W2 Archaeology in the News Post

The article that I read was titled Mali World Heritage site in danger: UNESCO
(https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2016/07/mali-world-heritage-site-in-danger.html#sQyt98UueYisoGas.97). This article explained that the Mali World Heritage site is “in danger of deteriorating because it cannot be protected adequately in the face of insecurity.” The Mali World Heritage site is a combination of four different archaeological sites with almost 2,000 houses that have remained intact since the 3rd century BC. However, a combination of political unrest, erosion, and violence have put the site in danger. According to the article, the Malian government is dealing with a multitude of challenges (including the destruction of archaeological sites and shrines by al-Qaeda forces) that has taken resources away from their efforts to preserve its archaeological sites.

In week one, we learned the importance of preserving archaeological sites/discoveries. It is important to preserve archaeological findings because not only does it give us an insight into the past, but it allows us to preserve methods that would not otherwise be possible in this modern day. Nowadays, archaeologists go to great lengths to preserve their findings, so it is very unfortunate when political issues threaten the security of those findings. Hopefully the Malian government will be able to solve this problem, as it would be a shame to see such rich history deteriorate.

7 thoughts on “W2 Archaeology in the News Post

  1. As I read this post, it made me wonder if there are any laws, or anything of the sort, put in place in order to protect archaeological sites from circumstances such as these. Of course, in the case of political unrest along with al-Qaeda attacks, it can be understood why resources are being used on things other than archaeological preservation, but those sites provide so much cultural history for Mali that it would be a horrible waste to allow them to crumble away. It’s hard to pick a side in this case; I’m sure the government is doing everything they can do to both preserve sites and put the country at ease, but from your post it sounds like they aren’t yielding results on the former.

  2. I found the archaeological sites described in this article very interesting. The fact of the sites have almost 2000 houses that remained intact since the 3rd century BC really surprised me. On the other hand, it is really sad to see how these sites are in danger due to political issues, conflicts, and erosion. I believe that there is still plenty of archaeological information on these sites that can help us to better understand our past. Indeed, preservation of archaeological sites is very important in modern days for archaeologists and I think that it should be for everyone else. If the people and the govern of Mali understand the importance of these sites, they certainly will be preserved.

  3. The thing that strikes me as most odd about this situation is that al-Qaeda is attacking these sites at all. It seems like a waste of resources to me. Granted, I can understand why they wouldn’t be interested in preserving them, but what do they gain from damaging them? Maybe it’s strictly for religious reasons? Either way, perhaps something can be done to remove the motivation for attacking these structures.

    Of course, the erosion and political unrest aren’t helping matters. Hopefully measures can be taken to combat or counteract these effects before it’s too late to do so. Once something like this is lost, it cannot be recovered.

  4. Personally I feel like the main reason these extremist groups are attacking and creating havoc of all sorts is because they want to strike fear in minds of people. It surely is a sad state of affairs that the government is letting go of such a precious site. Houses that have remained intact for so long surely has a lot of significance to it. I also wonder how does it benefit these groups by destroying such historical sites. I think the government needs to do something more than just giving us excuses. Al-Qaeda and other such groups have existed for a long time now and they will only increase if nothing is done.

  5. This was a very interesting article as it got me thinking about the destruction of historical sites in general. So far we have been learning about the preservation of them all and trying to discover more about these site, that i didn’t even think about the opposite problem. How can we prevent sites from being destroyed by everyday activities if there are things like war going on around these sites? Clearly its more of violence and the government should probably intervene, yet how will the government do this if its probably last on their list? It was an eye opening article that made me think much deeper about Archaeology today.

  6. I really appreciate you writing about this story! It points to a very serious and real issue of the deterioration of archaeological sites. As you mentioned, the Mali World Heritage site has remained intact since the 3rd century B.C.; and now, more than 2000 years later, it is at risk of crumbling. Additionally, the causes of this potential deterioration are not completely out of human control. While some deal with erosion and natural events, the greatest reason that the site is at risk is political unrest in the area. This is a perfect and unfortunate example of how history can be lost, and the difficulty that archeologists and scientists experience in preserving findings and preserving our history.
    Thanks!

  7. It is a shame that such an interesting and historical site is now in danger because of the violence and unrest in the area. Those houses have to be some of the oldest to be found, and the fact that they are still standing is absolutely remarkable. Houses like those at the very least deserve to be protected and preserved for the future. There is probably still so much to be learned about the past from this site. Hopefully they find a way to help preserve this site against the political unrest and violence because if things don’t change, so much potential knowledge and information could be lost.

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