Shared Heritage: Capacity Building: Azerbaijan
In Azerbaijan, BP and its coventurers have sponsored scientific efforts to study the archaeological finds of the project and undertaken capacity-building measures to strengthen local institutions in the region. For example, over 100 scholars from Azerbaijan and the broader Caucasus region attended a 2005 Conference on Archaeology, Ethnology, and Folklore. Other efforts have deepened the capabilities of the institutions responsible for long-term preservation of artifacts and their presentation to the public. The refurbishment of the Museum of History and Local Studies located in the Goranboy District, which preserves and displays finds from the nearby excavation site of Borsunlu Kurgan, is an example. This initiative was part of a broader effort to facilitate the establishment of standards for collections management at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Baku, which manages numerous collections from project excavations. The Institute also received equipment and expertise needed to properly maintain the collections: a conservation laboratory was established and outfitted; protocols for long-term conservation of collections developed; and five archaeologists given conservation training.
Education and public outreach—making information about the excavation sites in Azerbaijan available to the public—were other important areas of activity. This website and the associated book are two examples of this effort. The Caspian Energy Center in the Sangachal oil and gas terminal at the edge of the Caspian Sea provides visitors, including thousands of school children, with engaging exhibition and educational activities that explain the significance of the pipelines and the cultural heritage unearthed during its construction.
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