The phenomenon of archaeological heritage
Magazova Akmonshak Muratkyzy
Research assistant of the Museum of archeology
The heritage occupies more and more prominent positions in society today.
Occurs to the recognition of the fact that cultural and natural heritage has a significant impact on the formation of the entire human environment – its social life, politics, economics, education, ecology, spiritual world, intercultural and ethno-cultural communication, psychology of group and personality.
This effect manifests itself in a completely different levels of existence-from state-legal activities and fundamental research to the formation of the system of traditional values of each person individually.
The role of heritage in society is becoming increasingly recognized. Especially noticeable these processes intensified at the turn of XX–XXI centuries., due to the overcoming of ideological unification of the Soviet era. The question of the possibility of incorporating heritage into the modern culture of the country and the region came to the fore.
In this regard, the thesis of continuity in culture, the recognition of heritage as a unique factor of development, the ways of integration become relevant traditional layers of culture in the life of modern society, as in the last century talked N. Berdyaev, D. S. Likhachev, N. Fedorov. Nowadays, heritage is increasingly seen as a kind of the code by which historical memory is included in the modern processes of social life.
As the boundaries of heritage awareness expand as part of the modern socio-cultural space, it is appropriate to define the role that archaeological heritage plays in it as the oldest component of culture. This role is largely due to the qualitative characteristics of the archaeological heritage, the diversity of its objects.
First, the archaeological heritage acts as a direct carrier of information about the past, and the most remote from the present time, up to hundreds of thousands of years. It helps to identify the initial historical factors that determine the emergence of many modern socio-economic, cultural, political, environmental and natural processes. In other words, the role of heritage is to preserve and transmit historical memory.
Secondly, the archaeological heritage, being at the same time as part of both natural and historical-cultural environment, performs the function of stabilizing factors for the development of the region, country, society, and in this regard, it is the basis of sustainable development.
Third, archaeological heritage as the most numerous and diverse component in the whole heritage system plays the role of preservation cultural diversity of the region, country, society, preventing its unification, merging into a homogeneous faceless mass. Namely cultural, natural and the territorial diversity allows the image of unity as the most stable component of culture, having a reserve of development in the conditions of leveling of national, regional and other features of the culture of individual social groups.
Fourth, archaeological heritage is a factor of self-identification and human socialization, positioning it in the modern changing world through the recognition of itself as a result and part of the global, regional and local processes of nature and society. In this case, the role of the heritage acquires personified features, erasing the boundaries of time and space.
In addition, the archaeological heritage stands out and an important tool for determining the identity of a particular area, the recognition of its identity and uniqueness that distinguishes it from all the others. Certain types and groups of archaeological sites, their landscape location is always unique in its manifestation in a particular place and therefore determine its identity. This heritage can be considered a certain coordinate system in which a person exists, positioning itself in culture, space and time.
The definition of the role of heritage in the life of modern society allows us to consider it as a significant part and a kind of layer of actual culture. However, the heritage sites are not fully and immediately included automatically in the current culture that created the process of creative interaction of many generations of people and the natural environment. Part of the objects for a number of reasons does not acquire the necessary broad social significance.
For the several heritage sites it becomes necessary to develop an effective integration and adaptation mechanism for their inclusion in the current culture that is actualization.
The actualization of heritage provides for the recognition of heritage as a social, cultural and scientific value integrated into modern socio-cultural processes. This recognition takes place through the adaptation of archaeological heritage sites to the conditions of the real socio-cultural, economic, political and natural environment through various social means.
In this process, there are two main points, at first glance, multidirectional action. On the one hand, archaeological sites are in a certain isolation from modern society, in fact, they were «left to the mercy» of the scientific archaeological elite, which selectively, at its discretion, identifies and uses them for purely scientific constructions, information about which is practically not known to a wide range of people. Moreover, most of this heritage appears as if dead, in passive forms of culture on hard-to-reach shelves of Museum repositories and archives.
On the other hand, in specific areas and regions, individual monuments – mounds, ramparts, settlements, menhirs, caves, etc. – occupy their already established and quite prominent place in the system of traditional living culture, act as objects of sacralisation, mythologization, cultural and economic use, remain as some types of informal property (belonging to the territory of the tribe, community, clan, family). In other words, such objects are not alienated from people, they continue to be an important component of the system of values as the memory of generations, the memory of the place.
Certain archaeological sites and monuments of more recent times are sacrificed and still exist as the places of Muslim pilgrimage in the different parts of world. They are revered and protected as a Holy places, surrounded by fences and restored to the funds of public fund.
The process of integration and socio-cultural adaptation of the archaeological heritage should take place in a complex, socio-cultural, ethnic, economic, natural landscape and political-administrative components in close connection with the environment. This adaptation is part of the work, aimed at the active development of existing environmental conditions, through the use of accepted and already established in the territory of methods of socio-cultural behavior and interaction. However, in the process of mastering the environment, heritage can have a significant impact on changing the norms, values and forms of interaction to its adapts. At the same time, if successful adaptation increases the importance and value of the heritage, especially its oldest forms, expanding horizons of society, including in its system such adapted objects.
One of the most optimal ways of integration and socio-cultural adaptation of archaeological heritage is the museumfication. Transformation of heritage objects into objects of Museum allows to carry out partial and complete scientific reconstruction, restoration of monuments, organization of different types of specially protected historical and cultural territories (archaeological Museum-reserves) with the open air expositions and the complete preservation of the entire natural environment.
The framework of Museums made it possible to link together the most ancient layers of culture embodied in the objects of the archaeological heritage, and the modern human environment. In this case specially created Museum environment is a kind of nutrient for the cultivation, «revival» and integration of the archaeological heritage in modern culture, adaptation to the way of life of modern human.
The Museum adaptation is carried out simultaneously on two points – in form and in fact. The form of adaptation involves the construction of a variety of Museum complexes, exhibitions, conservation excavations, modeling, reconstruction, organization of inspections of monuments, excursions, tourist routes, advertising, etc.
In fact the adaptation leads to the opening and translation of social sources of memory, the search and establishment of their relationship with the local history, culture, traditions, recognition and development of heritage as an important resource of socio-cultural development of the locality, region, and country.
Such approaches are already widely used in foreign practice of preservation and use of archaeological heritage associated with the creation of various archaeological camps, archaeological sites, museums “in situ”, cultural centers, which seek to maximize the full inclusion in the program of museumfication of archaeological heritage of different elements of historical, cultural and natural environment.
In our country the formation of such a comprehensive approach to the preservation and Museum use of archaeological heritage is in the process of formation. Museumfication developed in relation to individual archaeological sites located in the Museum-reserves. The Museum-reserves are considered as the only possible organizational and legal form of institution that ensures the preservation and use of heritage located in a certain historical and cultural territory. However, their development along the path of profile and typical diversity can potentially lead to the creation of a system of various Museum-reserves, including the program of its activities includes different forms of Museum use of the entire complex of archaeological heritage, located in the protected area, taking into account all natural, landscape, historical and cultural (ethnographic, architectural, historical and industrial, etc.) components of the environment.
As a result of this interaction of the oldest layers of heritage and modernity, carried out within the framework of Museum activities, there is a stabilization of certain qualities of the environment. In addition, a new attitude to the monuments and the perception of archaeological heritage as a «revived» historical memory is being formed. Such an attitude to the museumfication of archaeological heritage allows to solve the problem of monuments protection at a new level in the organization of modern cultural policy.
Conceptual substantiation of the main aspects of museumfication, which is an important factor of integration and socio-cultural adaptation of archaeological heritage, allows to overcome the trend of narrowly focused, «distorted» understanding of the meaning of heritage, when there is a rash, spontaneous and even barbaric interference in traditional culture. Such interference occurs more or less unconsciously on the part of scientists, cultural politicians, administrative structures, in fact these actions often interfere with the preservation of heritage. As factors that hamper the conservation and optimum adaptation of the archaeological heritage, are in the cities, the demolition and destruction of the archeological cultural layer in the historical part of the city, the lack of the necessary accounting and mapping of objects, reasonable projects of museumfication, the exclusion of the location of archaeological sites from sightseeing and tourist routes the city and even the lack of sections of archaeological museums.
These facts suggest that society itself creates barriers to effective preserving and incorporating their heritage into modern legal culture in a legal and reasonable way. However, this situation provokes individual representatives of the society to be personally involved archaeological sites monuments as abandoned and unsupervised objects, which can and should even be appropriated without damage for the state, almost «save» from destruction in the ground. It is obvious that in a legal state, you striving for its policy towards taking into account all socio-cultural, economic and the spiritual needs of society, such a situation can not arise.
1. Modern foreign and domestic experience of the museumfication of archaeological monuments // History of science and technology. — 2007. — №12. Special Edition 3