AccueilDes déserts et des hommes

Des déserts et des hommes

Man and the desert

Première conférence multidisciplinaire sur l’histoire naturelle et culturelle du Wadi Ramm

Multidisciplinary conference in Wadi Rum (Jordan)

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Publié le vendredi 28 octobre 2011 par Claire Ducournau

Résumé

The area of Wadi Rum in Southern Jordan was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a mixed natural and cultural site in June 2011. Scholars involved in the the preparation of the nomination file came to realise that scientific knowledge about the broader Wadi Rum area is scarce and does not do justice to the importance of the site, be it its natural or cultural dimensions. It also became apparent that there is a need to systematise research and documentation efforts, and provide technical advices to the relevant authorities for the monitoring and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the site. Man and the Desert: the First Multidisciplinary Conference on the Natural and Cultural History of Wadi Rum is expected to be the first of a series of conferences on the interactions between human communities and arid environments to take place every two years in Wadi Rum.

Annonce

Des déserts et des hommes

Première conférence multidisciplinaire sur l’histoire naturelle et culturelle du Wadi Ramm

Man and the desert

The first multidisciplinary conference on the natural and cultural history of Wadi Rum

November 11-13, 2011, Wadi Rum, Jordanie

يشرّف
سلطة العقبة الاقتصادية الخاصة، جامعة نانسي الثانية، جامعة ليون الثانية، المعهد الفرنسي للشرق الادنى، المعهد الفرنسي في الأردن وقسم التعاون والنشاط الثقافي للسفارة الفرنسية في الأردن
دعوتكم لحضور ندوة:
الانسان والصحراء
الندوة الأولى المتعددة الاختصاصات عن التاريخ الطبيعي والثقافي في وادي رم
 

Comité scientifique

  • Dr. Saba Farès, Maître de conférence, Université Nancy 2, Département des sciences humaines et sociales, saba.fares@univ-nancy2.fr
  • Dr. Géraldine Chatelard, anthropologue et historienne, Amman, Jordanie, gchatelard@yahoo.com
  • Dr. Sawsan Fakhri, Responsable du bureau de la région d'Aqaba, Département jordanien des antiquités, susfaisal@yahoo.com
  • Dr. Fares Khoury, Professeur associé, Faculty of Science, American University of Madaba, Jordanie avijordan2000@yahoo.com
  • Prof. Bernard Smith, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland - b.smith@qub.ac.uk

Institutions partenaires

  • Université Nancy 2 (HISCANT-MA)
  • Université de Lyon 2 (GREMMO-CNRS)
  • Institut français du Proche-Orient
  • Le Service de coopération et d'action culturelle de l'ambassade de France en Jordanie
  • L'Institut français de Jordanie
  • L'Autorité de la zone économique spéciale d'Aqaba (ASEZA)

Conference presentation

The area of Wadi Rum in Southern Jordan was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a mixed natural and cultural site in June 2011. Scholars involved in the the preparation of the nomination file came to realise that scientific knowledge about the broader Wadi Rum area is scarce and does not do justice to the importance of the site, be it its natural or cultural dimensions. It also became apparent that there is a need to systematise research and documentation efforts, and provide technical advices to the relevant authorities for the monitoring and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the site.

Man and the Desert: the First Multidisciplinary Conference on the Natural and Cultural History of Wadi Rum is expected to be the first of a series of conferences on the interactions between human communities and arid environments to take place every two years in Wadi Rum.

Natural history

Wadi Rum is one of the world’s iconic sandstone landscapes that integrates the detail of distinctive patterns of localized rock weathering with large scale landscape evolution controlled both by the intrinsic properties of the rocks and a complex tectonic and structural history. This mix of influences has created in effect a ‘natural laboratory’ in which some of the key issues of desert geomorphology can be explored. Included in these is the question, central to general models of landscape evolution, of how vertical elements (cliffs) are maintained in the landscape through basal erosion and the effective removal of slope-foot debris. The role of groundwater seepage in this process also opens the door to an exploration of how past climatic conditions influenced seepage, associated weathering and landscape change through the formation of caves and caverns that locally undermine cliffs. Such areas of natural seepage have always been important for human habitation, and an understanding of the geomorphological processes that operate in the area continues to have relevance for archaeological studies through, in particular, the impact of weathering and retention of rock art. In a wider context , this understanding of process is vital for future landscape conservation, both in terms of identifying areas of special scientific interest and areas of greatest sensitivity to change that require enhanced and often very specific protection. Invariably this encompasses not only the physical landscape but also the habitats that derive from it. Through this an understanding of the geomorphology of Wadi Rum is essential for the successful application of an ecosystem-based approach to environmental conservation, which is itself essential for the long-term sustainability of the area. In support of this ‘holistic approach’ to understanding the environment and its conservation, the proposed conference will attempt to integrate across a wide variety of fields including: Geology, Geomorphology, past and present Climatology, Botany, Plant Ecology, Animal Ecology and the conservation and management of natural heritage.

Cultural history

The outstanding landforms of Wadi Rum have played an essential role in fostering human settlement in the area and enhancing the development of sophisticated intellectual activity. Spanning at least 12,000 years, one of the world's richest collections of rock art and epigraphy is housed at the site. This wealth of documentation enables an understanding of the relation between settled and mobile lifestyles over an extremely long period of time. Factors underpinning this relationship have been a combination of environmental constraints and of successive social, economic and political forces both external and domestic. In the early Prehistory human settlement was fostered by a wetter climate and more abundant sources of water. Particularly relevant to contemporary concerns about climate change, the existing record of resource use in Wadi Rum illustrates the adaptability of human communities who have made the most of scarce resources to sustain continuous presence after the climate became dryer in the Bronze Age. Rock art documents the presence and disappearance of specific animal species, either wild or domesticated, in response to climate change. Archaeological remains testify to cycles of agricultural activities (cultivation of olives and other crops, domestication and breeding of various types of livestock) based on sophisticated systems of rainwater harvesting (dams, channels, reservoirs, and sunken cisterns). Recent epigraphical and archaeological studies allow to revisit historical knowledge about the role of Wadi Rum as a religious and commercial centre in pre-Islamic North Arabia, and to identify the site with Iram, mentioned in the Qur'an. These studies are also important for a history of writing in the Arabian Peninsula. Knowledge about Wadi Rum would benefit from the insight of other archaeological studies conducted in the Hisma basin and Maan region. This would allow to understand the site in its broader regional environment, and to fill a knowledge gap spanning the classical Islamic periods and the Ottoman era. Presently, the Wadi Rum area is mainly used for tourism and, to a lesser extend, pastoralism, both activities that remain complementary for the local Bedouin populations. Large agricultural projects have also been developed around Diseh. Change in the use of the site, and particularly increased numbers of visitors, present economic opportunities but also social, cultural and environmental challenges that need to be addressed through adequate management and monitoring measures, particularly in the Wadi Rum Protected Area and its buffer zone. Scholars having conducted research in Wadi Rum and relevant other sites in the South-East of Jordan will be invited to present their findings in the following disciplinary areas: Archaeology, Epigraphy, Anthropology, History, Human Geography, conservation and management of tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Programme

Friday 11 Novembre

09:00 – 09:30 Registration of participants

09:30 –11:00 Introductory speeches

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-13:00 Session 1 – The geology and geomorphology of Wadi Rum

  • Geology, environmental setting, and natural impacts on Petra and Wadi Rum, southern desert of Jordan, Hani Alnawafleh and Sa'ad Twaissi (Al Hussein Bin Talal University), and Thomas R. Paradise (University of Arkansas)
  • Fluvial and eolian forms in the region of Wadi Rum, Yann Callot, Nicolas Jacob, and Olivier Barge (University of Lyon 2 – French National Centre for Scientific Research)

13:00-14:30 Lunch break

14:30-15:30 Session 2 - Rock conservation: lessons learned from Petra

  • Rapid base-line condition assessment of rock-cut tombs at Petra: a case study in prioritizing intervention and effective targeting of funding, Patricia Warke and Bernard Smith (Queens University), Fadi Bala'awi and Fawaz Ishakat (Hashemite University)
  • Architectural sandstone weathering and tourism: lessons learned from Petra, Thomas R. Paradise (University of Arkansas)

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:00 Session 3 - Animal ecology

  • Ecology and birds in Wadi Rum, Fares Khoury (American University of Madaba)
  • Biodiversity of mammal and reptiles in Wadi Rum, Zuhair S. Amr (Jordan University of Science and Technology)

Saturday 12 Novembre

9:00-11:00 Session 1 - Prehistoric human settlements

  • An assemblage of pottery sherds from test excavations and surveys at Wadi Ramm: a preliminary report, Zeidan Kafafi (Yarmouk University)
  • Research at the 9,500 years old early neolithic sites Ayn Abu Nukhayla, Donald O. Henry (University of Tulsa)
  • Subsistence strategies in Wadi Rum: an archaeobotanical study of the site of Hudayb al-Rih, Linda Herveux (French National Centre for Scientific Research)
  • Architectural, functional, and temporal variability at Tarayf al-Maragh, Wadi Ramm
    Gary O. Rollefson (Whitman College)

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-13:30 Session 2 - Civilization in the desert

  • Pre-Islamic Wadi Rum: deities and sanctuaries, Saba Fares (Nancy 2 University – French National Centre for Scientific Research)
  • Desert deities and the men who worshipped them: the religious beliefs of the pre-Islamic bedouin of Jordan, Cassandra Bennett (American Center of Oriental Research)
  • Immersed in grandeur: the eastern complex at Wadi Rum, Barbara Reeves (Queen's University), and Dennine Dudley (University of Victoria)
  • Water projects in the region of Wadi Rum: from ancient heritage to the current resource
    Nicolas Jacob, Olivie Barge, Yann Callot (University of Lyon – French National Centre for Scientific Research)

13:30-14:30 Lunch break

14:30-15:30 Session 3 - On the edge of Islamic history

  • Wadi Rum in the works of Arab geographers, Abdel Aziz Al Mani' (King Saud University)
  • Islamic inscriptions from Wadi Rum, Khaled Jbour (University of Jordan)

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:00 Session 4 - Society, economy and development in contemporary Wadi Rum

  • Society and economy in the Wadi Rum area from the early 20th century to the present, Géraldine Chatelard (independent scholar)
  • Developing the Wadi Rum Protected Area: environmental protection, tourism and bedouin communities, Laura Strachan (McMaster University)

Sunday 13 Novembre

9:00-11:00 Round-table discussion:
Monitoring and conserving the natural and cultural heritage of Wadi Rum: bridging between research and policy

11:30-17:00 Field visit (with lunch)

Website  of the Conference : http://deserts2011.sciencesconf.org/

Contact : deserts2011@sciencesconf.org

Lieux

  • Wadi Rum (Jordanie)

Dates

  • dimanche 13 novembre 2011
  • vendredi 11 novembre 2011
  • samedi 12 novembre 2011

Mots-clés

  • Jordanie, Wadi Rum, désert, histoire naturelle, histoire culturelle,

Contacts

  • Géraldine Chatelard
    courriel : deserts2011 [at] sciencesconf [dot] org
  • Saba Farès
    courriel : mcwr [dot] jordan [at] gmail [dot] com

Source de l'information

  • Thierry Buquet
    courriel : t [dot] buquet [at] ifporient [dot] org

Pour citer cette annonce

« Des déserts et des hommes », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le vendredi 28 octobre 2011, http://calenda.org/205901