Since 2011, an Eritrean-Italian research has been conducted on the Adulis archaeological site (Eritrea), the main emporium town of the Horn of Africa between the III century BC and the VII AD. The project is led by the Eritrean Ministry of Culture and Sports and by the Research Centre on the Eastern Desert, in collaboration with Italian universities; one of its aims is to create an archaeological park. Adulis is of great interest for researchers worldwide, nevertheless, its current context is peripheral to the main Eritrean centres. The local inhabitants are committed to subsistence farming and goat breeding in a semiarid context; the unexcavated archaeological area itself has been a common grazing land. The balance between livelihood and local scarcity of resources represents an intangible heritage shaped over centuries, enhancing the diversification of activities and the community over the individual, thus ensuring a high level of resiliency. What would happen to this local intangible heritage when the main trigger for economic development is an archaeological site of international interest? The socio-economic process promoted by the tourism industry may endanger an unacknowledged heritage whose loss might be considered an acceptable side-effect of development. To prevent this irreversible loss, the ongoing project has considered the understanding of local cultural values as part of the actions. The contribution aims at reflecting on the concept of compensation and mitigation when applied to intangible heritage and competing values.

Heritage Values and Contemporary Cultural Landscape in Adulis

S. Bortolotto;N. Cattaneo;S. Massa
2022-01-01

Abstract

Since 2011, an Eritrean-Italian research has been conducted on the Adulis archaeological site (Eritrea), the main emporium town of the Horn of Africa between the III century BC and the VII AD. The project is led by the Eritrean Ministry of Culture and Sports and by the Research Centre on the Eastern Desert, in collaboration with Italian universities; one of its aims is to create an archaeological park. Adulis is of great interest for researchers worldwide, nevertheless, its current context is peripheral to the main Eritrean centres. The local inhabitants are committed to subsistence farming and goat breeding in a semiarid context; the unexcavated archaeological area itself has been a common grazing land. The balance between livelihood and local scarcity of resources represents an intangible heritage shaped over centuries, enhancing the diversification of activities and the community over the individual, thus ensuring a high level of resiliency. What would happen to this local intangible heritage when the main trigger for economic development is an archaeological site of international interest? The socio-economic process promoted by the tourism industry may endanger an unacknowledged heritage whose loss might be considered an acceptable side-effect of development. To prevent this irreversible loss, the ongoing project has considered the understanding of local cultural values as part of the actions. The contribution aims at reflecting on the concept of compensation and mitigation when applied to intangible heritage and competing values.
Compensation in Architecture and Archaeology. On Compensation as a Project, Method and Professional Practice
978-91-983911-3-8
978-91-88041-49-4
Heritage values, Public archaeology, Tourism industry, Mitigation/compensation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1221486
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