Dr Emma Cunliffe
Research Associate: Cultural Property Protection
- Email: email@example.com
- Personal Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-cunliffe-b6a05960/
- Address: School of Arts and Cultures
I am a Research Associate working to support the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace. The majority of my work focusses on the Blue Shield Association, developing ways to support the armed forces to protect sites in the event of armed conflict and natural disasters, although I also work to examine site damage and in peacetime. We are developing ways to safeguard heritage during peace, and to promote respect for it during and after conflict, developing the implementation of national and international law
My PhD is from Durham University, using satellite imagery to analyse site damage in Syria in peacetime, looking at how the threats to archaeological sites have changed since the 1960s, but this expanded to include the devastation of the current conflict, and then broadened into global studies of heritage in conflict. I have extensive experience in remote sensing and analysis of geo-spatial data, specialising in the Middle East, and have published widely on this academically and in a number of public magazines and journals.
I have worked as a consultant for UNOSAT, analysing satellite imagery of damage to Syria’s cultural heritage sites during the ongoing conflict. I am part of the AHRC-funded Heritage in War Project, with the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace, which works with others in fields of military ethics, law, politics, and security studies to share expertise and enhance our research.
I am the Secretariat for Blue Shield International, the Secretary of UK Blue Shield, and a member of the British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology (BANEA) and of the World Archaeological Congress, and I am an Associate member of the Higher Education Academy.
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My research focuses on the destruction of cultural heritage, specialising in the Middle East – its uses and abuses in conflict, and its loss during peace – with the goal of enabling better site protection policies by governments and armed forces. I hope to examine trends in how sites are damaged during conflict, and understand and evaluate the steps people take to protect them. Building on foundations examining why heritage matters to people, I examine the roles of major actors, particularly the military, who are fundamental to the protection – and destruction– of heritage.
We are working with key organisations to develop strategies for site recording and protection in peace and conflict, and in the implementation of heritage protection laws, in the UK and internationally. This builds on my AHRC-funded PhD from Durham University, which used satellite imagery to examine archaeological destruction during peacetime (1960s – 2010), analysing modern cultural threats to sites and features, and quantifying the causes, types and extent of the damage for the first time. The results were synthesised into key policy recommendations.
I also document and research site damage and site protection in the conflict in Syria, assisting the international community, and promoting legal and policy changes that will protect cultural heritage during conflict. In previous work, I co-created prioritised geo-spatial lists of heritage sites at risk, requiring a deep understanding of that heritage, as well as knowledge of the role of governments, NGOs and military forces in conflict situations. Building on this, my current work looks at building geo-spatial databases for the armed forces to use in conflict and emergency response; the ways sites are damaged and the motivations underlying this; and the applications of national and international law in heritage protection in the event of armed conflict.
- Cunliffe E. Heritage Destruction: lessons from the Middle East and North Africa region for post-conflict countries. In: 4th International Conference on Heritage Conservation and Site Management- Catastrophe and Challenge: Cultural Heritage in Post-Conflict Recovery. 2017, Cottbus, Germany: Brandenburg Cottbus University.
- Lostal M, Cunliffe E. Cultural Heritage that Heals: Factoring in Cultural Heritage Discourses in the Syrian Peacebuilding Process. Journal of the Historic Environment: Policy And Practice 2016, 7(2-3), 248-259.
- Al-Azm A, Anderson JCK, Benbow A, Brodie N, Burmon K, Burnham B, Cuneo A, Cunliffe E, Danti M, Elia R, Elliott M, D-IppolitoFabiani M, Fanusie YJ, Felch J, CanovasForjette A, Gerstenblith P, Grantham D, Herdrich P, Hoffman BT, Howard RD, Livoti T, Loll C, MadiganJost E, Mansbach S, Nagorski T, Nance MW, Moore K, Panytar N, Ratner A, Reed V, Rose CB, Rothfield L, Seelye K, Wegener C. Culture Under Threat: Recommendations for the U.S Government. Washington, DC, USA: The Antiquities Coalition, 2016.
- Bewley R, Wilson A, Kennedy D, Mattingly D, Banks R, Bishop M, Bradbury J, Cunliffe E, Fradley M, Jennings R, Mason R, Rayne L, Sterry M, Sheldrick N, Zerbini A. Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa: Introducing the EAMENA Project. In: CAA2015. Keep the Revolution Going: Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. 2016, Siena, Italy: Archaeopress Archaeology.
- Cunliffe E. Sixty Years of Site Damage in the Carchemish Region. In: Wilkinson,T.J.;Peltenburg,E;Wilkinson,E.B, ed. Carchemish in Context. The Land of Carchemish Project, 2006–2010. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books, 2016, pp.203-214.
- Cunliffe E, Muhesin N, Lostal M. The Destruction of Cultural Property in the Syrian Conflict: Legal Implications and Obligation. International Journal of Cultural Property 2016, 23(1), 1-31.
- Cunliffe E. Archaeological Site Damage in the Cycle of War and Peace: A Syrian Case Study. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2014, 2(3), 229-247.
- Cunliffe E. Remote Assessments of Site Damage: A New Ontology. International Journal Heritage in the Digital Era 2014, 3(3), 435-474.
- Cunliffe E, Pederson W, Fiol M, Jellison T, Saslow C, Bjørgo E, Boccardi G. Satellite-Based Damage Assessment to Cultural Heritage Sites in Syria. Geneva, Switzerland: UNOSAT-UNITAR, 2014.
- Cunliffe E. The Archaeological Landscape of the Tell Beydar Region: Satellite Imagery and its Implications for Settlement Patterning. In: Milano L; Lebeau M, ed. Subartu XXXIII: Tell Beydar Environmental and Technical Studies. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014, pp.89-108.
- Perini S, Cunliffe E. Towards a protection of the Syrian cultural heritage: A summary of the international responses. Volume II (March 2014 – September 2014). Girona: Heritage for Peace, 2014. Towards a protection of the Syrian cultural heritage 2.
- Cunliffe E. No Longer Lost in the Wilderness: Cultural Property Crimes in Conflict, A Response to Joris Kila. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2013, 1(4), 343-347.
- Cunliffe E, de Gruchy M, Stammitti E. Dam(ned) archaeology. International Water Power and Dam Construction 2012, 64(10), 62-65.
- Cunliffe E. Damage to the Soul: Syria’s Cultural Heritage in Conflict. San Francisco: Global Heritage Fund, 2012.
- Cunliffe E, De-Gruchy MW, Stammitti E. How to Build a Dam and Save Cultural Heritage. International Journal of Heritage in the Digital Era 2012, 1(1), 221-226.
- Cunliffe E. Syria: Destroying the Past for the Future. Antiquity 2012, (333), Online.
- Wilkinson TJ, Cunliffe E. The Archaeological Landscape of the Tell Beydar Region: An Update Using Satellite Imagery. In: BoiyT; Bretschneider J; Goddeeris A; Hameeuw H;Jans G; Tavernier J, ed. The Ancient Near East, A Life! Festschrift Karel Van Lerberghe. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters En Departement Oosterse Studies, 2012, pp.665-679.
- Cunliffe E, Curini I. ISIS and heritage destruction: A sentiment analysis. Antiquity 2018. In Press.