Peacebuilding in conflict zones demands people-centric approach

The end of a conflict such as World War I marks only the beginning of a restoration period.

The challenge of how to rebuild society following conflict is a difficult question that arises all too frequently, but recent studies have demonstrated that putting people at the centre of the process and enabling cooperation on politically neutral issues can help build peace. When the entire social fabric has been torn up and everything from … Read more

War can destroy cultural heritage twice – in conflict and in clean-up

Proper documentation of cultural heritage is the key to restoration projects, says Dr Margarete van Ess.

People can inadvertently destroy cultural heritage for a second time when cleaning up conflict sites after a war ends, according to archaeologist Dr Margarete van Ess, who says that databases and education are the best basis for safeguarding sites for the future. She is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute and … Read more

Ancient farming techniques could help mitigate climate change

Geographically defined products such as Parma ham help to assess the social and cultural value of a landscape.

High technology is being deployed to uncover long-forgotten irrigation systems and other features concealed in landscapes that farmers developed hundreds of years ago to nurture their land. By studying landscapes of the past and how they’re used today, scientists can draw on Europe’s cultural heritage to help tackle challenges such as climate change and rural exodus. Professor José … Read more

Shelters with echoes thought to be preferred sites for prehistoric rock art

Scientists believe that rock art sites were chosen for their visual and acoustic properties.

The acoustic qualities of a rock shelter may have been a key factor in its selection as a site for rock art and indicate a spiritual significance to the practice, according to a recent study, while scientists are also looking into whether some caves were chosen as artistic sites because of the view. Professor Margarita … Read more