Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Conservation and Development Research Network

The Conservation and Development Research Network (CDRN) is based at the UCL Inst of Archaeology. This research network brings together researchers to critically examine the potential impact of conservation in social and political arenas. The results of this research network will foster conservation practices relevant to socio- cultural, economic and/or ecological contexts of areas in need for development, areas of post-conflict reconstruction (ongoing conflict and/or conflict prone will also be considered), or reconstruction due to natural disasters. 
CDRN members include: Rebecca Bennett (UCL/IoA alumna);Dimitrios Chatzigiannis; Anne-Marie Deisser (University of Nairobi, Department of History and Archaeology); Eric Demarche (UCL-Qatar, MSc Conservation Studies); Jessica Johnson (University of Delaware, Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage); Renata Peters(UCL/IoA Lecturer and CDRN Coordinator); Flavia Ravaioli (UCL/IoA MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums); Kelly Schulze (UCL/IoA MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums); Tracey Sweek (British Museum).
Our main aims are to:
  • Identify and elaborate on how the practice of conservation can impact on people’s wellbeing and quality of life
  • Engage local groups in re-construction and/or development of their socio-cultural life through the practice of conservation
  • Explore cross-disciplinary collaborations between academics and professionals involved in cultural and environmental conservation (in both practical and theoretical levels)
  • Identify available local resources and study the prospects to use it
  • Develop ways to make the practice of conservation sustainable
  • Find links between material heritage conservation and environmental conservation, especially in cases where biodiversity and ecology play strong roles in the lives of local people

Members of CDRN are currently collaborating with various projects, including:
The Origins of the Acheulean in East Africa (ORACEAF) Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) is the site where the earliest Acheulean was first discovered, and where the traditional view of the Oldowan-Acheulean transition was first established. The multidisciplinary character of the ORACEAF project is providing an integrative perspective to the analysis of the paleoecology, archaeology, geology and geochronology of the early Acheulean at Olduvai. In addition, conservators R Peters and R Bennett are now working on a long-term conservation project for the material obtained from recent excavations.  
Archaeology, Heritage and Civilisation in Iraqi Kurdistan The Shahrizor Plain, where UCL has been permitted to work, lies in the province of Suleimaniya, within the heartlands of what was once referred to as the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’; the region in which farming, urban life and literacy began. Although the project is in early stages of development R Peters, F Ravaioli and colleagues working in Kurdistan are working on a sustainable conservation policy for material that happens to be unveiled by the forthcoming excavation season.
See more details here: