September 24 2022: Mes Aynak and the Continued Threat to Archaeology and Archaeologists
Erik DeMarche, MA, International Archaeology Consultant & President of the Denver Society of the Archaeological Institute of America
Free to the public
The archaeology site of Mes Aynak consists of a one-thousand-year-old Buddhist copper mining city likely on top of a bronze age and older settlements and the second largest copper deposit in the world in the heart of a pro-Taliban province. After a Chinese state-owned mining company acquired the mineral rights to the copper, an international rescue excavation began. These efforts were hindered by mix of government corruption and the Taliban harassment. One year after the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Mes Aynak remains in danger as do many of the Afghan archaeologists who worked there.
This lecture will cover a brief history of Mes Aynak, a history of the archaeology work done here, and the contemporary and ongoing surrounding controversies.
Erik DeMarche is an international archaeology consultant specializing in archaeology in areas of conflict and is the current president of the Denver Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.