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Welcome to African Archaeology!

The Journal of African Archaeology is an international peer-reviewed periodical appearing half-yearly since 2003. It publishes original papers addressing recent research and developments in African archaeology and related disciplines. The journal's main purpose is to provide scholars and students with a new pan-African forum for discussing relevant topics on the cultural dynamics of past African societies.

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Journal contents:


Vol. 11 (1) 2013

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S. Biagetti, E. Cancellieri, M. Cremaschi, C. Gauthier, Y. Gauthier, A. Zerboni & M. Gallinaro

The ‘Messak Project’: Archaeological Research for Cultural Heritage Management in SW Libya

Journal of African Archaeology, Volume 11 (1), 2013, pages 55-74, DOI 10.3213/2191-5784-10231

Abstract

The Messak plateau contains remarkable evidence of human occupation during prehistoric and historic times, such as rock art engravings, megalithic monuments, and scatters of stone tools. Since 1980 these remains have been heavily affected by oil extraction-related operations, and it has only been over the last decade that these operations were adequately supported by archaeological mitigation strategies. The 'Messak Project' was originally conceived as a three-year programme (2010–2012) focusing on a range of co-ordinated actions to increase the knowledge of the area, to assess any damage and potential risks, and to preserve and manage the cultural heritage. Uprisings in Libya led to the sudden interruption of the project in late February 2011. Nevertheless, major results of the projects include: the compilation of a database of circa 10,000 sites, including hundreds of unpublished sites from previous surveys; the discovery of circa 2500 new archaeological sites; and the drawing of a set of GIS-based maps. In this paper we firstly introduce the materials and methods of the 'Messak Project', and secondly, we present an updated overview of the archaeological landscape of the Messak in the light of the project's recent achievements.

Résumé
Les plateaux du Messak recèlent des traces anthropiques remarquables remontant aux différentes périodes préhistoriques et historiques : art rupestre, monuments en pierre sèche et concentrations d'outils lithiques. Depuis 1980 les travaux des compagnies pétrolières y ont provoqué d'importants dommages, et c'est seulement ces dix dernières années que des programmes archéologiques d'urgence et de sauvetage ont été lancés. 'The Messak Project' avait été conçu à l'origine pour une durée de trois ans (2010–2012) et comprenait toute une gamme d'interventions destinées à améliorer les connaissances sur la région, évaluer les dommages et risques potentiels et, finalement, préserver et gérer le patrimoine culturel. L'insurrection libyenne de février 2011 a entraîné la fin brutale du projet. Néanmoins, les principaux résultats incluent : la compilation des données de près de 10 000 sites dont des centaines, enregistrés lors de travaux précédents, sont inédits; la découverte d'environ 2500 nouveaux sites archéologiques; l'établissement d'une série de cartes basées sur une analyse par SIG. Dans cet article, nous présenterons d'abord le matériel et les méthodes utilisées lors du 'The Messak Project' et, dans un  deuxième temps, nous exposerons une vue d'ensemble du paysage archéologique du Messak à la lumière des plus récentes avancées.




Keywords: Cultural Heritage Management, Holocene, Libya, Messak, Pleistocene


© Copyright: Africa Magna Verlag 2011
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Editors:
Sonja Magnavita, Peter Breunig, Sam Nixon

Book Reviews Editor:
Jonathan R. Walz, USA

Editorial Advisory Board:
Graham Connah, Australia
Shadreck Chirikure, South Africa
A. Catherine D'Andrea, Canada
Manfred K.H. Eggert, Germany
Elena Garcea, Italy
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, USA
Timothy Insoll, UK
Tom Huffman, South Africa
Eric Huysecom, Switzerland
David Killick, USA
Savino di Lernia, Italy
Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Belgium
Scott MacEachern, USA
David Mattingly, UK
Susan Keech McIntosh, USA
David W. Phillipson, UK
Gilbert Pwiti, Zimbabwe
Peter Robertshaw, USA
Robert Vernet, France
Lyn Wadley, South Africa

Copy Editors:
Nikolas Gestrich, UK
Gaby Franke, Germany
Annabelle Gallin, France
Richard Byer, Germany

Editorial Assistance:
Anna Rybar, Germany
Carlos Magnavita, Germany


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