As a discipline rooted in the 19 th century world of European colonialism and nation-state formation, archaeology has throughout its history been entangled in politics of nationalism, race, ethnicity, and religious worldviews. Because of the visual and tangible nature of its evidence, archaeology has been (and still is) at the forefront of identity construction and communication. No country in the Mediterranean basin, as elsewhere, has been left undebated; from the Acropolis in Athens to the Temple Mount/Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem.
This session aims to increase understanding of the modern political impact of archaeological fieldwork and interpretation, as well as of site preservation and presentation. It especially encourages engagement with issues relevant today and best practices in terms of fieldwork, site management, and public outreach. The session topic is important to address, especially to non-archaeological audiences, who are often not fully aware of the political and ethical implications and decisions of fieldwork and site conservation practices.