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Polar Archaeology Working Group

The ICOMOS International Polar Heritage Committee Polar Archaeology Working Group held its first meeting (by Skype) 1 March 2017.

The 7 IPHC expert members who were able to attend represented both the northern and southern hemispheres. Apologies were received from 2 others who were unable to attend at that time. Bryan Lintott has previously been elected as convenor of the group and he led the meeting.

The purpose of the PAWG is to work towards developing and delivering a set of principles for polar archaeology, with best-practice guidelines to subsequently be developed.  It was decided that the working group will comprise 8-10 members.

The importance of broad consultation to provide information and insights and to develop institutional engagement with the group’s activities was discussed. Following up on this the PAWG members are to suggest contacts within relevant organisations working in the Arctic and/or Antarctic. The Polar Archaeology Network (PAN) will also be contacted to keep them informed of the PAWG and its aims.

Next year’s IASC/SCAR POLAR2018 conference was considered to be an ideal forum at which to present The IPHC’s Polar Archaeology Principles (provisional working title).

The IPHC bureau recently responded to the latest paper by the Antarctic Treaty System’s Intersessional Contact Group that is working on issues related to Historic Sites and Monuments. These include good governance, designation, planning and ongoing conservation, which are well related to the aim of the PAWG. It was here suggested that a workshop of heritage and related experts be convened at an appropriate time this year to develop policy and procedures for the Antarctic Treaty System to consider.

International Polar Heritage Committee
President - Julian Bickersteth, International Conservation Services
53 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, Sydney, NSW 2067
Phone: +61 (02) 9417 3311

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