Friday 24 July is the ‘Day of Archaeology’, where archaeologists describe their working day to “help show the world why archaeology is vital to protect the past and inform our futures”. And today (Tuesday 21st July) it’s my turn to write a blog post for my Project! So who am I, and what do I do?
Well, the best place to start is an introduction.
Hi! I’m Emma Cunliffe, a fairly newly minted Doctor (2013). My research has always focussed on how to protect sites in the Middle East from damage, whether in peace or during war, so when I was offered a job at the University of Oxford, looking at Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA), I leapt at the chance. The project is recording damage to sites across the region, mostly using satellite imagery and aerial photographs, but with some survey information, and field notes too. We’ve designed a specialist database, which will deal with how complicated that can be (and if it sounds simple, just wait until we put up some of our blog posts!). Once we’ve tested it, which we’re doing right now, we’ll be entering thousands of sites. This will let us analyse damage across the entire region, looking at what the biggest threats are. ISIS feature a lot in the news, but in some areas, threats like agriculture and urban development are even more destructive.