UNESCO Chair In Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage (2014)

Purpose/Objectives of the Chair/UNITWIN Network

The Chair seeks to develop debates, policies and toolkits to:

  • evaluate the economic, ethical and social impacts of cultural heritage,
  • strengthen its protection in crisis and conflict situations,
  • prevent its use to exacerbate differences and tensions.

Cultural heritage and archaeology can play a unifying role in Post-Conflict responses but the unethical or imbalanced promotion may alienate communities, generate conflict and lead to the destruction of heritage. The Durham UNESCO Chair seeks to address this challenge by shaping:

  • debates and policies on professional standards and responsibilities;
  • legal and ethical codes and values;
  • concepts of stewardship and custodianship; research ethics and illicit antiquities;
  • the economic, ethical and social impacts of the promotion of heritage, particularly at religious and pilgrimage sites.

Chairholder Professor Robin Coningham

Address: UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, Department of Archaeology, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK
Email: r.a.e.coningham@durham.ac.uk
Web page

Educated at the University of Cambridge, Professor Robin Coningham is Professor of Early Medieval Archaeology at Durham University. The UK’s leading South Asian archaeologist, he has published 9 books and over 90 chapters/papers and supervised 14 PhDs. He has directed interdisciplinary UK Research Councils (RCUK) and UNESCO projects across Asia with national and international partners. He co-founded CECH to examine the interface between archaeology and ethics and has completed over 20 missions for UNESCO, including two post-disaster rescue archaeology mission to Kathmandu after the Gorkha Earthquake, and is an Expert on UNESCO’s Lumbini International Scientific Steering Committee.

Selected Publications