Cultural Resource Tools

Cultural Heritage Resources (CHR) Identification and Cultural Property Protection (CPP) Contingency Planning Roundtable

Main Topics:

  • ·         Cultural Property Protection (CPP) during natural and man-made disasters (armed conflict, etc.)
  • ·         Collection and availability of locational data for Cultural Heritage Resources


  • ·         Ben Roberts – Brockington and Associates, Inc. and U.S. Army National Guard
  • ·         Cori Wegener – SmithsonianInstitution/U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield


–          Tom Elliott – NYU
–          Nancy Wilke – Carlton College, Northfield, MN
–          Cecelia Brothers- DoD/CEMML– Cultural  Resources Program
–          Caitlyn O’Grady (conservator) – University of Delaware
–          Nigel Pollard – Swansea University
–          Brian Daniels – U. Penn.
–          Annemarie Catania – University of Marburg, Germany
–          Emily Caven – DoD/DIA – Intelligence Officer

First:  Contingency Planning

–   Ben:  To pick up where we left off last year, we discussed that as CPP becomes doctrine, it will help all aspects of planning for CPP (not just contingency)

–   Cori:  When we’re talking about contingency ops, you’re talking about what expertise the US military (or other, like NATO) has in general to respond to disaster or armed conflict?

    • Ben:  Yes, contingency planning is a response plan to disaster or armed conflict
    • Cori:  Do we need to discuss planning all the way through recovery after a disaster?
    • Ben:  No, for the most part, contingency planning is for pre-stability ops, during (and immediately following) the initial disaster or while combat operations are ongoing
    • Cori:  What are our goals?
    • Group consensus: -Lists of key (CPP) personnel in host Nations

– Establishing who is in charge during contingency response  ahead of time (ie. is it State Dept, DoD, or host country gov’t,  etc.). Obviously, the exact cause (hurricane vs. armed conflict)  and situation would dictate, but nonetheless, a clear chain of command will make contingency response much more efficient.

–   Nancy:  in compiling No-Strike Lists (NSLs), are you (Cori) also tracking vital POCs in those countries for CPP?

    • Cori:  no; sometimes difficult because of affiliations
    • Largely ad-hoc, non-systematic.
    • Annemarie:  Okay, because it is largely personality based
    • Ben:  But, we do need to talk about reach-back capabilities/on-call expertise
    • Nancy:  believes AIA should be keeping/disseminating a directory of professional members as SMES for their respective locations/specialties in cultural property
    • Nigel:  UK does not have such an organization; trying to compile list
    • Cori : ICOMOS recognizes (reluctantly) that AIA is larger, more robust organization, but ICOMOS does have an emergency response group (ICORP)
    • Brian:  DHS/ICE does have a list of experts that they call upon for expertise with regard to customs enforcement [as an axample]
    • Question:  Ask Laura to ask AIA “when are they going to publish the list of registered professionals?”

– Contingency Planning: 

  • Cori:  Also talk about response.  If you wait until the disaster happens to start planning assessments, you’re already behind (Haiti example) How do we do this better, faster?
  • Ben:  use modeling systems already in place for domestic disaster response (ex. FEMA) and make it portable overseas

    Cori:  issues; who has lead and what are their priorities?  How knowledgeable are they on CPP?

  • Ex.  USAID:  priorities are for protection of lives
  • Ex.  Iraq museum:  Boots on ground in Iraq didn’t know…
  • Cori:  well, those who did were left behind
    • Smithsonian Conference on April 10: Cultural Heritage and Disaster :  US Framework for International Response  (working title). Looking to bring the stakeholders to the table to discuss deploying conservators during disaster response
      • Smithsonian has a fund to do this…. 
      • Goal: creation of an interagency working group
        • Idea:   to increase coordination between the different entities to ensure no duplication of effort
  • Cecelia Brothers:  who are you thinking of inviting from DoD?
       Cori:  can’t remember specific name, but working with Serena, Laurie, and Dick Jackson
    • Problem:  DoD so large, trying to get right people to table
      • Ben:  The question, too:  if CPP becomes doctrine, where does it reside (in terms of DoD responsibilities)?
      • Cori:  Currently, only Civil Affairs has it as part of its METL (Mission Essential Task List)
      • Civil Affairs has done their reorganization and the school will stay at Ft. Bragg JFK Special Warfare Center and School with new BG position as commandant
      • Cori:  this will be an opportunity to reapproach CA about CPP training at the school level
  • Ben: any other questions/concerns for contingencies?
    • Tom:  At what degree is there an appreciation of this information getting into the hands of the personnel on the ground
      • Ben:  Blue Force Tracker could be one way
      • Cecelia:  is it used during stability ops? 
      • Ben : it certainly could be….
        • Discussion on value of MIDB, prioritization?
          • Nancy:  is all data in MIDB treated the same?
          • Tom:  for Libya, we did a prioritization
          • Tier 1:  World Heritage List
          • Tier 2-3:  other
          • Tier 4:  not even provided
          • Emily:  prioritization of the cultural properties is key for us as we have limited resources ourselves
        • How do we communicate to archaeological community the importance of prioritization of information?
          • Nancy:  if you pose it to archaeological in a way that is similar to application of building permits (??)
          • Basically, have a workshop of database creation that incorporates the fields needed for MIDB but for dual-use purposes (without affiliation to the military)
            • Recommendation:  Convene an AIA workshop for database of sites (not CHAMP-sponsored)
        • Ben:  question – is there a risk to making this information public/freely available?
          • Yes:  Nazi Germany in Poland, Bosnian Serbs, etc, specifically targeting CP of the ‘other side/enemy’
          • Nancy:  but archaeologists have created a freely available list and also a limited distribution list
          • Tom:  more detailed excavation data is not available in Pleaides
          • Ben:  avocational archaeologists (aka pothunters) are sometimes sources of locational information.

–          Cori:  Goals/Accomplishments

  • Nancy:  propose a workshop for standardization of data
    • Not sponsored by CHAMP
    •  Brian Daniels asked/offered to take lead in this…
    • Include discussion on “if you don’t want your sites bombed, put them in a database.”
    • Tom:  would like for network of Blue Shield, Pleaides Project, DIA, and other to vet and agree upon a data standards template.  Then, discuss how to transition existing data to that template.
    • Tom:  what the NSL workflow is?  How it comes to be?  Who owns the lists? 
  • Not a new question; answer is likely there will always be more than one list. Some publicly available lists; some not
  • Blue Shield as an NGO is a less foreboding partner than it is to go straight to DIA
  • Nancy: list should include not just archaeological sites, but also museums and archives and other types of cultural resources
  • Cori:  Smithsonian most interested in pursuing the museums aspect. Go to UNESCO to cooperate on this pushing this effort
  • Cecelia: Probably ought to define Cultural Property
    • Cori:  Hague does it well
    • Cecelia:  well, reiterating cultural property (expanding beyond archaeologists, but also museums, archivists, etc.)
      • Archaeologists are leading the way; now bringing other parties to the table)
    • Nancy:  AIA education coordinator focuses on grade school and high school