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Between Heritage and Destruction

The Case of Murujuga Petroglyphs

Thursday, December 03, 2020 |
12:30PM - 1:30PM ET

This is a virtual event.
Jasmine Wahi


Virtual Event - Penn Museum


Located in the Dampier Archipelago of Western Australia, Murujuga is the single largest archaeological site in the world. It contains an estimated one million petroglyphs, or rock art motifs, produced by the Indigenous Australians who have historically inhabited the archipelago. To date, there has been no comprehensive survey of the site’s petroglyphs or those who created them. Since the 1960s, regional mining interests have caused significant damage to this site, destroying an estimated 5 to 25 percent of the petroglyphs in Murujuga. Today, Murujuga holds the unenviable status of being one of the most endangered archaeological sites in the world and has been nominated to be included in the World-Heritage List by UNESCO. In this Penn Cultural Heritage Center talk, Dr. José Antonio González Zarandona will speak in detail about the history of Murujuga, drawing from his forthcoming book Murujuga: Rock Art, Heritage, and Landscape Iconoclasm, published by Penn Press.

Dr. José Antonio González Zarandona is currently a Fellow in the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University. He is based in Melbourne at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, and for the last ten years he has been researching iconoclasm and heritage destruction in Australia, the Middle East, Mexico, and Myanmar. Murujuga: Rock Art, Heritage, and Landscape Iconoclasm is his second book; he is also the author of several articles on the destruction of cultural heritage by the Islamic State. Additionally, in 2018 and 2019 he was a Visiting Fellow at Forensic Architecture.

Free to Registered Guests