Community-Based Rock Art and Epigraphic Recording (CBRAER) Extension:

Al-Hisma Rock Art Rangers Initiative

Who?

International team of academics, scholars, and local experts from indigenous Bedouin tribes

What?

Empowering local communities to actively contribute in sustainable heritage management and tourism

Where?

Wadi Rum Protected Area and surrounding regions in southern Jordan, Middle East

How?

Providing hands-on training through various professional workshops and employment programs

Phase One

March 2017 – May 2018

The purpose of this project (CBRAER) was to create a long-term, sustainable system, run by local staff of the Wadi Rum Protected Area to document the current state of the abundant rock-art and epigraphy in the Wadi Rum area using the Rock Art Stability Index (RASI) and GIS, as well as bolster local knowledge and awareness. Both the effects of natural weathering, as well as vandalism, were recorded, and the resulting database now provides a basis for the future management of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 

To that end, the main objectives of Phase One included:

  1. To involve local management personnel in the documentation and conservation of rock art in the Wadi Rum Protected Area by training staff in:

    • RASI collection and interpretation

    • Field GIS recording using Android smartphones

    • Collection of photographs of high enough quality to allow 3D modeling of rock art panels and inscriptions

  2. To inform local guides about which panels should be included on their tours, as well as which ones should be avoided based on their RASI scores

  3. To give local guides up-to-date information on the state of research on the Rock Art and Epigraphic heritage of Wadi Rum

  4. To create locally appropriate signage to engage tourists visiting the Wadi Rum area

Community Engagement in Rock Art Management in Wadi Rum – An ACOR & USAID SCHEP Video Lecture –

Phase Two

August 2019 – July 2020

Building on the success of Phase One, the leadership with the Sustainable Cultural Heritage through the Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP) secured a multi-million dollar renewal from USAID to continue their work in Jordan with the Wadi Rum project serving as a flagship program.

 

Focusing on bolstering sustainable tourism development and local engagement in heritage management and education, the primary goals of Phase Two  include:

  1. Continue providing Rock Art Rangers (RAR) basic training workshops to tour guides throughout the region.

  2. Provide additional educational opportunities for RAR graduates into other aspects of sustainable tourism and heritage management, including rock-art assessment and documentation within the WRPA and its buffer zones.

  3. Provide further engagement opportunities to previously excluded demographics (specifically women and Wadi Rum youth).

  4. Help build the region’s professional and social capacity to sustain a permanent field school or educational center in the WRPA.

kaelin.groom@asu.edu

© 2019 by Kaelin M. Groom, PhD

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