City Forum | Historic Preservation in a Global Context | David Myers and Jonathon Poston

Friday Jan. 29, 2010 , noon to 1:30 p.m.

Throughout the world, economic development, environmental processes, and institutional neglect threaten priceless historical buildings and monuments. Preservation of these archives of cultural history requires creative research strategies, the latest in data management and preservation technologies, and effective institutional coordination. This City Forum will focus on the Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA) – Jordan, a GIS-based Archeological Site Inventory and Management System developed by the Getty Institute, as well as preservation management work in the Southwestern region of the United States.

David Myers joined the Getty Conservation Institute in 2001 and is currently a project specialist. He is overseeing the development of an educational case study focused on values and stakeholders in the management of the archaeological site of Jarash, Jordan, as well as research into applying methods of consensus building and conflict resolution to the management of heritage places. He is also working on an a project to create a national geographic information system (GIS) to inventory archaeological sites for the Jordanian Department of Antiquities as well as the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, which will serve as a model for other Middle Eastern and Arab region countries; a project to develop and implement a site management and conservation plan for the Valley of the Queens, Egypt; and the Southern African Rock Art Project. David earned an MA in geography from the University of Kansas (1998) and an MS in historic preservation (2000) and an advanced certificate in conservation and site management (2001) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Working collaboratively with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities (DoA), the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and World Monuments Fund (WMF) have developed The Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA-Jordan) to assist the department in inventorying, monitoring, conserving, and managing the thousands of archaeological sites in Jordan. As a planning and decision-making tool, MEGA allows DoA officials to address issues such as site protection and management, infrastructure and development control, and the development of national and regional research strategies. MEGA also enables the DoA to coordinate heritage site data with other national authorities, such as ministries dealing with infrastructure development, agriculture, and tourism, as well as provincial and municipal governments.

Jonathon Poston has served on the US International Council on Monuments and Sites for 8 years and chaired 3 of their conferences. Previously he was the Director of Museums and Preservation Initiatives at the Historic Charleston Foundations and was on the faculty of the College of Charleston. He currently serves as the Director of the Southwest Chapter of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in San Antonio.