Contact: Rebecca Carr, (520) 723-3172
The National Park Service is pleased to welcome three Afghan Provincial Directors of Monuments to participate in an exchange of cultural resource management information at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and other national parks. The directors oversee monuments in Herat, Bamiyan, and Kabul--all provinces with sites of exceptional archeological importance that have serious problems from looting, intentional destruction, and neglect. The goal of this program is to build relationships between Cultural Resource Managers in Afghanistan and the United States. The exchange of information will enable professionals from both nations to better preserve important cultural sites.
This professional and cultural exchange is funded by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the George Wright Society. It is part of a program intended to help the Afghan Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism manage and protect cultural sites in Afghanistan, develop productive relationships with archaeologists, conservators, and cultural heritage specialists in the United States; while United States participants learn how Afghan professionals are dealing with looting, war-damaged sites, and other factors that impact site preservation.
The program will consist of two months of informational exchange, followed by evaluation and follow-up meetings with National Park Service staff in Washington, DC. The program schedule includes all aspects of archaeological site management, including site planning, preservation, salvage excavation, emergency mitigation, site and regional survey, public education, and community relations.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was selected as one of the host sites because the Monument faces similar cultural resource management issues. National Park sites were selected for participation based on similarities in resource type and management approach to protection, preservation and interpretation of cultural resources. Afghanistan, located at the crossroads of Central, West and South Asia, has a rich heritage and many cultural sites that predate Alexander the Great by thousands of years. Sites in the southwest region of the United States offer examples of adobe and stone construction, standing historic buildings and buried archaeological sites that closely resemble the preservation requirements of sites in Afghanistan. Participation of local indigenous communities in the management of cultural sites and the role of tourism in economic development were also considerations in the selection of host parks.
Afghan participants will arrive in Arizona after spending a week with National Park Service representatives in Washington DC. While in Arizona, they will visit Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Tumacácori National Historical Park, and the NPS Western Archeological and Conservation Center. Additional site visits in Arizona will include the Huhugam Heritage Center, McFarland State Historical Park, the University of Arizona, and the Albright Training Center at Grand Canyon National Park. Next month, the participants will travel to New Mexico where they will work with park staff at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, and the NPS Intermountain Office in Santa Fe.
Last updated: February 24, 2015