I’m a conflict archaeologist. I study archaeology in conflict (the use and treatment of historic sites) and the archaeology of conflict (the physical evidence of political violence).
My PhD focused on the politics and ethics of cultural heritage work in conflict zones: archaeological work in occupied areas and secessionist territories; destruction, protection and propaganda; and plunder.
Since then, I’ve focused on the looting and smuggling of cultural property from conflict zones (conflict antiquities).
Partly due to the political and economic pressure on archaeologists in the Eastern Mediterranean, partly due to the impact of austerity in the UK, I’m also investigating precarious labour in the cultural heritage industry (unfree archaeology).
I don’t know what I expect to achieve by doing this or how; I’d just like to try to do something that actively engaged affected communities, rather than people who consider this stuff to be of literally and metaphorically academic interest.