The World Archaeological Congress (WAC), a worldwide organization of practicing archaeologists, will hold its fifth international congress June 21-26, 2003, in Washington, D.C.

For this congress—the first in North America—the GCI is working with a consortium of conservation and cultural heritage institutions to develop conservation-related programming, with the aim of strengthening the relationship between the professions of archaeology and conservation. The theme of the programming is "Of the Past, for the Future: Integrating Archaeology and Conservation." Participating with the GCI in this initiative are the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC); English Heritage; the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM); the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London; the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and two of its national bodies, US/ICOMOS and Australia ICOMOS; the National Monuments of Chile; the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China; the World Monuments Fund; and the World Tourism Organization.

Conservation-related topics will be addressed in a series of plenary presentations and panel discussions throughout the congress. The emphasis will be on global issues crucial to the survival of archaeological heritage in today's world. Among these are policy-based and social issues that counterbalance the traditional scientific and technical domains of expertise in archaeological conservation. Foremost among these are methodological site management planning and implementation, including management of archaeological World Heritage sites, as well as increased participation by indigenous peoples, communities, and stakeholders in decision making, in interventions on sites, and in determining the disposition of excavated objects. Other issues to be addressed include development and tourism, which present an ever-greater threat to the world's archaeological record in many countries. There will also be a panel on the impact of development on the archaeological heritage and conservation in China.

Held every four years, the WAC congress offers discussion of new archaeological research, as well as of archaeological policy, practice, and politics. For further information on the Fifth World Archaeological Congress, including registration details and descriptions of the conservation sessions, please visit the congress Web site or contact:

WAC-5 Organizing Committee
Department of Anthropology
American University
Washington, D.C. 20016 USA
Fax: 202 885 1381