Archaeology and Economic Development 2012

Dr. Lawrence Coben

Dr. Lawrence Coben is an archaeologist affiliated to University of Pennsylvania. He is founder and executive director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI) – an organisation aiming to preserve the world's cultural heritage by providing sustainable economic opportunities to poor communities where endangered archaeological sites are located

Dr. Coben’s most recent archaeological work focuses on Inca imperial expansion and the role of spectacles, rituals and theatricality in ancient societies. He co-authored the seminal volume Archaeology of Performance: Theater, Power and Community (2006, with Takeshi Inomata) - a study of the importance and use of theatrical performance at public events, rituals and spectacles in ancient societies to create and govern states and empires. He has also written numerous articles on the Inka, sustainable preservation, empires, performance and complex societies. He has directed or participated in projects in Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador and Jordan (Petra), and is an expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM).

Dr. Coben has founded and run numerous energy companies and is active in informing US National energy policy as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Sustainability and Efficiency Task Force’. He writes an energy and cultural heritage blog for the Huffington Post.

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