New Integrated Knowledge based approachs to the protection of cultural heritage from Earthquake-induced Risk

Heritage Conservation and Community

“Adopt a Site” – Community Involvement in the Process of Sustainable Conservation of Archaeological Sites in Local Authorities
Conservation and Community – The Tel Yoqneʽam Study Case
Arch. Eran Hemo

Conservation processes which the community is involved in make it possible for the community to familiarize itself with the values of the “place”, understand their importance, develop a sense of local pride and an attachment to the “place”, and as a result of all these, take responsibility for the “place”. The process begins with recognizing the values of the “place”, both tangible and intangible, and how they are manifested in the field. From that the community learns and teaches the importance of the “place’s” values, the importance of preserving these resources and passing them on to future generations. At this stage the community begins to develop a connection with the “place” and starts to develop a sense of local pride. This sense leads to the community becoming responsible for the values of the “place” and the physical manifestations as expressed in the archaeological remains. The working assumption is that at the end of the process the community will take responsibility for the “place” and the local authority will become committed to preserving the “place”. This process fosters the creation of environmental civic leadership.

Figure 1 – “The Sequence Process” between experience and knowledge and action and leadership skills (Tal 2009)

Parent and child activities on Tel Yoqneʽam.

The objectives of community participation and building the “sequence process”
· Knowing the tangible and intangible values of the place and manifestations in the field: archaeological and historical remains, vegetation, landscape etc.        
· Understanding the importance of preserving the place’s resources and passing them on to future generations.
· Developing an attachment to the place and a sense of local pride.
· Developing a sense of environmental responsibility for the values of the place.
· The community and local authority taking responsibility for the place.

Counselors from the settlement (Helena Hodos) working together instructing pupils in the schools.
A phenomenon of picking wildflowers developed in the early years following the establishment of the state, as evidenced by a public appeal that was published in 1953 which included a chapter entitled “The Protection of Wild Flowers”. Among other things, it said, “We are witness to the unfortunate phenomenon of babies and the elderly going out to the fields, hills and mountains in their free time, pouncing on the wild flowers and picking them in abundance. They gather enormous bundles of fresh flowers most of which will wither before they reach the vase” (Paz 2008). This situation was changed as a result of two people that can be described as “zealots”, Azaria Alon and Uzi Paz, who together pioneered a program in the preschools throughout the country. The program was disseminated by way of the children to their parents. It is Alon’s contention (1988) that within a number of years an army of children arose that was educated not to pick wild flowers. Parents that went out walking with their children were surprised when these little ones began educating them that it is forbidden to pick the flowers. This step combined with a legislative process led to a halt in picking wild flowers.

In recent years the Israel Antiquities Authority and Yoqneʽam municipality have organized a process for the sustainable conservation and development of Tel Yoqneʽam. The process, called “Adopt-a-Site”, has been carried out in conjunction with the community since 2007. During the course of it archaeological remains were conserved, information stations were opened and visitor trails were prepared. All of the fourth graders in the elementary schools participated in the process, in the same vein as the “wild flowers” model whereby the children involved serve as ideological ambassadors. Each pupil left his own “personal seal” there in the form of a ceramic tile incorporated in the signage on the tell. Thus, according to the model’s assumption, the personal connection that is created between the participant and the place will also lead to the protection of the place and its future preservation. In addition, it was expected that the participants in the process who left their “personal seal” would bring their parents to see it on the tell and thereby increase the circle of “site guardians” committed to the site.

Fourth-graders preparing mud bricks for the reconstruction of the biblical period city wall.
As the process was taking place on Tel Yoqneʽam it was accompanied by a research paper I prepared under the academic supervision of Dr. Ravit Linn of the University of Haifa (Hemo 2012). The findings of my study led me to conclude that activities with fourth graders alone result in only some of the parents being exposed to the project. Fourth grade pupils, ten years of age, experience changes in their attitude to their parents which stem from the children’s cognitive progress and expanding interest in their environment over that of their family. This age group does not require the direct intervention of their parents, and many of the children do not share the experience they underwent with them. A survey I conducted among the participants showed that with regards to the process at Tel Yoqneʽam 50% of the children did not bring their parents to the site nor did they share their experience with them.
The study led to the development of a broader approach whereby the local community can be divided according to the age brackets of its members, and in this way test the effectiveness of activities with the different age groups in the community and the extent of their influence on other circles. On the basis of this concept, broader segments of the community were incorporated in the activity on Tel Yoqneʽam: counselors of the scout troop located at the foot of the tell were provided the means to engage the scouts on the mound; junior high school pupils were gradually involved in the activities on the tell; counselors from the town were recruited to run the program in the schools; municipal employees received training about the process taking place on the tell and through them additional contacts were created with other departments in the municipality such as the welfare department, library etc. This combination led to contact with a group of senior citizens active in the community who will run the visitor center located at the base of the tell.

Activities and their circles of influence
Figure 2. Activities and their circles of influence in the community (Hemo 2012)

Programs for integrating a community in a conservation and protection process of a cultural heritage lead to creating a community core that supports the conservation actions and thus creates broad public support for it (McManamon & Hatton 2000). Programs of this kind require much time, changes in patterns of thinking and in establishing the cognitive changes expected from the community and the local authority to the local heritage as part of its conduct in the present and future. Expanding community involvement from the circle of schools to other involved circles in the community will expedite the process, establish and strengthen the connection between the community and the place, and make the place a part of the community’s.
Alon, Azaria 1988. Protecting the Wildflowers. Teva ve’Aretz. Vol. 30 (Hebrew).
Hemo, Eran 2012
Sustainable Conservation Process of Archeological Sites within Local Authorities & Local Communities:  a Case Study - Tel Yoqneʽam. M.A. thesis submitted to the University of Haifa (Hebrew).
McManamon F. P. and Hatton A. 2000
Considering Cultural Resource Management in Modern Society.In: F.P. McManmon and A. Hatton (eds.) Cultural Resource Management in Contemporary Society.
Paz, Uzi 2008
Li-Avida uLi-Shamra, Shimrat Teva Bi-Yisrael. Jerusalem (Hebrew).
Tal, Tali 2009
Environmental Education and Sustainability Education. Jerusalem (Hebrew).

MARCH 2013

site built by tetitu