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Archaeologist calls for protection for Ethiopian historical sites
www.chinaview.cn 2006-03-20 02:09:54

    ADDIS ABABA, March 19 (Xinhuanet) -- A renowned British archaeologist said Sunday there is an urgent need to ensure that tourists can visit Ethiopian historical sites but in numbers whichthe sites can accommodate without being threatened and unreasonably damaged.

    Professor David Phillipson, director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of the Cambridge University, told journalists that a broadly agreed tourist management policy shouldbe put in place in Ethiopia.

    "We have a duty to pass on the tangible cultural heritage to future generation," said Phillipson.

    He stressed the overriding principle of management policies forthe tangible cultural heritage must be long-term preservation.

    "This applies anywhere in the world, not just to Ethiopia and not just in Africa," said Phillipson, who just wrapped up a ten-week visit to Ethiopia.

    "This situation can of course be greatly helped by tourist management policies, which design ways in which the presence of tourists has minimal impact and causes minimal damage to the site,which people go to see," he said.

    Phillipson led large-scale archaeological excavations at the northern ancient town of Axum from 1993 to 1997, and is currently conducting researches on Lalibela rock-hewn churches.

    "We have a duty to pass on the tangible cultural heritage whether it is sites, monuments or specimen housed in a museum to future generations in at least as good a condition as we have received them from our predecessors," he said.

    "Of course, these things should be used and exploited for tourism education, and other purposes. But in my view this should be done only in so far as it can safely be done without exposing the heritage to deterioration or putting it at risk.

    Ethiopia is one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world. In Ethiopia, the main tourist destination at the moment is the northern historic route encompassing Bahir Dar, Gondar, Axum, Makalle and Lalibela. Enditem

    

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