Opening of the Institute, 7 October 2010


A new research institute launched last week within Columbian College to “preserve, facilitate, and promote cultural heritage” around the world. Headed by Eric Cline, chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the GW Capitol Archaeological Institute draws on the expertise of GW archaeologists and scholars specializing in ancient Israel and Egypt, Jordan, China, Africa, Mesoamerica, Greece, and Italy. “The institute is poised to take advantage of the deep expertise in our own backyard, especially resources available through foreign embassies, government and international agencies, cultural institutions, and museums,” said Cline. “The confluence of resources here in Washington, D.C., is unparalleled. This is our opportunity to advance archaeological research initiatives and facilitate a global community of academics, politicians, diplomats, and business leaders.” The institute, made possible through a gift by Deborah Lehr, MA '89 and John F.W. Rogers, BA '78, will feature a speaker series by archaeologists of international renown and tours to excavations that link ancient history to current issues. Programs will examine the role of cultural heritage in sustainable development and the practice of “green” archaeology with the use of new technology at digs. Research topics will range from the impact of urbanism and globalization on archaeology to the study of the slave trade. “We are excited about the prospects and the partnerships that will be created as a result of this institute,” said Cline. “In the field of archaeology, this will place us at the forefront of dialogue and research.”