memorandum, by Mr O’Hara, rapporteur
1 It has always been the case that pre-existing remains
have been uncovered in the course of new development. We have all
had the experience of seeing several phases of the history of a
site visible in the masonry of the latest structure on it.
2 Large-scale losses of heritage and alterations to elements
of cultural identity during the 20th century were due to a number
of major socio-economic factors. In the wake of the Second World
War, city centres across Europe were rebuilt as the rise in birth
rates led to agricultural intensification and the rapid development of
housing, with the creation of “suburbias” and new towns, etc. At
the same time, infrastructure works were progressively undertaken
in response to the rise in population and prosperity, firstly with
the construction of motorways, then the distribution of power supplies
(pipelines) and at a third stage the building of high-speed railways
allowing for greater distances to be covered between home and work.
Green-field development – the use of land with no constraints from
prior exploitation – and brown-field development involving the use
of abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities raised
many issues related to the previous vocation of land.
In contrast to this economic development, recent years have
witnessed increased public interest for cultural heritage and a
heightened awareness of the value of archaeology for understanding
modern civilisation. To this must be added advances in prospecting
techniques available to both professionals and amateurs. This phenomenon
has been examined in some detail in a previous report of the Parliamentary Assembly
on the maritime and fluvial cultural heritage (Doc. 8867
) with particular reference to the risk to the underwater
heritage from uncontrolled salvors, treasure hunters and sports
The Assembly has consistently promoted a balanced approach
in this matter, as exemplified by the motion for recommendation
presented on 28 May 2008 (Doc.
on a balanced approach to the rescuing of archaeological
finds from development projects). The interests of economic development
must be upheld while seeking ways and means to investigate and record
archaeological finds and to preserve those which are assessed as
being irreplaceable and unique.
5 The motion gave rise to a conference held in Paris on 8 December
2008 at which were represented the various interested parties: archaeologists
and other professional bodies, developers, public authorities, non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) and European and international institutions.
Much of the present report and the draft recommendation derives
from the proceedings of that conference. The rapporteur would like
to thank in particular Mr Adrian Olivier, Strategy Director with
English Heritage (the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission
for England), who contributed to the preparation of the outline
is “rescue archaeology” today?
6 At the beginning of the 20th century, archaeological
discoveries were largely accidental and, with few exceptions, archaeological
research was the realm of academics and informed amateurs. The idea
of “rescue archaeology” was developed following the Second World
War, at a time when cultural identities were fragile: Europe’s populations
needed to assert their ownership of their distant, as well as recent,
past. It still mainly consisted in reactive and ad hoc responses
lacking proper organisation, driven by the efforts of volunteers.
7 It is a relatively recent concern that pre-existing remains
should be, if not preserved in situ,
then at least recorded and if possible removed and studied. The
modern principle of heritage protection is based on what is called
“preventive” archaeology, aimed to foresee and avoid destruction
rather than undertake rescue or salvage excavation of archaeological
sites in development-led archaeology. This notion was originally
quite confrontational, but led to the gradual development of more
proactive approaches. There has been a progressive recognition of
the scale of past destruction and the need to understand the nature
and extent of the “historic environment”.
8 In defending archaeological interests, it has been accepted
by conservationists that relative values must be established, to
help decide what and how much can be preserved in the face of overwhelming
challenges that are beyond resources of the state to meet. A “conservation
philosophy” was developed, based on the recognition of the finite
nature of archaeological resources. The important notion of preservation in situ as the preferred objective
for archaeological finds goes hand in hand with the placing of financial
responsibility on developers.
2.2 Conflicting interests
of developers and archaeologists – Regional challenges and national solutions
9 New developments often give rise to confrontation
between, on the one hand, those who maintain that the heritage (both
cultural and environmental) should not be sacrificed in any way
and, on the other hand, those who consider that nothing should stand
in the way of economic development, not just for the private but
also for the common good. Local authorities are often caught in
the midst of these arguments, as they wish neither to compromise
the prospects of economic development in their region, nor to damage
the heritage and possible touristic value of sites located in their
10 The two aspects likely to lead to conflict between local officials
and archaeologists are the issue of delays, and thus the ability
to act, and the financing of the costs incurred by developers in
accordance with the “polluter pays” principle. Sometimes, the recording,
recovery and preservation of the heritage are indeed only possible
through resources released through the economic development of the
11 Against its will, archaeology is thus drawn into a debate
on competition between local areas for which it is not responsible.
In many cases, another site free from archaeological restrictions
is available not far from the excavation site; the authorities responsible
urge investors to come to them, promising that they will not face delays
as a result of archaeological constraints. Unless practical solutions
are found, archaeology may end up bearing undue responsibility and
rather drastic solutions may be suggested to politicians, based
on the idea that restrictions should be lifted if excavations cannot
be completed by a given deadline, regardless of what may lie beneath.
2.3 Evolving approaches
Need for integrated processes
12 Over the last thirty years, the cultural heritage,
of which archaeology is one of the pillars, has become more and
more complex. It involves a growing number of fields and stakeholders,
existing concepts are being supplemented by new ones and it is no
longer confined to buildings and sites but also includes landscapes
and reference is made to cultural diversity and characterisation.
This is resulting in an increasingly integrated approach, encompassing
physical planning, archaeology and the historical and natural environment. Consideration
is also being given to different ways of looking at objects and
documentary material. Efforts are being made to incorporate professional
activities and volunteer work into a single process, so as to enhance our
13 Increasing awareness and better understanding of the nature
and scale of the historic environment and the integrative role it
can play in modern society has led to more pragmatism in decision-making. Archaeological
excavations generate new knowledge and understanding, but involve
a process of destruction; desired outcomes must be ensured as far
as possible. Decisions taken in the name of the cultural heritage need
to be explained openly and publicly, in the interests of both this
and future generations. Conserving the cultural heritage thus comes
down to clearly defining its significance and importance, particularly
where there is a possibility of outside intervention.
14 Although these approaches are developing and growing, they
are by no means universally accepted across Europe yet. The complex
world of the 21st century generates pressure from numerous sources, including
agriculture, tourism, the built environment, economic investment
and culture industries. Archaeologists must respond to new challenges
and new issues. The values of preservation must be explained and
defended and related to social and economic values. Value-based,
accountable decision-making must reflect the social responsibilities
of society at large and not just particular (in this case academic)
parts of society. There is a need to demonstrate the cost-benefit
and public benefit of archaeological work and how this ties in to
shifts in social and ethical responsibilities. Proof must be given
that the archaeology has the potential not only to produce specific
archaeological outputs as an end in themselves but also to provide
positive social outcomes.
15 Our historical environment is a shared resource that is not
the sole preserve of professionals: society as a whole can contribute
to the preservation and conservation process. The significance of
sites must be understood. The change inherent in our evolving society
must be managed by clear definitions of the new heritage values,
which include functional, educational, economic, cultural, intrinsic
and historical values, that is to say values of importance to the
community at large. A broadening of ownership of heritage away from
the “expert” and the state to include broader interests and a participative
approach should also be pursued.
16 Today the archaeologist’s primary goal is to avoid having
to excavate: when large-scale development projects are launched,
the aim is to ensure that they do not encroach on archaeological
sites. Archaeological reserves must be kept for the future. Much
excavation work needs to be done, and it must be borne in mind that
archaeology is a scientific as well as a heritage discipline. However,
operations must be chosen selectively and excavations should result
in the publication of records.
Examples of national preventive
Involvement of private partners with state archaeology
is often twofold: in most countries, the scale and level of specialisation
of the work to be carried out means that private developers may
apply to authorised professional companies to conduct excavations.
A 2004 comparative study by the French Senate of seven countries
with different models of decision making regarding archaeological
finds in the context of development projects provides some indications
of the differences and similarities of national policies.Note
18 All the countries studied have adopted the “polluter pays”
principle that developers must be responsible for conducting and
paying for preventive archaeological research, to a greater or lesser
extent. The most advanced system is observed in France, where a
contribution is automatically levied on all development projects
of over 3 000 square metres where they will have an impact on the
subsoil, with a few exceptions such as social housing projects.
This fee is centralised and used to cover the cost of archaeological
19 In Denmark, only museum archaeologists (with the assistance
of students of archaeology) are authorised to carry out research.
All the other countries studied allow excavations to be carried
out by private operators, under different conditions. Italy, where
the state has retained a monopoly over research, does so through
state sub-contracting, whereas the other countries have privatised
20 The United Kingdom provides the most liberal model. It was
described in detail at the Conference on Rescue Archaeology organised
by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education’s Sub-Committee
on the Cultural Heritage in Paris in December 2008. Since the early
1990s, British developers have borne all the costs of archaeological
research, from the initial investigations to final archiving after
all the various intermediate stages: reports to determine the nature
of the resources when the environmental impact study is carried
out, mitigation measures, large-scale excavations and all the associated
stages of research and analysis, and academic and general-public
publications. The archaeology market in the United Kingdom operates
contracts worldwide and generates an estimated £100-120 million
a year, employs about 4 000 archaeologists and comprises approximately
250 companies, most of them with less than 11 employees mainly carrying
out small or medium-sized projects in a localised area (a town or
21 In France, a national research institute in the field of rescue
archaeology, the Institut national de Recherches archéologiques
préventives (INRAP) was established in 2002, and currently has nearly
2 000 staff who carry out assessments and conduct excavation work.
It is thus the largest French operator, although other public-sector
operators may be involved in the assessment process; private operators
may be involved in excavations alongside the INRAP and other public-sector
operators. There are over 70 accredited operators, three quarters
of which are public-sector agencies.
22 The German Archaeological Institute, a federal research institute
under the aegis of the foreign ministry, works all over the world
in response to invitations and in co-operation with the host countries.
More than 100 scientific experts work in the field and at institutes
that have archaeological libraries such as Rome, Athens, Istanbul,
Madrid, Cairo, Damascus, Sanaa, Amman, Tehran, Beijing and Baghdad
(temporarily closed). Foreign researchers and grant holders are
invited to the institute in order to help them to access technology
and the results of latest research.
23 Consideration of the situation in some countries of eastern
and South-Eastern Europe shows that particular attention should
be given to the balanced approach advocated in this report.
24 Romania is an example of a former eastern bloc country which
was engaged in the incorporation of relevant European Union acquis into its national legislation
at the very time that it was addressing the crises and conflicts
relating to the Roşia Montană project.
“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” is an interesting
example of a country not yet a member of the European Union but
which has taken steps to revise its legislation on the protection
of the cultural heritage. Its representative at the Paris conference
gave an example of the dangers of inadequate controls with regard
to the important necropolis at Stobi, which was discovered when
plans for a new motorway were presented in 1995.Note
26 The Russian representation at the conference presented perhaps
the most worrying picture of a legislative framework which allows
investors to proceed with construction without the need for a permit
or even the requirement to inform the public authorities if remains
of archaeological interest are discovered. In consequence, the startling
statistic was presented that whereas in Switzerland, over 500 000
archaeological monuments have been identified, in a country the
size of the Russian Federation only some 200 000 have been identified.
27 An underlying problem common to all European countries is
the need for an adequate pool of skills, be they of identification
and recovery or the craft skills of restoration and reconstruction.
On the one hand, in countries where the archaeological profession/industry
is well developed, there may be competition between the public and
private sectors. Thus, practitioners from countries where these
professions are well developed may be diverted (for instance, through
the highly successful private industry in the United Kingdom) to
lucrative contracts working in countries which do not have a pool
of indigenous expertise.
28 A related problem is the need to provide opportunities for
professional development and support services such as specialised
facilities for storage and publication. The scale of this can be
seen in the figure quoted at the 2008 Paris conference, which shows
that the United Kingdom market produces between 100 and 120 million
copies of books annually.
3 International organisations’
involvement in rescue archaeology
3.1 Council of Europe
cultural heritage conventions
29 Article 1 of the Council of Europe’s 1954 European
Cultural Convention (ETS No. 18) states that “Each Contracting Party
shall take appropriate measures to safeguard and to encourage the
development of its national contribution to the common cultural
heritage of Europe.” Thus the Council of Europe’s commitment dates
from the earliest days of its existence.
The 1992 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological
Heritage (revised) (Valletta Convention, ETS No. 143)Note
the 1969 London Convention (ETS No. 66). The revised text makes
the conservation and enhancement of the archaeological heritage
one of the goals of urban and regional planning policies. It is
concerned in particular with arrangements to be made for co-operation
among archaeologists and town and regional planners in order to
ensure optimum conservation of archaeological heritage (Article
31 The Valletta Convention sets out the conditions for sustainable
and responsible heritage protection, such as the maintenance of
an inventory of the archaeological heritage and the designation
of protected monuments and areas (Article 2), the creation of archaeological
reserves, even where there are no visible remains on the ground
or under water, for the preservation of material evidence to be
studied by later generations and the mandatory reporting to the
competent authorities by a finder of the chance discovery of elements
of the archaeological heritage and making them available for examination.
32 The convention also provides guidelines for the funding of
excavation and research work and publication of research findings.
It also deals with public access, in particular to archaeological
sites, and educational actions to be undertaken to develop public
awareness of the value of the archaeological heritage. It constitutes an
institutional framework for pan-European co-operation on the archaeological
heritage, entailing a systematic exchange of experience and experts
among the parties.
33 Article 6 of the convention requests that suitable measures
are taken to ensure that provision is made in major public or private
development schemes for covering, from public sector or private
sector resources, as appropriate, the total costs of any necessary
related archaeological operations. Provision should be made in the
budget relating to these schemes in the same way as for the impact
studies necessitated by environmental and regional planning precautions,
for preliminary archaeological study and prospecting, for a scientific summary
record as well as for the full publication and recording of the
34 Another related text, the 1985 Convention for the Protection
of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (Granada Convention, ETS
No. 121) encourages the reinforcement and promotion of policies
for the conservation and enhancement of Europe’s heritage, laying
great emphasis on the need for European solidarity with regard to
heritage conservation. In its Articles 17, 18 and 19, the convention
establishes the principles of European co-ordination of conservation
policies, including exchanges of information, European exchanges
of specialists, consultations regarding the thrust of the policies
to be implemented and “mutual technical assistance in the form of
exchanges of experience and of experts in the conservation of the architectural
heritage.” It outlines the need for an integrated approach in reconciling
the protection of the architectural heritage with the needs of contemporary
economic, social and cultural activities. This convention counted
40 ratifications at 1 April 2010.
35 The 2005 Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage
for Society (Faro Convention, CETS No. 199) will enter into force
with 10 ratifications (which presently stand at eight). The framework
convention reflects a shift from the question “How and by what procedure
can we preserve the heritage?” to the question “Why should we enhance
its value, and for whom?” It is based on the idea that knowledge
and use of heritage form part of the citizen’s right to participate
in cultural life as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
36 The text presents heritage both as a resource for human development,
the enhancement of cultural diversity and the promotion of intercultural
dialogue, and as part of an economic development model based on the
principles of sustainable resource use. In this respect it falls
within the scope of the Council of Europe’s priorities as set by
the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government in May 2005.
3.2 Priorities for
Council of Europe activities
37 Current priorities for the Council of Europe’s activities
in the area of cultural heritage are guided by several of its general
policy orientations as defined, in particular, by the 3rd Summit
and by the Faro Framework Convention. Emphasis is consequently placed
on the opportunities provided by heritage projects for intercultural
dialogue and promoting the recognition of the value of cultural
heritage for society. The links between cultural and natural heritage
have been more closely established and regional co-operation is encouraged.
38 In 2008, the Steering Committee on Cultural Heritage was enlarged
to become the Steering Committee for Cultural Heritage and Landscape
(CDPATEP). One of its main functions is to carry out the follow-up
to the Valletta and Granada conventions in the spirit of the Faro
Framework Convention. The European Heritage Network (HEREIN) created
by the CDPATEP provides extensive online resources of information
on sites and projects, as well as a network of national correspondents.
Contracting parties are invited to take part in the network and
are asked how they implement recommendations. A European Preventive
Archaeology Project (EPAC) launched in the framework of HEREIN,
after an initial conference in 2004 in Vilnius, did not receive
the financial support necessary for the continuation of the project.
39 Mechanisms to follow through and measure the impacts of the
different conventions and declarations on actual practice require
further development and consolidation. There is a consensus that
they work and have achieved a lot, but at present this is difficult
to demonstrate. The HEREIN Phase 3 project is in the process of being
updated, which should address this problem and ultimately lead to
the development of simple but useful cultural heritage and historic
3.3 Other international
40 UNESCO has international standard-setting instruments
in this area: the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the
Cultural and Natural Heritage, the 2001 Convention on the Protection
of Underwater Cultural Heritage, the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding
of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 2005 Convention on the
Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
41 The World Heritage Committee and its secretariat, as well
as the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, are concerned about numerous
infrastructure projects with impacts on the outstanding universal
value of properties and their integrity; development projects form
the highest percentage of threats to world heritage. An example
of the dialogue engaged in this area is that with mining industry
executives, who have undertaken to refrain from carrying out extraction
work at World Heritage sites. The “no mining in World Heritage sites pledge”
of 2003 was a successful example of a proactive approach.
42 The 185 states parties to the 1972 convention can propose
sites for inscription on the World Heritage List. More than 800
sites have now been inscribed. UNESCO encourages states parties
to nominate sites, but cannot force governments to nominate sites
or include them on the national tentative list.
43 Participants in the 2008 Conference on Rescue Archaeology
expressed the view that the instruments drawn up by the Council
of Europe in the form of conventions should be transposed into the
European Union, in particular the Valletta Convention. The Council
of Europe’s acquis should
therefore be taken into account when the various member states make
use of the European Commission’s structural funds. It was also stated that
many stakeholders did not even know that mechanisms exist. It was
the responsibility of international collaborators on heritage projects
to make the various players aware that the different existing mechanisms could
often be applied, including for projects with an impact on the archaeological
heritage (for instance, in the case of Roşia Montană, set out below).
44 European Community funds are used at the regional level or,
in the case of decentralised governance structures such as Germany,
at the level of the Länder.
However, common principles to encourage member states to take decisions
on the base of a common utilisation of these funds are lacking and
could be usefully developed. Principles along the lines of the Aarhus
Convention and European Union Directive 2003/4/EC, which provide
for public consultations with communities and civil society organisations
when development projects might have an impact on the environment
and the quality of life, could be transposed to apply to those which
impact cultural heritage.
45 The Council of Europe and the European Commission organise
jointly the annual “European Heritage Days”, an initiative launched
by the Council of Europe in 1991, putting new cultural assets on
view and opening up historical buildings normally closed to the
public. The cultural events highlight local skills and traditions, architecture
and works of art, but the broader aim is to bring citizens together
in harmony even though there are differences in cultures and languages.
The Heritage Days are not specifically linked to archaeology, but are
instrumental in demonstrating the value of heritage protection and
the possibly profitable outcomes for towns and regions.
46 The European Association of Archaeologists (EEA)
was founded in 1994. Its membership is open to all archaeology professionals
in Europe. The association has over a thousand members from some
40 countries. It facilitates and participates in numerous international
projects and awards an annual European Heritage Prize. The EEA holds
an annual conference, publishes the European
Journal of Archaeology and awards the biennial European
Archaeological Heritage Prize to deserving individuals or institutions.
It brings together archaeologists by adopting good practices for
implementation throughout the archaeological community.
47 The EEA’s Code of Practice reiterates that archaeology is
the study and interpretation of the archaeological heritage for
the benefit of society as a whole and states that “archaeologists
are the interpreters and stewards of that heritage on behalf of
their fellow men and women”. This conception of their profession shows
that archaeologists have a role to play that goes beyond the sectional
interests of the scientific community or other groups and imposes
on them a certain responsibility on behalf of the profession as
a whole. It has drawn up a set of “Principles of Conduct for archaeologists
involved in contract archaeological work”.
48 ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites,
is an international non-governmental organisation set up in 1964
after the signing of the International Charter on the Conservation
and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (the Venice Charter). It
has a scientific committee, the International Committee on Archaeological
Heritage Management (ICAHM), founded in 1990. Its membership, totalling
nearly 8 000 people from more than 100 countries, includes town
planners, archaeologists, restorers, art historians and heritage
managers. Its tasks include bringing together specialists in protection
and conservation, enhancing the heritage, providing a forum for
discussion and an international information-sharing network, and
developing information programmes.
49 ICOMOS provides opinions to UNESCO, especially on management
issues and on identifying sites that belong to the world heritage.
There are 115 national committees, whose membership includes associations, companies
and private individuals working at the national level to promote
ICOMOS’ more general objectives. ICOMOS has around 15 international
scientific committees, whose members are experts in highly specialised areas,
such as earth architecture, wood constructions or murals, or in
more general aspects. A committee on the interpretation of archaeological
sites was recently set up.
50 Europa Nostra, founded in 1963, represents some 250 non-governmental
organisations, 150 associate organisations and 1 500 individual
members from more than 50 countries who are fully committed to safeguarding
Europe’s cultural heritage and landscapes. It proposes an extensive
network for dialogue and debate and leads powerful campaigns against
threats to vulnerable heritage buildings, sites and landscapes. It
has consistently lobbied throughout Europe for sustainable policies
and high-quality standards with regard to heritage.
4 Examples of rescue/preventive
51 The following examples are representative of the
many and diverse challenges facing the protection of the archaeological
heritage when confronted with large-scale public works or potentially
high-profit development projects. They are selected mainly by the
criterion that they have been presented to the Committee on Culture,
Science and Education in oral or written reports in the recent past.
4.1 Gold mines at Roşia
52 At the Roşia Montană site in Romania, the study and
recovery or preservation of the ancient mining heritage was originally
financed by the company wishing to extract further gold from the
site using modern mining methods. This project provides another
example, not only of the collision of economic and sociocultural values
but also of archaeological achievements made possible only through
funding released from the associated commercial enterprise.
53 The programme established a blueprint for new approaches to
rescue archaeology in Romania and tested European standards of methodology.
It also had to reflect changes in Romanian legislation on protection of
the archaeological heritage, mines and environmental protection,
giving rise, inter alia, to
the first studies on the environmental impact of archaeological
research. The programme paved the way for a new, modern approach
to rescue archaeology in Romania: this was the first time an industrial
development project had to comply with an archaeological discharge
procedure in respect of sites containing remains. It also gave rise
to the country’s first archaeological heritage management plan.
The fees, paid by the mining company in accordance with the “polluter-pays”
principle established by the Valletta Convention, were used to build
a modern museum on the history of mining at Roşia Montană and in
surrounding areas. A series of publications on research findings
relating to the area were also produced.
54 Archaeological management also focused on another strategic
aspect: recording all data in accordance with the highest standards
and best practices. To this end a database was developed, a geographical information
system (GIS) set up and digital photo archives, including aerial
and satellite images created.
55 Emphasis was placed on dissemination of the research according
to a three-pronged communication strategy: communication with the
public at the European, national and local levels, with help from
the media; professional communication with museums and national
and international learned societies, including the organisation
of exhibitions and a co-ordinated publication schedule; and communication
with the investor, so as to ensure that the mining plan preserved
rare or important items for future research. Thanks to the discoveries
made from the study of numerous remains, a responsible policy was
developed in conjunction with the mining company in relation to
the area’s heritage.
56 Despite the very positive experiences of this project, the
modern mining exploitation was strongly opposed by NGOs and members
of the public after it was launched, and has now been stalled, mainly
for environmental impact reasons (stocking of mud containing cyanide)
and social (displacement of populations, project qualified as non-sustainable),
as well as the loss of some of the archaeological remains studied
and present in the area around the project’s open-cast mines.
4.2 The Olympic sites
of Marathon and Markopoulo (Greece)
57 The construction crews preparing for the 2004 Olympic
Games in Athens unearthed many ancient buildings and artefacts.
Despite time-consuming efforts to preserve these antiquities, archaeologists
feared the loss and destruction of heritage due to the tight schedule
of the works.
58 At the centre of the conflict was the rowing and canoeing
centre being built at Schinias, 18 miles north-east of Athens. This
beachfront land is identified by many historians as the site where
a Persian expeditionary force landed in 490 bc and subsequently
engaged in battle with an Athenian army on the adjacent plain of Marathon,
a battle regarded as one of the most significant in Greek history.
The Greek Ministry of Culture declared the site clear for construction
on the basis of geophysical studies which suggested that the area
had been a lagoon at the time of the battle. Despite strong objections
from historians and archaeologists worldwide, the work proceeded
until it struck the remains of a 4 500-year-old Bronze Age village.
The remains of two of the three houses discovered were relocated,
and construction of the centre continued. The rapporteur is not aware
of any recorded evidence of discoveries which would indicate that
the works encroached on the battle site.
59 The Olympic construction works unearthed thousands of other
structures and artefacts that might otherwise have remained hidden.
The construction of the equestrian centre at Markopoulo revealed
the remains of a temple to Aphrodite. This site is interesting for
the opportunity it offered for co-operation between the archaeologists
and the builders, possibly because of the open nature of an equestrian
60 Archaeologists made more than 30 000 finds during the expansion
of the Athens metro, infrastructural works associated with the Olympics.
The opportunity was taken to display these in ticket halls underground, sometimes
in proximity to where they were found and even in representations
of their stratification on discovery.
61 An aqueduct dating from the Hadrianic period was found in
the middle of the Olympic village. The organisers decided to make
it the visual centrepiece of the village rather than destroy or
62 These various excavations impacted on the schedule of the
building works and fuelled a popular concern that Greece’s history
was getting in the way of Greece’s modern progress. In the event,
the concern was shown to be unfounded.
4.3 Dam construction
projects in Allianoi (Turkey)Note
63 The outstandingly well-preserved 2nd century ad Roman
thermal baths and asklepieion (medical treatment
centre), discovered in the 1990s during routine surveys carried
out in view of the construction of the Yortanli Dam, was due to
be flooded following the finalisation of the dam construction in
64 Europa Nostra and ICOMOS repeatedly intervened in favour of
the conservation of this outstanding site, through its support to
the many local campaigns. The concerted actions of local campaigners
and the international conservation community were successful in
postponing the planned flooding of the site.
65 On completion of the dam construction, the strong farmers’
lobby for irrigation water was strengthened by recent drought in
the area, putting extra pressure on the government to proceed with
the activation of the dam.
66 Following the 2007 elections in Turkey, a major reshuffling
took place at the ministries and in parliament. Europa Nostra raised
the issue with the new president, Mr Abdullah Gül, and with the
newly appointed minister for culture, Mr Ertugrul Günay, requesting
that priority be given to the proper excavation and documentation
of the site, followed by adequate conservation measures. In parallel,
the local citizens “Allianoi Initiative” undertook numerous protests.
67 The date for activating the dam was continuously being postponed,
whilst throughout 2008 the remains of the site were covered with
a “protective” clay coating. There is considerable expert opinion
that this recourse will be inadequate to protect the remains if
the dam is filled.
68 Due to the urgency of the situation and the lengthiness of
domestic legal procedures, the Allianoi Initiative brought the case
before the European Court of Human Rights in February 2008. This
is the first application submitted to the Court regarding the preservation
of cultural heritage; in July 2008 the Court decided to take this
4.4 Discovery of the
Byzantine port of Constantinople (Turkey)Note
69 In 2004, during construction work on a much-needed
new subway tunnel beneath the Bosphorus Strait linking Istanbul’s
Asian and European shores, archaeologists discovered the lost Byzantine
port of Theodosius. The port was built at the end of the 4th century
by Emperor Theodosius I when Istanbul (Constantinople) was the capital
of the eastern Roman Empire. Excavations in the Yenikapi district
of Istanbul have uncovered more than 30 Byzantine naval craft dating
from the 7th to the 11th centuries, as well as the timbers of thousand-year-old
jetties and docks and the remnants of a prehistoric human settlement.
70 The finds are the first examples of shipbuilding using the
beginnings of the “skeleton approach” to constructing a vessel’s
hull, marking revolutionary progress in techniques, allowing for
the speedy communication of new shipbuilding ideas that could be
transmitted on paper. The change is heralded as the beginning of
engineering and thus of major importance for our knowledge and understanding
of world history.
71 Despite the huge pressure to complete the tunnel to alleviate
Istanbul’s acute traffic problems, the Turkish authorities have
decided to put archaeology ahead of the urgently needed transit
project, thus delaying the development plans by up to four years
at considerable cost to the entire project. Initially, the area
was to be part of the train and metro station, but when the ancient
remains were found, they were declared off-limits and plans for
the station were changed so as to leave the historic monuments intact.
72 Turkish archaeologists are consulting with ship museums in
Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Spain and the United Kingdom
about the creation of a new local museum. The decisions have not
yet been taken as to the ships and artefacts to be placed in the
museum or on its location. On completion of excavation work, documentation,
conservation and reconstruction of the ships will continue. One
proposal is to incorporate some of the nautical relics into exhibition
spaces inside the train and metro station complex.
4.5 M3 motorway construction
through the Tara Valley (Ireland)
73 The Hill of Tara located near the River Boyne is
an archaeological complex that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin
in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland. It is of multilayered significance
in the history of Ireland. It contains a number of ancient monuments
and, according to tradition, was the seat of the High King of Ireland. At
one time, it was a capital offence to make a fire within sight of
Tara. A grave was found near the hill that is supposedly that of
King Lóegaire, said to be the last pagan king of Ireland. During
the rebellion of 1798, United Irishmen formed a camp on the hill
but were attacked and defeated by British troops on 26 May 1798
and the Lia Fáil was moved to mark the graves of the 400 rebels
who died on the hill that day. In 1843, the Irish Member of Parliament
Daniel O’Connell hosted a peaceful political demonstration on the
Hill of Tara in favour of repeal of the Act of Union which drew
over 750 000 people, which indicates the enduring importance of
the Hill of Tara.
74 The new M3 motorway under construction passes through the
Tara-Skryne Valley, as did the previous N3 road. Protesters argued
that since the Tara Discovery programme started in 1992, the Hill
of Tara was just the central complex of a wider landscape. An alternative
route approximately 6 km west of the Hill of Tara was claimed to
be a straighter, cheaper and less destructive alternative. On Sunday
23 September 2007, over 1 500 people met on the hill of Tara to
take part in a human sculpture representing a harp and spelling
out the words “Save Tara Valley” as a call for the re-routing of
the M3 motorway away from Tara valley.
75 The Hill of Tara was included in the World Monuments Fund’s
2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. The
Tara Skryne Valley, one of the most archaeologically rich areas
in the country, was officially designated as a Landscape Conservation
Area and the Hill of Tara was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage
Site on Ireland’s shortlist at the end of 2009. Plans for a new
national monuments act would mean that road developments would not
take place in areas rich with archaeology.
4.6 Hydroelectric works
in the Angara River Basin in Siberia (Russia)
76 The Russian participants in the 2008 Paris conference
reported on a critical situation in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia.
Its outcome was not clear at the time of publication of this report.
77 In the 1970s, the Soviet authorities decided to build a hydroelectric
power plant in the Angara River Basin, which would have submerged
hundreds of archaeological sites without any salvage work being undertaken.
Fortunately, at the time, the project did not come to fruition,
but was revived in 2000 by an aluminium production company, planning
to flood an even larger area between 2010 and 2012.
78 Some 163 known archaeological sites exist in the Krasnoyarsk
region and 42 in the Irkutsk region. Located near the banks of the
river, these would inevitably be flooded by the project. Excavations
in the Irkutsk region alone would cost 5 billion roubles, but construction
work began before any archaeological assessment had been undertaken.
In 2008, the Russian Academy of Sciences found 152 million roubles
for archaeological excavations in the Krasnoyarsk region, meaning
that approximately 80% of the remains could realistically be salvaged.
79 At the time of the conference, the date for submersion was
approaching and no funding had been found for excavations or for
the preservation and protection of the riverbanks, and the investor
refused to finance excavations on the banks on the grounds that
under Russian law the dam would be government property after completion.
80 The destruction of archaeological deposits by development
has continued and accelerated since the end of the Second World
War. The archaeological heritage throughout Europe is thus under
increasing pressure from development, which presents considerable
challenges to heritage management in all countries, but can also
provide important opportunities to contribute to our understanding
of the past and make a positive contribution to social values. The
archaeological heritage is a finite and non-renewable resource and
its preservation in situ should
always be the first aim for important archaeological remains which
are threatened by development. Where this is neither possible nor
appropriate, the loss of archaeological remains can be off-set by
scientific excavation, analysis, and publications of the results
for the public benefit by making a contribution to our knowledge
and understanding of the past.
81 Problems common to all member states are addressed with diverse
success and interest, despite the increase in public awareness of
the value of cultural heritage, including archaeological finds.
Failure to demonstrate adequately this value can lead to the abandonment
of projects through a lack of immediate “economic added value”,
and competition between regions and the threat of relocation of
development projects dissuade authorities from supporting heritage
protection projects. Dialogue is a key element concerning spatial planning
and archaeological legislation is all important. When archaeological
values have been fully accepted as an integral part of these processes,
the damaging effects of excavations will be mitigated. There needs
to be early and open consultation and co-operation, focusing on
reducing the risks on both the development and archaeology sides.
82 The provision of adequate training for archaeologists is another
requirement for the successful protection of the archaeological
heritage, including practical training and continuing professional
development, career structures and opportunities, and exchange.
83 Most of these challenges could be successfully addressed by
fuller implementation by contracting parties of the Valletta Convention
on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, once member states
have ratified the convention. Publication and dissemination of information
and good practices would be facilitated by the enhancement of the
84 In addition, the issue of preventive archaeology needs to
be examined on the basis of case studies and comparative experience
and with the involvement of all the interested parties including
archaeologists, art historians and other relevant specialists, developers,
NGOs and local as well as national government authorities. In this
way, attention can also be drawn to the real problems that exist
and high-level solutions offered.
85 In the future, if the present increase in efforts to protect
sites and monuments continues, the managing and processing of scientific
research and the storage of objects and the results of excavations
will become ever more complex. Public access to discoveries and
archives, especially in states where there have been a large number
of archaeological excavations, must be ensured.
86 Finally, it will be crucial to address new developments and
changes in this field, especially those resulting from natural phenomena
such as climate change.