#Chair

Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage

Durham University – Professor Robin Coningham

Home       >       Expert Network       >       Chairs

Cultural heritage is a key driver for helping to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals but is increasingly at risk from natural and human disasters.

With these sites so vulnerable, Durham’s Chair addresses the social, ethical and economic impacts facing heritage managers. The team co-design solutions and training programmes to encourage protection and inclusive promotion, particularly at living heritage sites.

#ChairThemes

🧧 Culture
🏛️ Heritage
🏺 Archeology

#RelatedChair

UNESCO Chair in Maritime and Coastal Archaeology

UNIVERSITE D’AIX-MARSEILLE

#SDG

QUOTE

“Our new co-produced approaches seek to bring together local communities, schools, site managers and cutting-edge academic research, to break down these barriers. Our collective goal now is to enhance heritage protection alongside increased community social and economic benefits within a framework of stakeholder engagement and shared responsibility of custodianship.”

Professor Robin Conningham

UNESCO Chairs are based within Institutes for Higher Education and specialise in specific research fields. They provide policy advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO and HM government, as well as reviewing UNESCO applications.

ABOUT THE CHAIR

The UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage is hosted by the Department of Archaeology at Durham University and held by Professor Robin Coningham. It builds on thirty years of collaborative archaeological fieldwork and co-designed heritage interventions across South Asia, as well as joint custodianship of Durham’s own UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During this time, it has become clear that heritage offers a sense of identity, maintains social diversity, cohesion, and intercultural dialogue, and forms our basic right to participate in cultural life. Unfortunately, they are increasingly threatened by accelerated development, mega-infrastructure, mass tourism, encroachment, neglect, climate change, natural disasters and targeted destruction. Following Nepal’s devastating earthquakes in 2015, UNESCO mobilised Durham’s Chair to assist with the assessment of damaged monuments across the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site to help meet SDG8 and SDG17.

We need bold solutions to stem the depletion of this fundamental, yet finite, resource. By working to protect these sites, the chair plays a critical role in education, conflict mitigation and sustainable development. While many national and international studies and interventions focus on physical protection, few succeed in binding societal contexts with interdisciplinary rigour in a holistic manner.

ABOUT THE CHAIR’S RESEARCH

Robin and his team have co-designed programmes in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Jordan and Egypt. This  has provided heritage and research training to over 1,000 people, helped to strengthen cross-regional partnerships between academics, local communities and heritage practitioners as well as influencing heritage policy and practice to enhance the protection of vulnerable sites.

As part of one of UNESCO’s heritage interventions, for the last ten years Robin has worked with Nepali and international colleagues at Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha.  Here, his research has ranged from discovering Asia’s earliest Buddhist Shrine at Lumbini to the mapping, protecting and presenting of over 15 associated sites.

Robin uses his expertise to work with interdisciplinary teams including architects, engineers, historians, conservators, heritage managers, first responders and local communities. These collaborations have forged new methodologies to record and safeguard heritage sites, recycle historic building materials and evaluate the seismic safety of historic urban infrastructure.

Professor Robin Coningham

Professor in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, and Member of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Robin has carried out extensive fieldwork in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Professor Coningham is committed to the preservation of cultural heritage and has joined over 30 international missions for UNESCO. Alongside his interests in archaeology, community engagement and cultural heritage protection on a broader scale, Robin’s research has also explored the impact that international trade in illicit antiquities has on our heritage preservation.

#Institution

University of Durham
Professor in the Department of Archaeology

SINCE 2005

#Alma-Matter

King’s College, Cambridge
PhD.

#Role at UNESCO

Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage

SINCE 2014

#Research&Events

LATEST EVENTS AND RESEARCH PROJECTS

Read about some of the many projects that Professor Coningham has been a part of during his career.

Publications

SELECTED PUBLISHED WORK

In role as chair, Robin has disseminated his co-produced research and methods to the academic community and wider public through books, articles, exhibitions and public events.

LATEST

INTERNATIONAL DAY International Migrants Day 18.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 18 We celebrate the International Migrants Day on December 18. READ MORE BELOW MIGRANTS DAY Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nicola Fioravanti, UNESCO Migration is a global phenomenon driven by many forces. These start with aspirations for…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Persons with Disabilities 03.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 3 We celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. READ MORE BELOW DAY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nathan Anderson, Arisa Chattasa. The annual observance of the…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 29.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 29 We celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. READ MORE BELOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Photo credit, from top to bottom: Ahmed Abu Hameeda, Cole-Keister.…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 25 We celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. READ MORE BELOW END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Photo credit, from top to bottom: United Nations, Karl…
Read More

QUOTE

“The mobility and exchange facilitated by Durham-led field projects, fellowships and workshops has strengthened international partnerships across my region and have helped to develop stronger relationships between academics, heritage practitioners and local communities to co-create practical and effective pathways with a very real positive social and economic impacts.”

Dr Abdul Azeem, Director-General of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Federal Government of Pakistan.

RELATED CHAIRS

#CulturalHeritage #Archaeology

ALL UK CHAIRS

Meet the rest of the UK Chairs.

JOIN THE NETWORK

Are you interested in becoming a UNESCO UK Expert or Chair? Find out more below

   Join our #ExpertNetwork        

RELATED ACCREDITED EXPERTS

Meet the UK National Commission for UNESCO Accredited Experts

#CulturalHeritage #Restoration

FULL LIST

A global network of universities that carry out research to address pressing challenges and contribute.

*by alphabetical order

Our advisors are experts in their field who provide advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO by reviewing applications for UNESCO designations, prizes and patronage, and contribute to other aspects of our work.

đź”®   Explore our #Advisor network     

All our accredited experts are selected to advise the UK National Commission for UNESCO on policy matters related to UNESCO. They are approved by HM government to represent the UK in UNESCO committees, commissions and programmes.

🎓   Meet our #AccreditedExpert     
Professor Alan Jenkins     

#IHP #Science

Professor Ivor Gaber     

#IPDC #Communication

Professor Harry Dixon     

#IHP #Science

Professor Edward Hill     

#IOC #Science

Alan Evans     

#IOC #Science

Professor Sheila McLean     

#Bioethics #Social&HumanScience

Professor Matthew Cragoe     

#Biosphere #RuralBritain

Professor Samar Hasnain     

#SESAME #Science

David Wilson     

#CreativeCities #FilmLiteracy

Sandeep Mahal     

#CreativeCities #Libraries

Melanie Border     

#Geoparks #Sustainability

Liaising with the UK’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and approved by HM government, our Non-Executive Directors help steer the direction of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and are each responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK.

🧭   Meet our #NonExecutiveDirectors     
Professor Colin McInnes     

#Chair #HumanSciences

Helen Maclagan OBE     

#Vice-Chair #Culture

Karen Merkel     

#Communication&Information

Professor David Drewry     

#NaturalSciences

Professor Anne Anderson OBE     

#HigherEducation

Joseph Nhan-O'Reilly     

#Education

EXPLORE FURTHER

Our 🎓 Accredited Experts are one of four pillars that form the structure for our 🕸️ Expert Network. Meet our 🪑 Chairs, our 🔮 Advisors, and our 🧭 Non-Executive Directors

click on the links above

PREVIOUS

Chair in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath

#Chair Prof. Kenneth Matengu

   Explore the #ChairProfile        

NEXT

Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development at the University of the Highlands and Islands

#Chair Prof. Martin Price

   Explore the #ChairProfile