of March 1981, a student protest against living conditions turned into an attack on the regime and on the 25th of March, another protest turned into a pro-autonomy demonstration, both being baton-charged and tear-gassed into submission. On the 1st of April, school pupils joined the protests and later, despite the deployment of tanks, so did manual labourers; when the protests spread across Kosovo, a state of emergency was declared and a curfew imposed.

By the mid-1980s, the "culture war" was well under way and both sides were using ancient and recent histories to corroborate their rights-claims to the territory of Kosovo; nationalists were fabricating histories from 'myths and truths' in order to verify their interpretations (Mertus, 1999: 1).

The Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, leaked in 1986, was a prime example of these fabrications, accusing Albanians of the genocide of Serbs; its contents were repudiated by many Communist leaders, but Milosevic and his ilk realised its potential.

On the 24th of April 1987, anti-nationalist Serbian Communist party president Stambolic opted against speaking to a Serb nationalist demonstration, sending Milosevic instead. Local troublemakers had arranged for a lorry loaded with rocks to be within reach of the demonstrators precisely in order to goad the police into a violent reaction, which they could then use as nationalist propaganda. Milosevic bought into this, announcing to the crowd that "no one should dare to beat you!" He and other Serbian nationalists also used a mentally ill Albanian soldier's killing of his colleagues as evidence of the alleged genocide and by the end of 1987, by scapegoating the Albanians and undermining his political rivals, Milosevic became Serbian Communist party president. Repeating these strategies in Vojvodina then Montenegro, Milosevic installed puppets.

When, in 1988, Milosevic tried to purge Kosovo's government, there were widespread protests; on the 17th of November, Trepca/Trepca's miners marched on Prishtine and on the 18th, workers, students and school pupils joined them, but the Kosovan assembly acceded to the Serbian demands. The very next day Milosevic held his biggest rally, with at least 350,000 in attendance.

When, early in 1989, a bundle of measures designed to subject Kosovo to Serbia's will roused yet more protests and strikes throughout Kosovo, including the Trepca miners occupying the mines, the Serbian government pretended to give in, but as soon as the strikers emerged onto the streets, a state of emergency was declared and many of the protestors were arrested. On the 23rd of March 1989, under extreme duress - with tanks outside and security police inside - the Kosovan assembly accepted the Serbian party's revisions. Violent protests erupted immediately, but they were subjugated quickly.

In the spring of 1990, the nerve toxin Sarin somehow arrived in some Albanian schoolchildren's systems, making them very ill; some of the outraged Albanians attacked local Serbs' homes, giving Milosevic and his cronies a pretext for yet another crackdown.

On the 26th of June 1990, Serbia intensified its cultural, social and economic persecution of Albanians and, when the Kosovan assembly tried to block it and instead propose the recognition of Kosovo as a republic, the Serb controlling the assembly adjourned the meeting.

On the 2nd July 1990, when the Kosovan assembly was not recalled as promised, it met anyway and declared Kosovo a republic, to which Serbia responded by dissolving Kosovo's government. On the 7th September, a democratic constitution for a sovereign, independent Kosovo was made public, which was accepted by referendum in 1991 and on the 24th of May 1992, secret voting elected a democratic government for Kosovo.

From then on, the Serbian government's harrying of Kosovo Albanians was carried into every aspect of life and when Serbia attacked Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bosniak and Albanian identities were collapsed into a singular "Muslim" identity, as they were caricatured as Islamic fundamentalists set on holy war against Christian Europeans. Under Rugova's leadership, Kosovo Albanians responded by appealing for international intervention, employing non-violent resistance and maintaining an autonomous administration, complete with education and health systems, funded by a voluntary tax on emigres.

When the war against Bosnia-Hercegovina ended, the situation in Kosovo did not get better and though Rugova and the Democratic League of Kosovo were still respected, their tactics were discredited; indeed, with Milosevic lauded as a peacemaker and only token sanctions against Serbia remaining to encourage the government to improve its human rights record, it appeared that the international community had abandoned the Kosovo Albanians to their plight.

To some, insurrection seemed the only option - and once the armed revolts had elicited grossly excessive clampdowns, many more agreed. The popularity of the Kosovo Liberation Army gave Milosevic an excuse to launch a campaign of violence against the Albanian community, expelling 250,000 people in 1998; when he prepared to repeat that campaign in 1999, he ignored international pressure - and threats - to back down and NATO intervened.

By the time Milosevic had withdrawn his troops from Kosovo, NATO troops had entered and the UN Kosovo Force (KFOR) had been mobilised in June 1999, in addition to the 10,000 people who had been killed and the 800,000 who had been displaced (Rechel, Schwalbe and McKee, 2004: 540), 70,000 of Kosovo's 500,000 homes had been reduced to rubble and 207 of its 609 mosques had been damaged or destroyed (Herscher and Riedlmayer, 2000: 111-112).

Kosovo was made a UN protectorate and its status has not yet been decided. Between 1999 and 2003, more than 100 Orthodox churches, monasteries and other buildings were demolished (O'Hara, 2004).

During the 17th-18th March 2004 riots, in which 19 people were killed and 1138 injured, around 730 homes occupied by minority communities' members - mostly Kosovo Serbs - and 36 Orthodox churches, monasteries and other buildings were damaged or destroyed (UNMIK, 2005: 1).

Archaeological context:

Having asserted that 'archaeology's appropriation of the past is a moral and political act' and that 'choosing a past... is choosing a future' (Shanks and Tilley, 1987: 136), Shanks and Tilley (1992: xviii) went on to argue that archaeologists needed to 'find a place for the ethical', yet, by and large, they have not done so.

Pluciennik (2001b: 2-3; 2001c: 19) has recently observed that archaeologists have largely concentrated on political issues and when they have considered ethical issues, they have overwhelmingly considered the relationships between archaeologists and indigenous peoples and between archaeologists and antiquities collectors; furthermore, Hamilakis (1999: 62) has complained that 'the politics of archaeological activity itself' are also 'rarely discussed systematically'.

Archaeologists have begun to address ethics directly (Pluciennik, 2001b), but politics, "indigenous issues" and antiquities collecting remain the foundations of archaeological dilemmas.

Whilst honing the 'emerging, evolving archaeological ethic' (Wylie, 2003: 9), archaeologists must recognise and work through the problem that - even if they are internally consistent and indeed even if they are both human rights moralities - any two moralities may be irreconcilable, so a supreme moral principle that establishes universally binding requirements must be found (Gewirth, 1978: 4). This research intends to concentrate on ethical issues and to formulate a human rights approach to archaeology.

Human rights rationale:

Today, moral and political claims are typically phrased in human rights language, with the ultimate aim of having such claims embodied in positive law (Donnelly, 2003); yet, the notion of human rights is controversial, the rights' nature debated as much between their various defenders as the rights' very existence is debated between their defenders and their detractors (O'Keefe, 1999: 193).

Donnelly (2003: 14), for example, conceives of human rights as entitlements derived from humans' 'moral nature', which are universal, equal and inalienable, insofar as they are rights held by all, identically and permanently - and Freeman (2002: 6) concurs, identifying human rights as entitlements derived from 'moral and/or legal rules' - but Douzinas (2000: 371), for instance, sees human rights as entitlements obtained through 'discourse and nothing more'.

However they are conceptualised, universal moral entitlements are neither a Western, nor a recent, construction: after Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism, in south Asia in the Third Century B.C.E., he advocated free medical care and the protection of minorities; and it was Cyrus, in west Asia in the Sixth Century B.C.E., who set out the as yet first known "Charter of Freedom of Humankind" [I ignorantly bought into the propaganda about Cyrus and only later found Jona Lendering's translation, via Dr. Jim Davila]; moreover, there are human rights ideologies within political, civil, economic, social, cultural and religious communities outside of the North/West, indeed throughout the South/East, however those essentialised entities are constructed. It is necessary to explain what my conception of human rights is, in order to justify simultaneously their relevance to the project's aims and the project's relevance to their aims.

Agreeing with Gewirth's Principle of Generic Consistency (1978: 135; 64), I believe that human rights do exist and conceive of them as moral requirements claimable by all against all others, determined through reason from the essential features of action - the conditions necessary for a person to be able to act.

There is an 'equality of generic rights' between one person and another, as each person is of equal value and has equal claim upon all others (Gewirth, 1978: 206); however, there is an inequality between one right and another, as each right is of different value and makes different claims upon all others.

Human rights form a 'hierarchy' determined by how fundamental the right is to a person's capacity to act (Gewirth, 1982: 139); a person may choose to waive their own rights - and so others' duties - but not their own duties.

If, for example, one person killed another, since life is the most fundamental feature of action, without which no action could be performed and therefore inherently claimed as a human right whenever a person engages in action, they would have committed a human rights violation (Gewirth, 1978: 213).

As human rights form a hierarchy, so, when they come into conflict and the more fundamental right is respected, that constitutes, not a violation, but a justifiable contravention of the less fundamental right (Gewirth, 1996: 46). When one person violates or tries to violate the human rights of another, ending or preventing that violation, even if it requires inflicting harms as severe as those being stopped, is not a violation itself, but a justifiable contravention of the violator's rights in order to protect the victim's rights (Gewirth, 1978: 213).

This demonstration demands clarification of the construction of the hierarchy: one human right is not more fundamental than another because the "class" of rights to which it belongs is perceived to be more fundamental than another. The hierarchy is determined, not top down from what a person has a right to, but bottom up from what a person has a need for (Gewirth, 1996: 52; 53).

The claims, contraventions and violations of the rights being discussed are claims, contraventions and violations of human rights - to assert the existence of particular rights requires the existence of universal rights. If a person were to assert that, for whatever reason, they had particular rights as an individual or as a member of a group, they would require others to respect universal rights, most immediately including the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, for them to have the very freedom necessary to deny they existed to be respected. Since these rights would have to exist and be respected before the claim were made that they were particular, the person who made the claim would, then, have to accept that they were indeed universal, human rights (Gewirth, 1978: 104; 110).

The human rights hierarchy, built from the bottom up according to the rights' relative necessity to action, then, is: first, the right to life, without which no action is possible; second, the rights to adequate water and food, without which no action is sustainable and third, the rights to adequate medical care, shelter and physical security, together constituting what may be summarised as the right to physical health; and fourth, the right to freedom from discrimination, ultimately dependent upon the right to physical security and fifth, the rights to freedom of belief, freedom of expression and freedom to participate in cultural life, together comprising what may be summarised as the right to mental health (Gewirth, 1978: 52-55; 210-211; UN, 1966a; 1966b).

Archaeological practice:

The moral and political claims made through the human rights discourse, however, tend to ignore conflicts between different human rights - a quandary the UN has itself acknowledged, if not resolved (UNCESCR, 1990; 1991; 2000).

Archaeologists, too, have skirted around or ignored these conflicts: for example, when addressing the discourses surrounding the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, Colwell-Chanthaphonh (2003: 75) consciously decided to do so 'setting aside the theological and moral questions that arise'. In this case, Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson (2004) had elsewhere explicitly advocated an ethical approach to the study of the past and they thought it, not just possible, but desirable, to disregard moral questions in work that discussed, amongst others, discourses of 'dismembering and "right"' and 'dismembering and humanitarianism' (Colwell-Chanthaphonh, 2003: 89; 90).

When addressing these issues and doing so alongside the moral questions, archaeologists have frequently fetishised the record and they have continued to do so (Hamilakis, 2003; 107; Meskell, 2002: 560).

With cultural heritage the object of a 'basic human right' (Ward, 2003; see also Hardy, 2003), the right to cultural heritage, derived from the right to participation in cultural life, is placed by archaeologists in a discourse where 'all rights must be considered on the same level' (Prott, 2003) and, practically, where the right - and its object - are inalienable and inviolable. This is untenable, as the protection of the record and production of knowledge ostensibly for knowledge's sake is impossible - and undesirable - when, as Kohl and Fawcett (1995: 11) note, people are 'willing to fight over... archaeological sites'; still, it is standard archaeological practice.

Archaeologists, having accepted that they cannot achieve pure impartiality and objectivity, appear to believe that they can achieve practical impartiality and objectivity if they refrain from working with only certain sides in a conflict or presenting only certain perspectives in their interpretation.

It is this practical impartiality that has seen many archaeologists: first, express fear for the safety of Iraqi heritage, but not Iraqi civilians; second, collaborate with the Coalition to protect archaeological, but not civilian, sites (the Coalition even assured the World Archaeological Congress that 'the first tank to go to Baghdad would go to protect the museum' (al Radi, 2003)); and third, congratulate the Coalition for saving much Iraqi heritage, but not condemn them for killing many Iraqi civilians (Hamilakis, 2003: 105-107). It ought to be noted, though, that not only did a few archaeologists protest the war as Archaeologists Against the War, but also that many did so without identifying themselves as such.

It is also this practical impartiality that has seen the British Museum work with the Sudanese government, which is responsible for violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws and which may be prosecuted for war crimes that some have identified as genocide (BBC, 2005; ICC, 2005; ICID, 2005: 3-4; 63-107; 158-160).

These issues cannot be ignored, as they frequently are by the Right of the profession, or dismissed with programmatic statements, as they are frequently by the Left of the profession.

The World Archaeological Congress [WAC] was established when the local organisers of an International Union of Pre- and Proto-Historic Societies (IUPPS) conference boycotted delegates from Apartheid South Africa and Namibia (WAC, 2001). Since then, the World Archaeological Congress has used its status to campaign for cultural rights (WAC, 2003a; 2004) and to raise awareness of the humanitarian and cultural crisis in occupied Iraq (WAC, 2003b; 2003c; 2003d); manifestly, WAC does not ignore its political or ethical obligations and strives to fulfil them.

In the case of Iraq, it was clear that WAC's professional responsibility was to condemn the destruction of cultural heritage (and the suffering of its publics), but it is not clear what its duty was in terms of action; this research aims to clarify that.

The World Archaeological Congress worked with the Coalition to do what it could to protect people's cultural human rights, but that necessitated working with forces who, according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have allowed, presided over and committed gross violations of human rights, including violations of the right to freedom from torture and the right to life (AI, 2004a; 2004b; HRW, 2005a; 2005b).

In the case of the Ilisu dam project in Kurdistan in Turkey, however, the Institute of Professionals, Managers and Specialists (IPMS - now Prospect) did not work with Balfour Beatty to do what it could to protect people's cultural human rights, precisely because that necessitated working on a project that would have, according to Friends of the Earth and the Kurdish Human Rights Project, violated civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights (IDC, 2001; Ronayne, 2000; 2001b).

WAC, too, said that 'no amount of money and time spent on this project could deal with cultural rights, as an aspect of the human rights of the local population, in the circumstances of emergency rule prevailing in the region' (Ronayne, 2001a). This could suggest that, in practice, as in Iraq, where there was no possibility that the population's human rights could have been adequately protected and where emergency rule was - and arguably still is - in place, if the project had gone ahead, WAC - and the IPMS - would have abandoned their statements of principle and "done what they could" to protect people's cultural human rights.

WAC, though, never challenged the war in and of itself and indeed supported it in its work; moreover, although it said that the human rights violations were 'legitimate ground for not proceeding with construction of the Ilisu dam', WAC never actually ruled out working with the project if it did go ahead (Ronayne, 2001a); whereas the IPMS stated explicitly, not only that the 'professional ethics of rescue archaeologists should not be exploited for the gain of developers, nor used to support the repression of peoples in communities affected by development', but also that they had 'issue[d] a Green ban on the Ilisu dam project' and 'encourage[d] all branch members to refuse to undertake any works on any contract to remove archaeological remains from the area' (Ronayne, 2001b).

This confirms that, in practice, the IPMS would not have "done what they could" to protect people's cultural rights, as it would have constituted, not simply minimising cultural human rights violations, but actually condoning and colluding in the commission of those and other human rights violations.

This research will explore the issues surrounding working with those who frequently or widely violate human rights, including how to balance the positive duty to protect and the negative duty to refrain from violating human rights.

Archaeological crisis:

Cultural heritage is being deliberately destroyed throughout the world. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall (one of the relatively few occasions on which the destruction was popular internally and internationally), Babri Mosque in Ayodhya has been torn apart, the National Library in Sarajevo has been bombed and burned, the Old Bridge in Mostar has been blasted, Joseph's Tomb in Nablus has been smashed, the Buddhas in Bamiyan have been blown up and the National Museum in Baghdad has been ransacked.

In addition to the many, many thousands killed, raped or disabled and the millions displaced in the wars in the former Yugoslavia (Rechel, Schwalbe and McKee, 2004: 540), thousands of homes, monuments, civilian buildings, religious buildings and museums and galleries were deliberately damaged or destroyed (Riedlmayer, 1996: 88; Sulc, 2001: 162).

Compounding this political destruction of cultural heritage, economic consumption across the world erases not only vast expanses of archaeology and architecture, but also most of the information about those pieces it does preserve (Alva, 2001; Clement, 2002; Ozgen, 2001; Politis, 2002; Togola, 2002).

Renfrew (2000: 15) considers looting, (in his rendering of a much-contested term, the 'illicit, unrecorded and unpublished excavation' of cultural property for 'commercial profit'), to constitute the primary cause of the destruction of heritage and therefore an "ethical crisis for archaeology", as rich individuals take advantage of poor ones and rich nations amass the heritage of poor ones, leaving them still poorer economically and the world poorer socially and culturally.

As others (Hamilakis, 2003: 107; Meskell, 2002: 560), Pollock (2003: 122) contests an 'object-centred notion' of cultural heritage that talks in terms of property and ownership as she situates archaeology in a "time of crisis".

Pollock (2003: 122) does place archaeologists' responsibilities 'well beyond' condemning the destruction of cultural property, encouraging archaeologists to challenge nationalist and other exclusionary uses of archaeology; however, she also states that, though it is 'tempting' to refuse to cooperate rather than 'have oneself used as an expert to espouse viewpoints with which one adamantly disagrees', to do so would be to 'abdicate that responsibility' to advocate for preservation and understanding of the past and that is 'also no solution' (Pollock, 2003: 122).

Surveying archaeologists' actions before and during and reactions to the war on Iraq, Hamilakis (2003: 107) also concludes that there is an 'ethical crisis in archaeology', however, his is not that of the loss of archaeological material in and of itself. 'Personified by archaeologists who publicly mourn the loss of artefacts but find no words for the loss of people', Hamilakis (2003: 107) judges that the ethical crisis in archaeology 'emanates from the principle, now codified in the codes of ethics of most Western archaeological organisations, that our primary ethical responsibility is the advocacy for and stewardship of the archaeological record'.

Agreeing, in principle, with Hamilakis's (1999: 70) prioritisation of 'the present and the "public"' over 'preservation of past material remains', Kotsakis (1999: 98) observes that precisely in order to challenge inequality and injustice, 'archaeologists... need the grounding of material evidence' that is being eroded daily.

The contribution I hope to make to knowledge and to society, then, is an understanding of how archaeologists could draw together these different responsibilities. I aim to determine what archaeologists' professional positions ought to be in conflicts, identifying in what circumstances they ought to intervene and, when they do, how they ought to. In so doing, I will problematise the nature and status of cultural rights and the role of archaeology - and archaeologists - in society.

Kosovo's contemporary context:

Kosovo is still disadvantaged in many respects: more than 60% of its inhabitants are unemployed; more than 50% live in poverty; water and electricity supplies are still unreliable; and mafia and paramilitaries operate with relative impunity.

Conditions fall far short of human rights standards - indeed, so far short that, under the UN's "standards before status" policy, adopted to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, Kosovo's final status cannot be decided upon. The mass of the population does not have the power to control the mafia or paramilitaries and the support those organisations do receive is largely, if not entirely, a product of uncertainty and insecurity.

In this predicament, in a complex mixture of cynical political exploitation and simple criminal opportunism, there has been an upsurge in political violence, both by members of one local community against another and by members of one local community against the international community; the Albanians and the minorities aligned with them fear the return of Serbian rule and the Serbs and the minorities aligned with them fear the lack of it, as, for the past twenty years, the extremists from the dominant community have acted with relative impunity.

Risk assessment:

In order to decide whether to undertake work in Kosovo at the present time, it's necessary to review the practical realities, including the security situation. Wherever fieldwork would be conducted, there are a myriad of issues to be considered and kept under constant review, as the developing circumstances open up some possibilities and close down others; however, certain basic issues are raised in any fieldwork. There is insufficient space to do these deliberations justice, but their provisional resolutions may be outlined.

Performing a feasibility study in Kosovo, I stayed: in Prishtine/Pristina, the most populous city in and the administrative centre of the UN protectorate; in Prizren/Prizren, a historic city with Archangel Monastery on its limits, which is the centre of the most heterogeneous, if no longer the most tolerant, municipality; and in both south Mitrovice and north Mitrovica, almost entirely segregated districts of a city that has been forced to establish separate institutions for the communities north and south of the river.

Staying in those places, I also went: to Gracanica/Gracanica, a Serb enclave in Prishtine municipality that contains an Orthodox monastery that is the home of Bishop Artemije; to Decan/Decani, a municipality that is overwhelmingly Albanian, in which, in 1998 and 1999, more than 65% of houses were destroyed and in which there is a particularly significant Orthodox monastery; to Peje/Pec, which is predominantly Albanian and which is the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchy; and to Ferizaj/Urosevac, which is overwhelmingly Albanian, in which there is a Catholic church that sheltered both Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs during the conflict and premises that encompass the central mosque and an Orthodox church.

As part of the project is precisely to examine what constitutes ethical archaeological practice, many of the initial decisions about how to ensure ethical research practice are contained within the Methodology set out below. A few of the issues, still, may be dealt with here.

There are unavoidable economic and power inequalities between the researcher and the participants, including research assistants, if any are employed. In order to minimise those inequalities, if research assistants are employed, they will have the same working conditions as I do and will be paid the same as or more than the local decency threshold, unless that is more than I earn, in which case, they will be paid the same amount I earn.

Local customs of hospitality and reciprocity will be observed, but participants will not be paid as that would not only constitute exploitation of many of the participants, but also produce unreliable data, as people could take part and provide false information simply to get paid.

Research into conflicts produces information that may embarrass or endanger the informants; moreover, the prerequisite of fully informed consent for the use of the information may be difficult or undesirable.

Researchers, whether international or local, must balance gathering information with protecting the informants, protecting the public and protecting themselves. One member of the UN's security staff warned me, 'watch your back and don't tell anyone what you're doing', as 'it could get you into a lot of trouble'; if I followed this advice, I could still provide confidentiality or anonymity, but the participants could not provide consent.

In Prizren, when I tried to go to the long-ruined Serbian Orthodox church on the hill, a local Albanian twice gave me directions to the Catholic church in the town, then, when I was resolute that it was the Orthodox church that I wanted to go to, refused to tell me because, 'there's nothing Orthodox here now' and on trying to convince him that, 'everything in Kosovo is Kosovan', he retorted that, 'Orthodoxy is not Kosovan'. As another local Albanian noted, 'Orthodox heritage is seen as being a part of Serbian propaganda', so many Albanians refuse to cooperate with any work that involves the Serbian community or recognises them as Kosovo Serbs, rather than Serbs in Kosovo. One of the Roma I'd talked to previously led me away and gave me the directions, only for me to be refused access to the church and the opportunity to take photographs of it by the KFOR soldiers who guard it, because it is now a military installation.

When I went to Decan, a local Albanian gave me a lift to the KFOR checkpoint for Decani monastery, but had to leave immediately, as Albanians are banned from the area. I gave my passport and student card as proof of my personal and professional identity, but when the monks heard that I was an archaeologist, they asked why I was there and what I wanted and when I explained that I was researching 'the destruction of cultural property and how you can work to prevent it', they denied me entry.

A senior member of UNMIK [United Nations Mission In Kosovo]'s Police and Justice "Pillar" later recommended that I should mislead people about the nature of my work and asserted that, if I had done so, I would have been let in to Decani monastery. Again, I could do so and preserve the participants' anonymity, but if I revealed enough to make the information gathered useful - if I revealed that the participants were monks - any information that embarrassed or endangered them could still be used; furthermore, it could be used against anyone who shared the revealed traits - in this case, against anyone who was a monk. It is also worth noting that if I had misled the participants, much of the information I would have gathered may have been irrelevant.

In divided societies even more than elsewhere, information is a precious commodity and may only be provided with an explicit or implicit contract of confidentiality, but that information may need to be shared if, for instance, it consisted of plans for an attack upon a person or a community. This draws into question the prerequisite for fully informed consent.

Ulterior motives and fear and distrust in an insecure environment strongly discourage recorded, official or formal statements and information is gathered in informal, conversational settings; however, this makes obtaining fully informed consent problematic.

Everyday conversations may "become" interviews part way through and in-depth interviews may only "emerge" from sustained contact and trust, where maintaining a professional identity and obtaining an explicit statement of consent may be inappropriate or impossible.

Vital information that may make a direct, appreciable contribution to the public good may be impossible to gather if the participants - whether they are nationalists, the authorities or others - are aware that the person they are talking to is a researcher.

In order to balance, then, gathering information with protecting the participants, the public and myself, I will automatically anonymise all participants, unless they state explicitly that I may identify them and then I will only name them if they are acting in an official capacity; if I cannot sufficiently disguise their identity, I will exclude the information gathered.

I will, nevertheless, not necessarily seek fully informed consent, as it may unduly hinder information gathering and, as the Association of Social Anthropologists (1999) and the British Psychological Society (2004: 2-3) observe, the need to protect participants does not free me of the responsibility to expose human rights violations.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against attending demonstrations or public gatherings or leaving the house during civil disorder, but this would be inconvenient when many of the public gatherings, for example, the reopening of Archangel Monastery in Prizren, are relevant to my proposed research. It also points out that photographs of or encompassing police and military personnel, sites, etc. should not be taken; this is also inconvenient, as in many cases, it is precisely the cultural heritage that I would be working with that has been converted into military installations (partly for its own protection, partly for its strategic location).

The FCO also draw attention to the underdeveloped, under-funded medical system, particularly in a place where tick-borne Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is endemic and the OSCE points out that the quality of water and reliability of water and electricity supplies may be questionable; however, the water quality and water and electricity supplies in all of the sites under review were adequate and I would take out comprehensive medical insurance.

Knowing that, since the war, at least one international had been murdered because they were - or were thought to be - heard speaking Serbian, I made a point of checking whether the situation had stabilised to the point that Serbian could be spoken publicly, as, if I learned both Albanian and Serbian, I would be able to converse with effectively all of the population.

When I asked someone working with Serb returnees for the Council of Europe, he asked immediately, 'are you fucking joking? Do you wanna get yourself killed?' Locals, the police, and UN and UNMIK staff echoed these sentiments and reassured me that nearly everybody has had to learn Albanian, that the Serbs don't expect internationals to be able to speak Serbian and that they're in precisely the position to understand why internationals do not.

It is true that a few locals have learned English, but as Kosovo has been divided into quarters, there is no one "international" language, French, German and Italian being spoken in their own areas. In order to conduct research here, I would have to learn Albanian and then use that with all of the communities, although many of the minorities do not know or refuse to speak it. This would, however, preclude working in a Serb enclave, where Albanian is as unpopular as Serbian is in Albanian majority areas. People tried to converse in a minority language on only three occasions - once, alone with Roma on their Prishtine estate, once, alone with Roma on one of their Prizren streets and once, alone with an Albanian, confident of his public identity, in one of their Prishtine districts, by a house daubed with "this house is Albanian" on it.

When I visited archaeologists in Prishtine, they welcomed me, but informed me that 'we are archaeologists - not political', before joking, 'but we can't speak for the Serbs'. The mantra that "archaeologists are not political" was repeated incessantly by all heritage workers I spoke to, implying, more precisely, that "archaeologists are not sectarian", that 'we treat all heritage the same - not as national - not as communities''. They were friendly, but did not tell me anything I did not already know; the other municipalities' archaeologists and all of the military brigades, however, did not even tell me that.

The social restrictions on community archaeology were made clear when I asked archaeologists in Prishtine about work on minorities' heritage and one replied, only half-jokingly, that 'I will do my work - if the fundamentalists let me!' When I was in Prizren, German KFOR referred me to the municipal authorities, who in turn referred me to the archaeologists, who then referred me back to the municipal authorities, all explaining that, 'we're not political'.

Gathering information in the climate of fear that is suggested by many of the encounters mentioned here and that is felt when you are in the field is difficult, but it is not impossible and it does not make the proposed research infeasible; yet, the security situation does.

International coverage on the continuing violence within and between the local communities is poor, but evidence of the new targeting of the international community can be found.

On the 13th of January 2005, someone who worked for the UN was assassinated; on the 11th of March, someone who worked for UNMIK was injured in an attack on the United Nations Mission headquarters; and on the 2nd of July, [exactly one week] before I arrived in Prishtine, three bombs were set off, one at UNMIK headquarters, one at OSCE headquarters and one at an administration building. As one UNMIK police officer told me, the last three bombs 'were a statement' by the mafia, 'just a statement, [to say] that they could do what they want[ed]'.

A German KFOR officer in Prizren described the situation as, 'calm, but not stable' and stated that, 'one spark... can set things off'. I wrote in my field notes that in Prizren, 'the place and atmosphere are so incongruous: you look left to see a historic monument surrounded by trees, obscuring your view of the river and the promenade; you look right to see a dozen heavily-armed soldiers sweeping across the street'.

I recorded in my field notes that in north Mitrovica, 'it's like the town's on lockdown... You don't hear traffic, but each individual vehicle; you don't hear chatter, but each individual conversation; cafes have one circle of friends, restaurants one family'. The next day I left for south Mitrovice and, striking up conversation with a group of UN and OSCE staff working on human rights protection, learned that north Mitrovica had actually been locked down after 'rioting and shooting' that started just after I left.

A local Albanian in Prizren said of my subject that, 'it's okay in the past, but when you bring it into the present, it's "Happy Birthday! See you in heaven!"', lolling his head back to indicate death and when I told one UNMIK police officer the nature of my proposed research, he asked simply, 'd'y'wanna come back in a box?'

A senior member of UNMIK's Information and Governance Unit observed that, 'the violence is increasing... Attacks are going to increase. There are going to be more bombings... March [2006] is going to be anarchy - much worse than last March [2004]', when 19 people were killed and 1138 injured in two days of rioting.

The overwhelming opinion of internationals and the predominant opinion of locals was that although the work was worthwhile and may be productive in Kosovo in the future, the security situation made the proposed research infeasible at the present time.

Alternatives' suitability for research and the research's relevance to alternatives:

As noted, while the central ethical and practical issues are the same wherever the fieldwork is to be conducted, the conditions in which they are put into practice create different possibilities; in selecting an alternative fieldwork location, it is important to know that that location is a feasible one, in terms of its and the project's complementarity, as well as in terms of its practicality. The alternatives under consideration are Cyprus and Ilisu in Turkey.

Culture-historical archaeologies have identified Kurdish origins in the "Gutii" community, first found in the Third Millennium B.C.E., who were as powerful as the Syrians, Hittites and Akkadians and who maintained relative independence throughout the time of the Assyrian Empire; however, in the Sixth Century B.C.E., the Persian Empire managed to overpower them. Subsequently, the Kurds fell under the dominion of the Macedonian Empire in 330 B.C.E., the Parthian Empire in 170 B.C.E. and then the Sassanid Empire in 226 C.E.

By 650 C.E., the Baghdad Caliphate had conquered them, but the Kurdish community's resistance to dominion continued; still, there were also Kurds who engaged with those in power and in 1174 C.E., it was a Kurd, Saladin, who came to power in Egypt and it was he who established the Ayyubid Empire, which annexed many territories, including those that were predominantly Kurdish.

In 1260, the Mongol Empire held sway in the region, but in 1514 the Ottoman Sultanate took control; Kurdish communities had practical independence until the end of the Russo-Turkish war between 1828 and 1929; then, particularly after a challenging uprising in 1834, the Ottoman Empire subjugated the Kurdish communities.

A tendency towards solidarity between Kurdish and Armenian communities stuck between the Ottoman and Russian Empires was lost as the Russian Empire supported the creation of an independent Armenian state, but the Ottoman Empire suppressed the movement for a Kurdish one.

After 1891, the Ottoman Empire used the Kurdish community against Armenian nationalists and as racism grew in both communities Kurdish nationalists collaborated in massacring the Armenian community. Kurdish communities, too, suffered under the Ottoman Empire, particularly during the First World War and, despite initial moves towards Kurdish autonomy, the overthrow of the Ottoman Empire and establishment of the Republic of Turkey led to the consolidation of Turkish power.

In 1978, the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) was set up; in the conflict between it, other separatist factions and the Turkish government, all sides have committed, sometimes gross, human rights violations and approximately 7,000 Turkish soldiers, 10,000 Kurdish guerrillas and 20,000 civilians have been killed ['most at the hands of the Turkish military' (SEAPN, 1999)].

In August 1999, [Abdullah] Ocalan, the leader of the PKK, was captured and despite riots immediately after, the PKK held a unilateral ceasefire until August 2004. At the present time, neither side has changed their approach or activities significantly. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against attending public demonstrations and warns that there is a relatively high risk of terrorism in Turkey and specifically in the predominantly Kurdish region of Turkey in which Ilisu lies.

The South-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP) is a continuing programme of dam-building and the Ilisu Dam Project, discussed earlier, once halted but again under consideration, is a part of this programme. Its benefits - and some of its costs - are disputed: it may create employment, increase living standards and further development; the Ilisu Dam would displace and disperse 78,000 people from predominantly Kurdish communities, for whom there is not yet even an adequate resettlement package; it would also damage the environment and destroy the local cultural heritage, notably that central to the Kurdish community's identity; some villages have already been emptied and their houses torched.

Ilisu is the site of the Ilisu Dam Project that Prospect boycotted because it necessitated collusion in human rights violations (IDC, 2001; Ronayne, 2000; 2001b). If the FCO reports are accurate, work in Ilisu (without the institutional support network available in other comparable locations) may be inadvisable.

It is not, realistically, a suitable basis for the proposed research, though a survey of the sites and relevant people's opinions, particularly those of the local people whose cultural heritage the archaeologists refused to rescue, might prove fruitful.

If Cyprus were chosen as the main fieldwork location and Greek and Turkish were learned, however, additional training for a supplementary visit to Ilisu would not be necessary, as the government of Turkey has forced the Kurdish community to learn Turkish.

Cyprus was a Roman province that was ceded to the Byzantine Empire in 395 C.E. After an Arab occupation between 654 and 683, Constantine IV declared it neutral in 688 C.E. and in 965 it was absorbed within the Byzantine Empire again.

A brief period of independence began in 1185 and ended in 1191 C.E., when it was sacked by Richard the Lionheart; after that time, it was occupied by various powers until 1489 C.E., when the Venetians took control, then 1571 C.E., when the Ottoman Empire took over. Between 1572 and 1668 there were 28 fruitless revolts and in 1821, Greek Cypriots allied themselves with Greece in another unsuccessful insurrection.

The British Empire occupied Cyprus from 1878 and ruled it from 1925. In 1931, the British Empire reacted to Greek enosis (unification) riots with a declaration of martial law and bans on displaying the Greek flag or playing the national anthem. Greek Cypriots did fight alongside the Allies against the Nazis during the Second World War, but remained committed to enosis, while Turkish Cypriots still supported continued British rule.

In 1950, Archbishop Makarios, a campaigner for enosis backed by Greece, was elected as head of the Cypriot Orthodox Church and in 1955, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) committed bombings in the name of enosis; to suppress the revolt, the British Empire deported Archbishop Makarios and employed Turkish Cypriots as auxiliaries in 1956.

By 1958, conciliatory moves by the British had led the Turkish Cypriots to call for partition and violence had erupted both between the Greek and Turkish communities and between them and the British administration.

In 1960, Cyprus was made independent, its constitution guaranteeing power-sharing at the national level and devolution to communities at the local level and reserving the right of the UK, Greece and Turkey to intervene in order to uphold that constitution.

Between 1963 and 1973, the impracticalities of the constitution had led the Greek Cypriots to call for the power-sharing guarantees to be excised; the UN peacekeeping force ineffective, nationalists of both sides drove both sides into enclaves.

[That was incorrect, due to my early misunderstanding of the use of the term "enclaves" in the Cypriot context: both sides were segregated from each other, but only (and because) the Turkish Cypriots were driven into enclaves. Still, all of these brief historical backgrounders are gross oversimplifications of events.]

On the 15th of July 1974, the Greek dictatorship and the US CIA deposed Makarios and installed a Greek Cypriot nationalist puppet regime. Between the 20th and the 23rd July, Turkey occupied Kyrenia, but it was ousted. After UN peace talks failed, however, Turkey invaded on the 14th of August 1974 and occupied 37% of the territory; Greek Cypriots were driven out of the occupied territory and, acceding to Turkish demands, the UN transported the Turkish Cypriots into the territory - if necessary against their will - and the ethnic partition was complete.

Archbishop Makarios was restored in December 1974; he died in 1977. In 1975, northern Cyprus was declared a federate state, with Rauf Denktas as its leader and after more unsuccessful peace talks between 1980 and 1983, northern Cyprus declared itself the independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, though only Turkey recognised it; in 1994, the European Court of Justice ruled trade between the EU and northern Cyprus was illegal.

In 1995, peace talks failed; in 2001, the European Court of Human Rights [ECHR] found Turkey guilty of violations of Cypriots' human rights and Turkey threatened to annex northern Cyprus if southern Cyprus joined the EU without a final settlement being reached.

Relations were rekindled in 2003; however, as Cyprus's entry into the EU was imminent, border controls being relaxed on 23rd April 2003. On the 24th April 2004, a tied referendum on reunification was rejected because of Greek Cypriot opposition, despite a majority of Turkish Cypriots voting for the most recent Annan plan; yet, "Cyprus" entered the EU on the 1st of May 2004, EU status and law suspended in northern Cyprus.

The FCO notes the threat of terrorism and the presence of organised crime, as it does throughout the world, but otherwise has no significant concerns; the only potential inconvenience being the limited number of checkpoints at which I could travel between northern and southern Cyprus.

The current segregation of communities in Cyprus is, though not as violent, just as stark as it is in Kosovo, 99.5% of Greek Cypriots living in southern Cyprus and 98.7% of Turkish Cypriots living in northern Cyprus. In practical terms, then, Cyprus provides a secure alternative to Kosovo.

During and after the ethnic cleansing of the populations, there was an ethnic cleansing of the landscapes, Islamic culture being erased from southern Cyprus and Orthodox Christian culture being obliterated from northern Cyprus. Since those campaigns were halted, the illicit antiquities trade has continued to blight Cyprus, particularly severely in the deprived northern region. Cultural heritage has been neglected within the Green Line, because the sides refuse to cooperate to conserve it; heritage has also been neglected north of the Line because northern Cyprus refuses to recognise southern Cyprus, though it is the only institution internationally recognised and therefore the only institution legally allowed to receive and channel IGO support. These past and present conflicts over cultural heritage affirm Cyprus's suitability for my proposed research and the work's relevance to Cyprus.

My provisional plan is to take introductory Greek and Turkish at the University of London, as I prepare for fieldwork and familiarise myself with the histories, then to go to Cyprus in January 2006, taking an intensive Greek language course at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, southern Cyprus and an intensive Turkish language course at the University of the Eastern Mediterranean [Eastern Mediterranean University] in Gazimagusa, northern Cyprus.

I will use my spare time to make brief surveys of significant sites and, having learned a basic working knowledge of the two local languages, I will either spend one year in one of the mixed communities within the Green Line, such as Pyla, or six months each in a southern and a northern Cypriot community; as a divided city, Nicosia (Greek "Lefkosia"/Turkish "Lefkosa") recommends itself, but Kolossi and Kyrenia, along with other smaller sites also present themselves. In terms of supervision during the fieldwork, we will stay in contact by phone and e-mail and I can return to Sussex if and/or when necessary.

Reading histories and conducting informal group interviews, I will identify dominant tropes and suitable candidates for in-depth interviewing, at the same time as consolidating my language skills. Reviewing constructions with archaeologists and administrative personnel, I will analyse those tropes and search for ways of reconciling them, whilst building trust in the local and the professional communities. I will then conduct in-depth interviews with locals and professionals, particularly concerned with their conceptions of archaeologists' duties and responsibilities; if possible and productive, I will perform a complementary study of the situation in south-eastern Turkey.

All the while, I can continue discussions not only with those academics who are recognised authorities on archaeological theory, but also with those archaeologists pivotal in the practical ethical choices the different community of archaeologists - and its factions - have made.

The World Archaeological Congress in 2007 and the Theoretical Archaeology Group conferences in 2007 and 2008 should prove constructive venues for presenting and receiving criticisms of the work-in-progress. Returning to the UK, I shall organise, collate and review my material, then write and refine it, ideally revisiting Cyprus to canvas the participants' opinions with which to refine it further.


I intend to draw on three distinct but mutually informative strands - interpretive, feminist and community archaeology - to combine their insights to ensure a rigorous, productive human rights archaeology that not only recognises human rights, but also strives for their realisation.

Barrett (1994: 1) argues that archaeology characteristically has the effect of 'finally burying the individual' (see also Barrett, 2000a: 24); in its turn, in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere, archaeology serves the function of constantly disinterring the nation, used as it is to construct a narrative binding people from a shared history to a shared destiny (Kaiser, 1995: 99; see also Kohl and Tsetskhladze, 1995: 169; Silberman, 1995: 249).

Barrett (1994: 5) asserts that archaeology ought to be a study of 'how, under given historical and material conditions, it may have been possible to speak and act in certain ways and not in others' and thereby to think, speak and act in certain ways moving into the future.

Immediately acknowledging that data are theory-laden and that archaeological language cannot be neutral, Barrett (1994: 165) hopes that, if we recognise that people make knowledge claims conscious of and in an effort to negotiate their position in society, 'then... we will accept that our own writings are also components of contemporary social strategies'.

Echoing Shanks and Tilley (1987: 136), and foreshadowing Eltringham's (2004: 151-158) observations regarding the construction and production of historical knowledge in pre- and post-genocide Rwanda, Barrett (1994: 169) contends that 'there is no single history', rather 'programmes of interpretation', which, because people build their understandings of the present and expectations for the future upon them, have 'material and social consequences' (see also Barrett, 2000b: 66; Eltringham, 2004: 157).

Barrett's (1994: 156) approach, nevertheless, is limited by his attention to the ancient past, as he alleges that it is 'not a "problem" where the subjective expectations of the observer appear to override and distort an objective truth'.

As Eltringham (2004: 151 - original emphasis), attending to the traumatic, recent past, recognises, 'the problem remains that although Rwanda may indeed have one past, there are multiple histories'. He does not assert that we may access absolute knowledge of the past or of all persons' experiences - histories - of that past, but the fact remains that that indeterminacy is problematic and that to confront those who would distort the past to justify immoral actions, it is the 'chronicle of events' - the amassed evidence of the past - that 'establishes the parameters within which any interpretation must fall' (Eltringham, 2004: 157 - original emphasis).

Barrett (1994: 170), still, does reject relativism, insisting that we may comprehend 'something' of others' understandings of the world and that historical materials are 'not entirely malleable' (Barrett, 1994: 170) and because the past was always multivocal, because 'history is created out of numerous and sometimes contradictory interpretive programmes of action', so 'there never existed a single and unambiguous reality' (Barrett, 1994: 171). Simply, 'an interpretive archaeology tries to get close to understanding how other ways of seeing the world were once - and, one hopes, still remain - possible' (Barrett, 1994: 171). As Barrett (2000a: 31) notes in relation to gender and class, 'relations and conflicts are historical forces', the discourse 'always structured by control over certain human and material resources'.

Harding (2004: 48) asserts that, 'claims to have produced universally valid beliefs... are ethnocentric' and although she does not accept racism, relativism or nihilism, she cannot consistently accept or reject anything else - even patriarchy - and may only state that she "does not reject" what she considers to be probably closest to the truth and "does not accept" what she considers to be probably farthest from the truth.

As Evans (1997: 231-232) neatly points out though, the statement that "all universal claims are unacceptable" is itself a universal statement and as such it contradicts and cancels itself; furthermore, it is ethnocentric to claim that human rights are a western notion.

Sprague and Kobrynowicz (2004: 80) challenge postmodern feminism with a standpoint feminism that argues that, 'locatedness gives access to the concrete world' and therefore to, albeit 'partial', knowledge; they believe that we may talk of moral and historical truths, as long as we accept that there is a difference between knowledge and experience, but reject that knowledge is a singular product of experience.

The human rights methodology I shall adopt will support a human rights archaeology, the practice of which is modelled on community archaeology practice (Cressey, Reeder and Bryson, 2003; Marshall, 2002; Moser et al, 2002).

Community archaeology is a project that begins with dialogue with the public and ends with products for the public that the members of the community have identified as desirable, where archaeology is the means to the ends of the community and its members; community archaeologists summarise their methodology as 'communication and collaboration [and]... public presentation' (Moser et al, 2002: 229).

Working towards both feminist and human rights ideals and engaging in both feminist and human rights methodologies, I will define my human rights archaeology project in dialogue with the community - or rather, communities - of the town(s) I reside in and throughout the project I will communicate and collaborate with them to produce knowledge and change commonly desired.

Timetable (2):

Preparing fieldwork; learning languages; learning histories
Intensive language training; networking; surveying local treatments
Intensive language training; networking
Resettling (if in different location); survey interviewing; learning local histories; surveying treatments; consolidating language(s)
Survey interviewing; in-depth interviewing; surveying treatments; reviewing treatments; consolidating language(s)
Survey interviewing; in-depth interviewing; plotting local histories; surveying treatments; reviewing treatments
Survey interviewing; in-depth interviewing; surveying treatments; reviewing treatments; contextualising local histories
Organising; collating; reviewing; planning; writing
Organising; collating; reviewing; planning; writing
Writing up; reviewing; correcting
Writing up; revisiting; correcting
Writing up; reviewing; correcting
Finalising; handing in

[2: Timetable drawn up assuming the twelve months of fieldwork will be spent in one location.]

Research questions:

What are archaeologists' professional responsibilities and humanitarian duties in violently divided societies and to people and the heritage they hold in contestation? Of professional responsibilities and humanitarian duties, which takes precedence in which circumstances and how?

Of protecting and refraining from violating human rights, which takes precedence in which circumstances and how? Can the inclusion or exclusion of members, groups or institutions or the agreement or refusal to cooperate on a rescue or research project be justified in a human rights archaeology and, if so, under what conditions?

Of individuals, communities, states and international organisations, who can be said to be the owners or stewards of artefacts or sites and how can competing or clashing claims over artefacts and sites be resolved?

Which ways of acting upon cultural heritage are permitted by an owner's rights over an artefact or site? If those rights are not absolute, in which circumstances and in which forms could a justifiable contravention of those rights take place?

Contribution to knowledge:

The proposed research provides an understanding that could inform the local, national and international policies and practices of archaeological organisations such as Cultural Heritage Without Borders (CHWB), Saving Antiquities For Everyone (SAFE) and the World Archaeological Congress (WAC), reconstruction organisations such as the University of York's Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) and governmental and intergovernmental organisations such as UNMIK, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. If they did make use of the findings of the research, revised practices for the control, conservation and presentation of cultural heritage would have tangible effects upon the research subjects' lives.

Archaeological and architectural materials are being used - and destroyed - as evidence of alleged historical sovereignty, alleged historical homogeneity and/or actual historical heterogeneity (Coward, 2002: 35; 2004: 155; Kaiser, 1995: 116; Sulc, 2001: 157; [follow the links above] for the stages that the ethnic cleansing went through in Kosovo's de facto partition into separate communities).

The very fact that, as one local in Prizren observed, 'Orthodox heritage is seen as being a part of Serbian propaganda' (and Muslim heritage part of Albanian propaganda), leads to its targeting and then to its (continued) use as propaganda to induce retaliation, establishing a cycle of violence (that, as the March 2004 riots demonstrated viscerally, is not limited to symbolic, material obliteration).

The immediate aggression against humans that this destruction is inextricably linked to would be sufficient on its own to affirm this project's urgency, but it is reaffirmed:
first, by the necessity of the conservation of this cultural property for creating the conditions of possibility of the existence of heterogeneous communities (Coward, 2002: 32; 2004: 156);
second, by the counteractive potential of this cultural heritage to undermine nationalist and other bigoted claims to sovereignty or homogeneity (Golden, 2004: 199; Kohl, 1998: 243; Wagner, 2001: 23); and
third, by the constructive potential of this cultural heritage to reinforce the reality (and desirability) of heterogeneity (Clark and Drury, 2001: 113; Dolff-Bonekamper, 2001: 57; Galtung, 2002: 44).

In addition, if the understanding reached were made use of comprehensively, it would not only influence archaeological practice, but also contribute to the existing debate over archaeological interpretation.

Slobodan Milosevic's regime maintained itself 'by making alternatives to its rule unavailable' (Gordy, 1999: 2). By developing different ways of understanding, working with and presenting the past, which contradict the conception of the conflict as a 'zero-sum game' (Mertus, 1999: 246), by making alternatives available once more, we may contribute to preventing the return of regimes like Milosevic's and to ending the informal persecution of minorities.

This work will contribute to the movement towards an engaged, reflexive archaeology and to its navigation through the minefield of ethical dilemmas archaeologists must traverse in their daily work; it will also feed into the broader field of practical ethics.

The questioning of the conception of property as an absolute right and the nature of cultural heritage as a basic human right will clarify the ways in which archaeologists can act when their professional responsibilities and humanitarian duties clash, informing archaeological work in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and elsewhere.

Whether archaeologists should have condemned the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, whether they should have collaborated with the Coalition in the war in Iraq and whether they should have refused to ameliorate the Turkish Kurdish community's plight are all pertinent questions, directly informing current and future archaeological and social action.

Archaeology must ask these questions now, so that it can answer whether archaeologists should condemn the looting of Mali's heritage, whether it should collaborate with the Sudanese government and whether it should engage in work when its publics are denied access to their most fundamental human rights. Archaeology must interrogate itself, in order to revitalise itself as a socially relevant, socially responsible enterprise.


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[Formatting has been changed to make it easy to read in a blog. Footnotes have been put in brackets below the paragraph they were linked to. Photographs have been replaced with links to those photos within the given place's blog. Some text has been written in bold to help searches.]

[Cyrus correction belatedly inserted on the 11th of February 2008.]

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