Public Association of Archaeologists:
and Plan of Actions
of Archaeology of UNAS, Pr. Geroiv Stalingrada, 12, 04210 Kyiv -210, Ukraine,
years after declaration of independence Ukraine, on its way to the European
Union, has accepted a number of the laws directed on the preservation of
its archaeological heritage. First of all there are laws "On the Protection
of Cultural Heritage" (8 June, 2000) and "On the Protection of Archaeological
Heritage" (18 March, 2004). The Ukrainian parliament, the Supreme Rada,
also ratified the "European Convention on the Protection of Archaeological
Heritage" (1992). However, the present situation both concerning the protection
and the study of archaeological heritage in Ukraine is disturbing or even
government funding for scientific research in general, and archeological
research in particular, is constantly reducing. The state structures for
the protection of historic and cultural heritage cannot appropriately secure
the archaeological monuments registered by the state, and there are not
sufficient means for recording new sites, for excavation, restoration and
preservation works. Declarations on the necessity of the preservation of
cultural and archaeological heritage have been launched from all governments
and presidents of Ukraine, all political parties and movements, but in
reality the situation does not change or only slowly, sometimes according
to the principle "one step forward, two steps back".
threat proceeds from the different sides. The external ones are connected
with new economic realities, when archaeological subjects became goods
and, accordingly, the mechanism of their deliveries to the illegal market
of antiquities has arose. At the lower levels of this mechanism the wide
network of robbers ("black archaeologists") exists, and on top - dealers,
buyers and private collectors who objectively, realizing it or not, are
the basic customers and sponsors of robbers. As a result traces of modern
destructions can be met everywhere on ancient barrows, settlements and
sites of ancient classical cities of the Northern Black Sea Coast and Crimea.
deal with a true aggression, an undeclared war against archaeological heritage
and archaeologists. Authorities do not see or do not wish to see this problem.
Not a single robber has incurred punishment until today, and the virus
of archaeological collecting has got into the highest layers of Ukranian
politics. The former president, Victor Yushchenko, proclaimed himself as
the true amateur of ancient history and archaeology, but was well-known
as a collector of Trypillya Culture items, and the majority from the latter,
in opinion of many Ukrainian archaeologists, derived from illegal excavations.
internal threat is connected with a rapid development of pseudoscientific
was the result not only of the elimination of former external bureaucratic
regulators such as the state censorship, but also of the reduction of the
level of individual, moral, responsibility of some scientists, including
archaeologists. Manipulating traditional naive beliefs of people in fantastic
discoveries, they not without personal self-interest aim at prompt public
recognition and PR through the false sensations. New social and historical
myths are created that can be used any time in doubtful political interests.
Often polyvariant readings of archaeological records are concealed from
the public, and from many possible interpretations those are prevailing
that can bring strong moral and material benefits to their authors.
archaeologists see all these problems. It is understandable that they should
solve these in the present conditions. The basic centre that provides coordination
of actions of Ukrainian archaeologists is the Institute of Archaeology
of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (UNAS), headed by P. P. Tolochko.
Today almost 70% of scientifically qualified archaeologists are working
in this Institute. There is a unique archaeological library, scientific
archive, funds, etc. The status of this Institute as the state scientific
unit in the sphere of archaeological research is specified by article 12
of the law "On the Protection of Archaeological Heritage". But time
dictates a necessity of searching for new forms of teamwork that are unconventional
for post-Soviet states.
All-Ukrainian Public Association (Spilka) of Archeologists (APAA) was founded
in spring 2010. D.N. Kozak, vice-director of the Institute of Archaeology
of the UNAS, took the lead in developing it and is its chairman. The APAA
is based on voluntariness, equal rights of its members, self-control, legality,
selectivity and the accountability of controls, and publicity. It is assumed
to combine all those who take care of the destiny of archaeological heritage,
undertakes a task to comply with the Code of Ethics of Professional Archaeologists,
accepted by the Institute of Archaeology of the UNAS in 2006, and takes
an interest in real knowledge about the remote past.
aim of the APAA activity, according to its Charter, is the development
of archaeological science in Ukraine, its methodical and technological
improvement in particular. The Association is going to promote the practical
realisation of programmes and projects directed at the protection, research,
use, and restoration of monuments and objects of archaeological heritage,
especially those which are under the threat of destruction and damage under
the influence of natural factors or as a result of economic activities.
It will also search for funding for the publication of results of archaeological
APAA defends the legitimate interests of its members, creates conditions
for their professional and creative development, and supports the IT basis
of their activities. To work out these problems the APAA considers the
appeals of their members, in accordance with current laws, connected with
infringement of their professional and social rights, humiliation of honour
and dignity, and also concerning obstacles in the realisation of scientific
activity. It directs inquiries in corresponding to the law enforcement
bodies and public organisations concerning elimination of the revealed
APAA promotes the spread of knowledge in the field of archaeology, ancient
history and monument protection cultures through printing and other information
means, studies the foreign and international experiences and develops different
forms of the international contacts; it establishes awards and supports
members concerning their representation to state awards. The APAA will
hold congresses, conferences, seminars, trainings, competitions, etc. independently
or together with other organisations.
APAA is headed by the Board, an executive body that solves questions of
the period between the General Meetings. It includes the Head of Board,
the Vice-president of Board, the Secretary of Board and other members,
which are elected by the General Meeting for four years. In addition there
is the Auditing Committee responsible for financial control, which too
is elected by the General Meeting and is accountable to it. Regions (Oblast)
such as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the cities of Kiev and Sevastopol
have territorial branches, the Local Body. Currently the largest in quantity
of members is the Local Body of Kiev (75 members).
of the APAA should be full-age citizens of Ukraine who on a constant basis
research of archaeological heritage, confirm the Charter of the APAA, are
ready to pay the membership tax and have received the recommendation of
one of chairmen of the Local Bodies. Persons are not taking part in archaeological
research constantly, but who in the course of their cultural and educational,
patronage, political and other activity have made an important contribution
to the development of Ukrainian archaeology and to the protection of archaeological
heritage of Ukraine, can be accepted in the APAA as honorary members.
the APAA has more than 300 members. This is a considerably high number
considering that in comparison with other European countries (Poland, Germany,
France, etc.) there are much fewer professional archaeologists (not more
than 400 persons). There is a huge potential to increase the number of
members by Ukrainian students. However, not only students, but also many
professional archaeologists are awaiting the concrete actions of the APAA
that would convince them to join.
the future it is important for the APAA to develop cooperation with international
and national associations in the field of the protection of archaeological
heritage, first of all with the European Association of Archaeologists.
activities of the APAA are presented on its website (http://www.vgosau.kiev.ua).
In particular it tries to intervene into "black archaeology", concerning
private collections and exhibitions launched by non-archaeologists and
authors of fantastic pseudoscientific theories. Some of these exhibitions
have been displayed abroad, and it seems as if embassies and other officials
do not understand that almost all things of the modern private archaeological
collections occur from the black market and unscientific excavations. APAA
aims at enhancing the understanding of the inadmissibility of any further
encouragement of private collectors, because their activity not only contradicts
laws of Ukraine and international conventions but leads to "black archaeology"
that results in a tragic situation for heritage in Ukraine. The threat
for archaeological heritage can be removed only by the state bodies.
the new government of Ukraine follows the road of destruction of the national
and archaeological heritage. An amendment of 9 September 2010 to the Act
the Protection of Cultural Heritage" (the asset 9?) allows private
ownership for land with archaeological sites without any prior archaeological
examination. Luckily, the other provisions of the Ukrainian legislation
prevented the transfer of archaeological monuments into private ownership
and their possible destruction. Protective archaeology is devalued and
the question is raised, why archaeologists should be paid for excavations
prior to building activities (see, e.g., the newspaper "Uriadovy Kurier"
("The Government Courier") in October 2010). In the "Regulation of the
Town Planning Activities" presented for consideration to the Supreme
Council of Ukraine in December 2010, it was not only proposed to eliminate
from the legislation the execution of the archaeological expert examination
of all the land areas of future excavation works; according to the new
draft law the bodies of cultural heritage protection will be engaged in
the project agreement only in case of privatization of the land areas of
historical and cultural significance. However, due to the absence of a
complete land cadastre and of determination of areas of historical and
cultural significance by the land-utilization projects, it has to be feared
that the bodies of cultural heritage protection will never be engaged in
the endorsement of lands which are going to be privatized or where the
building will be accomplished.
this way, representatives of the monument protection services will be unable
to execute their direct responsibilities and turned into statisticians
who will have no legal right to interfere in the process of the monuments
privatization and destruction. The adoption of such articles of law will
cause the large-scale destruction not only of archaeological sites but
of the entire national cultural heritage - an integral component of the
world cultural heritage - despite the fact that the Supreme Council has
ratified the "European Convention of Protection of the Archaeological
Heritage" on 10 December, 2003, where Article 5 notes that the plans
of the territories maintenance have to be agreed and integrated with appropriate
needs of archaeology.
of the Institute of Archaeology of the UNAS and the APAA on 17 January
2011 have demand the President of Ukraine to put a veto upon this Law (fig.
1). The Institute of Archaeology of the UNAS and the APAA have addressed
to all who involved in the protection and preservation of world cultural
heritage to support representatives of monument protection services, archaeologists
and citizens of Ukraine in their struggle for the preservation of archaeology
heritage. We badly need immediate international support of our efforts.
activity of the APAA has only started. We are very interested in an estimation
of our current actions and the future plans from such authoritative international
organizations as the EAA. We are in great need also for international support,
which should be directed to the real monitoring of the legislation of Ukraine
in the field of protection of a cultural and archaeological heritage, in
particular about conformity to norms of legislations of member-countries
of the European Union where Ukraine is hoping to become a member.