Building Futures, Saving Pasts-How Thriving Communities can Preserve their Heritage - Larry Coben (Founder of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative and archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum)

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 5:30pm - 6:30pm
IBES 130 (Carmichael Auditorium)

Archaeological sites are disappearing at a rapidly accelerating rate.  While destruction by ISIS gets all the press, the primary causes of cultural heritage loss are economic: commercial and residential development and encroachment, mining, energy, agriculture and looting to name a few.  If the source of the problem is economic, so must the solutions be.  

Many sites at risk are located in communities at risk. The best way to preserve our past is by giving these communities the tools they need to thrive, and in particular to focus on empowering women.  Here Dr. Coben describe why programs incorporating empowerment and sustainable community development actually work, and provide some case studies.  These programs allow communities to build their futures and save their pasts. Talk sponsored by the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Larry Coben is the founder of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, a capacity building and economic development organization providing sustainable business and entrepreneurial opportunities to poor communities where endangered archaeological sites are located.  Dr. Coben is also an archaeologist with the University of Pennsylvania Museum.  His research focuses upon political performance and stratagies of state and imperial expansion, with a focus upon the Inca.  He is presently co-director of a multi-year project in the Cañete Valley Peru focusing on the process by which the Inca incorporated the region into their empire.  Coben has also been a chief executive officer of public and private energy companies, and still serves on the board of NRG Energy and the Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Fund.