Conferences and lectures

2018

Annual meeting ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) in Montalbano Elicona, Sicily (Italy) from 25th to 28th October 2018. Discover Sicily’s Argimusco – a Holistic Approach to Heritage Management.
24th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Barcelona (Spain) from 5th to 8th September 2018. Reflecting futures.
Conference of the Swiss Archaeology Network (RAS/NAS) “L’archéologie – ça me regarde?” from 21st to 23rd June 2018 à Neuchâtel(Switzerland)
Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 83rd Annual Meeting in Washington DC (USA) from 9th to 15th April 2018
Congress NIKE 2018 «Le patrimoine culturel, un bien commun. Pour qui et pourquoi?» the 15th and 16th March 2018 in Biel (Switzerland)

2017

ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) Annual Meeting in Bagamoyo (Tanzania) from the 2nd to 5th October 2017
23rd Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Maastricht (The Netherlands) from 30th August to 3rd September 2017
Working Conference « Development and best practices of (archaeological) heritage as a course » in Tampere (Finland) from 9th to 11th June 2017
Conference and General assembly of the Groupe de travail pour les recherches pré– et protohistoriques en Suisse (GPS) the 3rd May 2017 in Bern (Switzerland)
Lyceum Club of Biel/Bienne the 4th April 2017 at the Nouveau Musée Bienne (Switzerland)
NEARCHing Factory from 30th January to 1st February 2017 in Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

2016

Conference of ICOMOS-Germany and DAI “After the Zero Hour – Learning from Post-war experience for Syria? Heritage, Archaeology and Urban Planning as International Responsibility” from 9th to 10th November 2016 (Leipzig, Germany)
TEDx Bern of 7th September 2016: « Bubi Eifach ? »
22nd Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Vilnius (Lithuania) from 31st August to 4th September 2016
Wem gehört Weltkulturerbe? / Who owns cultural heritage? – Conference organised by SGOA and SHIRIN Switzerland on 21st May 2016
Annual meeting ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) in Salalah (Oman) from 2nd to 5th May 2016

2015

« Drafting Guidelines for Heritage Management of Archaeological World Heritage Sites » ICAHM Workshop from 30th November to 3rd December 2015 in Florence (Italy)
21st Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Glasgow (Scotland) from 2nd to 5th September 2015
61st International Assyriological Meeting in Bern (Switzerland) on 25th June 2015
40th International Conference of the Association Française pour l’Etude de l’âge du Fer (AFEAF) from 15th to 17th May 2015 in Nancy (France): Production et proto-industrialisation aux âges du Fer. Perspectives sociales et environnementales
Heritage and Values Network Workshop from 19th to 20th February 2015 in Barcelona (Spain): Heritage values and the public

2014

29th Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Istanbul (Turkey) from 10th to 14th September 2014
Presentation on UNESCO World Heritage in Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland): «Une aventure aux résultats inattendus : Les sites palafittiques font le tour du monde »
Presentation of the project « Site of the Month » at the 7th Rencontre de l’ANACT (Association nationale pour l’Archéologie de Collectivité Territoriale in Aix-en-Provence (France): Patrimoine archéologique, Tourisme et Attractivité des Territoires
Conference on smartphone apps in Algers (Algeria)
Presentation of the UNESCO World Heritage in Keutschach (Austria): Ein Abenteuer mit (un)sichtbaren resultaten! UNESCO Welterbe Prähistorische Pfahlbauten um die Alpen

2018

Annual meeting ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) in Montalbano Elicona, Sicily (Italy) from 25th to 28th October 2018. Discover Sicily’s Argimusco – a Holistic Approach to Heritage Management

The emphasis of this meeting was on Climate Change and Community Engagement. Other sessions on Heritage Tourism, the Africa Initiative and Archaeoastronomy were also organised. Non-Invasive Technologies was approached as an across-cutting theme. ArchaeoConcept was present with two presentations.
Ellinor Dunning presented the “Salons Archéologiques: A Participatory Project Where Heritage is Co-Defined, Expressed and Shared” as an innovative participative way to exchange knowledge on Swiss heritage, including qualitative research led in Switzerland and a concrete mean to bring together the population and archaeologists.
Cynthia Dunning Thierstein together with Ajmal Hasan presented the archaeo-tourism concept as it is developed at the Mleiha Archaeological Centre in Sharjah (UAE), linking nature, culture and fun: “Spending a Wonderful Day in Mleiha! Bringing Tourists to Archaeology and While Having Fun”.

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24th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Barcelona (Spain) from 5th to 8th September 2018. Reflecting futures.

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein organised together with Sanjin Mihelic and Annemarie Willems a round table on “(National) Perspectives on the Significance and Effects of the International Cultural Tourism Charter. From Theory to Practice in Archaeological Tourism”.
Likewise the same partners participated actively in the EAA Community Archaeology and Tourism with the preparation of position statements for teh EAA Board.
Aurélia Basterrechea organised a session together with Ana Sofia Fonseca on “Traditional and (Alternative) New media: Different Ways of Communicating Archaeology” in which the role of traditional, alternative and new media in the communication of archaeology as a profession and as an interpretation of societies of today and yesterday was discussed.

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Conference of the Swiss Archaeology Network (RAS/NAS) “L’archéologie – ça me regarde?” from 21st to 23rd June 2018 à Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

At this conference, which accompanied the annual meeting of Swiss Archaeology, Ellinor Dunning presented for the first time the “Salons archéologiques” project in a conference entitled “Salons archéologiques. Ton métier, mon patrimoine ?”

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Society for American Archaeology (SAA) 83rd Annual Meeting in Washington DC (USA) from 9th to 15th April 2018

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein was invited to present a paper “Implementing the “Salalah Guidelines for the Management of Public Archaeological Sites” in the WH nomination dossier of the Cultural Landscape of the Central Region of Sharjah (UAE) : Some reflexions” in the session reserved to the “Case Studies for the Salalah Doctrine : Archaeological Heritage Management of World Heritage Sites”.

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Congress NIKE 2018 «Le patrimoine culturel, un bien commun. Pour qui et pourquoi?» the 15th and 16th March 2018 in Biel (Switzerland)

Thanks to close collaboration with the New Biel Museum (NMB), Cynthia Dunning Thierstein was able to attend this conference organised for the European Year of Heritage. She particularly participated in the workshops and discussions that took place there.

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2017

ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) Annual Meeting in Bagamoyo (Tanzania) from the 2nd to 5th October 2017

The theme for the 2017 Conference was Sub-Saharan Africa and International Trade Routes. The emphasis of this meeting was on Trade routes to and from Sub-Saharan Africa to the rest of the world, the Africa Initiative (http://wp.icahm.icomos.org/index.php/africainitiative/), the Conservation and Sustainable use of Paleoanthropological Sites, Digital Technologies in AHM and World Heritage Sites as Sources for Sustainable Development.

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23rd Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Maastricht (The Netherlands) from 30th August to 3rd September 2017

Ellinor Dunning and Aurélia Basterrechea presented the Site of the Month project at the session “Telling World Heritage Stories: communicating archaeology to local communities and tourists at European World Heritage” with a presentation entitled “New issues in Switzerland: letting archaeology speaks through local communities.” The purpose of this session was to present the SOTM programme as having a similar functioning to UNESCO’s World Heritage but at the national level by highlighting the role of local associations. This conference developed communication methods and new projects (social networks, 3D objects, ArchaeoCatching, ArchaeoTour).
This presentation received a particularly favourable response and was the subject of several questions from the assembly present during the session. The fact that ArchaeoTourism works with local actors and does not physically intervene at all on the sites was particularly welcomed.
Cynthia Dunning Thierstein organized a round table with Sanjin Mihelic, Director of the Archaeological Museum of Zagreb, on the vocabulary used in archaeological tourism: “Do we speak the same language? For a constructive dialogue between tourism and archaeology”. This round table included three short presentations by Alicia Castillo, Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, by Hugo Cousino and Cynthia Dunning Thierstein of ArchaeoConcept and Claudia Speciale, Laura Danile and Giovanni Virruso of PastActivity. This was followed by a rich discussion on the need to know and above all understand not only the vocabulary used by each partner, but also their objectives, which can be very different.

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Working Conference « Development and best practices of (archaeological) heritage as a course » in Tampere (Finland) from 9th to 11th June 2017

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein participated in this symposium as co-chair with Tanja Vahtikari of the University of Helsinki for the session on practical examples of UNESCO World Heritage management. We discussed the paramount importance of Outstanding Universal Value and its role in heritage management. The role of ICOMOS and particularly its experts was also dissected: what are the qualities required to be able to mediate between the legal organization of countries and UNESCO’s needs? What training is needed for future experts? Examples of good practices were discussed and it emerged that management depends mainly on the social, economic and political structures present in the different countries.
Tourism was mentioned in particular in relation to the fragility of local populations who have relatively little access to the benefits of this type of economy and who suffer from negative aspects such as the excessive number of visitors and the fact that they are not always taken seriously when decisions are taken at national or even international level.
Finally, the training of experts should not be neglected and should consider all aspects of World Heritage management.
https://blogs.helsinki.fi/ahmtampere/files/2017/08/AHM-Tampere_Practice_Report.pdf

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Conference and General assembly of the Groupe de travail pour les recherches pré– et protohistoriques en Suisse (GPS) the 3rd May 2017 in Bern (Switzerland)

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein presented the typology of spindle whorls from the Bronze Age to the end of the Iron Age in the Upper Rhine Valley and on the Swiss Plateau. This communication summarized the one held at the AFEAF conference in Nancy in 2015 and published in 2017 (see publications). Ellinor Dunning was accepted as a new member during the General Assembly.

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Lyceum Club of Biel/Bienne the 4th April 2017 at the Nouveau Musée Bienne (Switzerland)

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein was invited by the Lyceum Club of Biel to present the work done within ArchaeoConcept. She showed the diversity of projects, ranging from the implementation of youth activities to international projects carried out for UNESCO or the United Arab Emirates.

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NEARCHing Factory from 30th January to 1st February 2017 in Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

The NEARCHing Factory, as clearly stated on the NEARCHing Factory website ” is NOT a congress”, and was out of the ordinary for two main reasons. On the one hand, the proposed working themes offered – finally – the opportunity to tackle in a frontal way the relative crisis in which the archaeological discipline has been for about ten years, and on the other hand, the meeting proposed to operate in a very inclusive and participatory way. Presentations were given in working groups or plenary sessions and workshops were also conducted in small groups throughout the city of Santiago de Compostela. Some conferences were connected (via Twitter and Youtube live), giving the possibility to comment live on the speakers’ comments, also for people who could not attend the event. The “Factory” was much more political than academic in nature, open to a plurality of professionals from very heterogeneous backgrounds (art, anthropology, archaeology, etc.). Investment and active participation were the watchwords and the debates were practice-oriented: the aim of the meeting was to propose new scenarios for archaeology as a practice and as a discipline. Concrete results, making it possible to respond to the challenges raised by the results of the European NEARCH research project, were expected at the end of the three days.
The meeting had ten working groups: Digital Capabilities for Sustainability; Participative Heritage Management; Professional Regulations and Codes: Sustaining the Archaeological Profession;
Arts and New Heritages; Archaeology of the Present; Heritage value(s); Social Innovation and Archaeology; Archaeology, Spatial Planning and Economic Development; Archaology and School for Long-Life Learning; Archaeologies of/for Future.
In the session Participative Heritage Management, organised by Hayley Roberts, Ellinor Dunning presented some of the results of her Master’s thesis work as well as some practical examples of participation in asset management in Switzerland (including the Site of the Month project). Her presentation focused on the limits of participation in the case of a country like Switzerland where the very functioning of the promotion and management of archaeology is based on amateur associations. Her work was well received and the discussions that followed all the presentations were lively. The debates were compiled by moderator Hayley Roberts and then presented in plenary session with the results of the other sessions, which can be consulted online.
She also took part in the session Archaeologies of/for the Future organized by Cornelius Holtorf and Gavin MacGregor, in which participants were asked to reflect on their personal relationship to the future, their future work practices, real or imagined, emerging futures, the rhythms of time, their interests in the archaeology of the future. Her participation was based on his willingness to hear what his colleagues thought about the future of the discipline.
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2016

Conference of ICOMOS-Germany and DAI “After the Zero Hour – Learning from Post-war experience for Syria? Heritage, Archaeology and Urban Planning as International Responsibility” from 9th to 10th November 2016 (Leipzig, Germany)

As part of the heritage fair, ICOMOS Germany and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI) organised two days of conferences and discussions on the theme “Nach der Stunde Null – aus Nachkriegsarfahrungen für Syrien lernen? Denkmalpflege, Archäologie und Städtebau als international Aufgabe”. Although the title was challenged at the conference and by the organizers themselves (insofar as, during an armed conflict and destruction by man, there is no zero moment, “zero hour”, from which it is then possible to think about reconstruction), the presentations were very enriching. Some examples from the post-war reconstruction of European countries (Germany, Poland, Russia) were discussed. They made it possible to highlight the importance of the historical and archaeological heritage for the populations, especially some ten years after the first wave of reconstruction, during the reconstruction that could be described as “identity”. Others highlighted the pitfalls of a reconstruction aimed at short-term benefits and opening the door to processes of gentrification of historic centres, which were very difficult for the original inhabitants to live with. Cynthia Dunning Thierstein gave an introductory lecture on the social issues of the presence and/or destruction of heritage for a given population, entitled “The role of Archaeology in the reconstruction of the city”.
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TEDx Bern of 7th September 2016: « Bubi Eifach ? »

TED conferences (Technology, Entertainment and Design, founded in 1984) aim to spread new ideas around the world with a simple language that is accessible to everyone, even on complex subjects. TEDx events are based on the same principle but are organized independently. TEDx Bern has been in existence since 2012 and organises a TEDx every two years: the 2016 event took place on the Gurten, and focused on the general theme “Bubi Eifach?” with the aim of making people talk about actions that would seem, at first sight, simple as child’s play but which actually hide much more work and perseverance. Cynthia Dunning Thierstein was invited to give a lecture with two Syrian colleagues Mohammed Alkhalid and Mohammad Fahrko on the theme of the destruction of heritage in Syria and on the international organization Shirin, whose Swiss branch had been founded the previous year. Their intervention “Preparing for a Time After War” was not to exceed 9 minutes, so it was quite a challenge! The themes addressed were all extremely different, but all conveyed positive ideas and practices to shape a more equitable, respectful and challenging world. The conference was very well received by the more than 400 members of the public. You can view it on YouTube under the title “Preparing for a Time After War”: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ELk2SRxUxRM?list=PLsRNoUx8w3rMnebPxl2OSaPPUO10gbqm0 or read the article from Thomas Stephens’ interview for swissinfo.ch : http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culturalheritage_archaeologists-in-switzerland-prepare-for-post-war-syria/42500792.
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22nd Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Vilnius (Lithuania) from 31st August to 4th September 2016

After organizing a round table on archaeology and tourism in Istanbul in 2014 and organizing a session and actively contributing to the founding of the Working Party in Glasgow in 2015, the main initiators, Cynthia Dunning Thierstein and Annemarie Willems, organized a second session in Vilnius, accompanied by the meeting of the Working Party. The theme chosen was “I see something that you can’t see… Multidisciplinary approaches in Archaeological Tourism”; eight presentations were held and a poster was also exposed. The room was full, we had a small group of about fifty people, the discussions were also lively and the session was a definite success! The Working Party, which was held before the start of the event (30.08), also enabled the main stakeholders to define a course of action for the next meeting of the EAA in Maastricht in 2017.
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Wem gehört Weltkulturerbe? / Who owns cultural heritage? – Conference organised by SGOA and SHIRIN Switzerland on 21st May 2016

Since antiquity mankind has been dealing with its history and its material remains by collecting and copying antiquities. While this passion for collecting has preserved us innumerable Roman copies of lost Greek statues as well as the invaluable collections of the great museums like the British Museum or the Louvre, we today view this passion in a more critical light, especially in the antiquities’ countries of origin. Territorialism, according to which artifacts of all eras are principally defined as possessions of modern states which now occupy an individual site or region, is accepted worldwide today and also UNESCO uses this principle to decide about claims of ownership. However, problems related to this issue have repeatedly surfaced: what if cultural heritage objects were already removed from their places of origin in antiquity (e.g. the “Codex Hammurapi,” which is currently on display in the Louvre, but already around 1100 B.C.E. was removed from its original location in modern-day Iraq to Elam in today’s Iran, where it was eventually discovered by French archaeologists)? What if borders change or states even cease to exist (e.g. the Ottoman Empire: do countries like Iraq, Syria or Egypt have the right to claim ancient objects that had been brought to Istanbul during the Ottoman Period)? And which set of laws applies: that of the Ottoman Empire, which basically already denied the export of ancient artifacts from its territory as early as the 19th century, or the internationally accepted UNESCO regulations, which define 1970 as crucial date for such matters?
In this regard, Cynthia Dunning Thierstein held a conference on the difficult issue of the illicit antique trade.
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Annual meeting ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) in Salalah (Oman) from 2nd to 5th May 2016

For 2016, the theme chosen for the ICAHM-ICOMOS annual conference was Archaeological Parks as World Heritage Sites and the development of an Archaeological Park World Heritage Site – A Management Strategy for the Future. We had the opportunity to go there to present the project for nomination to UNESCO’s World Heritage of the Mleiha region (UAE) with Peter Jackson, an architect working for the Sharjah government. In addition, this trip gave us the opportunity to visit this region of Oman and its heritage related mainly to the incense trade (places of production, coastal cities and commercial ports). But it also allowed us to (re)establish some contacts with international experts and to meet Annemarie Willems again!
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2015

« Drafting Guidelines for Heritage Management of Archaeological World Heritage Sites » ICAHM Workshop from 30th November to 3rd December 2015 in Florence (Italy)

The ArchaeoConcept team composed of Cynthia Dunning Thierstein, Ellinor Dunning, Annemarie Willems and Lauriane Vieli, reinforced by Circé Fuchs from the University of Neuchâtel and Sophorn Nhoem from the University of Bern, attended the workshop organized by the ICAHM in Florence. This year, the workshop entitled “Drafting Guidelines for Heritage Management of Archaeological World Heritage Sites” consisted of writing guidelines
for the management of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The topics discussed were: management plan; assessment and inventory; management facilities; management capacity; and stakeholder consideration. These guidelines will be presented to ICOMOS for publication in 2016.
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21st Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Glasgow (Scotland) from 2nd to 5th September 2015

In September, Cynthia Dunning and Annemarie Willems were in Glasgow (Scotland) for the EAA Annual Meeting, where they organized, together with Ben Thomas from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), a round table entitled “Archaeotourism on the Move: Developing Guidelines for Europe” in continuity with the session held the previous year in Istanbul (Turkey). The objective of this round table was to set up a working group, the aim of which is to set up a guide to good practice in archaeology and tourism. The working group was formed and accepted at the EAA General Assembly.
In addition, Cynthia Dunning presented two lectures at this international symposium. The first intervention presented the “Site of the Month” project, its organization and the first results of the sites visited from June to September. The second conference “Sustainable tourism through standards of good practice” demonstrated the importance of standards for sustainable archaeological tourism.

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61st International Assyriological Meeting in Bern (Switzerland) on 25th June 2015

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein participated in the workshop “Strategies of Reconstruction and Recreation: Museums, Heritage Sites and Archaeological Parks in Post-War Countries” organized as part of the 61st International Assyriological Meeting in Berne, on 25 June 2015. In particular, she led the discussions that led to the decisions taken for the reconstruction of Syrian heritage.

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40th International Conference of the Association Française pour l’Etude de l’âge du Fer (AFEAF) from 15th to 17th May 2015 in Nancy (France): Production et proto-industrialisation aux âges du Fer. Perspectives sociales et environnementales

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein attended the AFEAF annual conference and presented the paper “Methodological approach of the spindle whorls from the Final Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Upper Rhine Valley and on the Swiss Plateau” with Fabienne Médard, Michaël Landolt and Anne-Marie Adam.

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Heritage and Values Network Workshop from 19th to 20th February 2015 in Barcelona (Spain): Heritage values and the public

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein participated in this international workshop with a conference entitled “Archaeological tourism and public archaeology: Both sides of the same medal? This series of conferences and workshops provided an opportunity to reflect on heritage values in working with the public.

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2014

29th Annual Meeting of the European association of Archaeologists (EAA) in Istanbul (Turkey) from 10th to 14th September 2014

In September, Cynthia Dunning and Annemarie Willems were in Istanbul for the EAA Annual Meeting, where they organized, with Ben Thomas of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), a session entitled “Archaeology and Tourism”. The objective of this session was to determine how archaeologists and tourism experts can work together and define the opportunities and challenges that arise from this cooperative effort. The possibilities, as well as the best ways to present archaeological research and communicate the importance of archaeological heritage to an interested public, were explored. In this perspective, this session also looked at ways for archaeologists to work with tourism experts to create public awareness and make the development of archaeological sites profitable and sustainable. 19 articles and 7 posters were presented. It would be important to publish these documents and we are actively looking for the best way to do so.

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Presentation on UNESCO World Heritage in Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland): «Une aventure aux résultats inattendus : Les sites palafittiques font le tour du monde »

In September, Cynthia Dunning was invited by the Museum of Yverdon and its region, in Yverdon-les-Bains, to talk about the UNESCO World Heritage (WH) nomination process following the example of the prehistoric pile-dwelling sites around the Alps.

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Presentation of the project « Site of the Month » at the 7th Rencontre de l’ANACT (Association nationale pour l’Archéologie de Collectivité Territoriale in Aix-en-Provence (France): Patrimoine archéologique, Tourisme et Attractivité des Territoires

In June, Cynthia Dunning gave a presentation at the ANACT meeting in Aix-en-Provence. She presented the project “Archaeological sites of the month: A Swiss heritage to be discovered at the whim of the walks and seasons”.

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Conference on smartphone apps in Algers (Algeria)

In April, Cynthia Dunning was invited to Algeria by Salah Amokrane, then Director of the Maritime Museum of Algiers, to give a presentation on the smartphone application that was created for the World Heritage of
UNESCO of prehistoric pile-dwellings around the Alps. In parallel to this conference, she met Mourad Betrouni from the Directorate of Legal Protection of Cultural Heritage and Valorisation of Cultural Heritage, at the Algerian Ministry of Culture. Algeria would really like to start a discussion with the Federal Department of Culture on the protection of cultural property and its illegal export.

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Presentation of the UNESCO World Heritage in Keutschach (Austria): Ein Abenteuer mit (un)sichtbaren resultaten! UNESCO Welterbe Prähistorische Pfahlbauten um die Alpen

In January, Cynthia Dunning was invited to give a presentation on UNESCO World Heritage in Keutschach. She explained how the prehistoric pile-dwellings around the Alps had become UNESCO World Heritage. She also showed how this series of sites serves as an example for World Heritage candidate sites in Japan and Bahrain.

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