During the Alula Summit in Saudi Arabia, a lively debate on sustainable practices to address threats such as climate change, desertification, and waste management took place within the Lost & Found: Unearthing Ancient Wisdom for Modern Challenges panel. The panel featured the following speakers:

• Prof. José M Martín Civantos, MEMOLab, Biocultural Archaeology Laboratory, University of Granada

• Prof. Derek Kennet, Department of Archaeology, Durham University, United Kingdom

• Pietro Laureano, Architect, Urban Planner, and CEO & Founder of IPOGEA

• Sophia Malik, Architect and Designer

The panel was moderated by Lama Alhamawi, Reporter for Arab News.

Pietro Laureano highlighted how in the past, communities possessed a profound knowledge of their surroundings and a deep respect for their sacredness. He emphasized that structures were designed not only for functional purposes but also to be beautiful and laden with meaning. During that era, humanity and nature coexisted in perfect harmony without separation. However, he emphasized with concern that recent dramatic events, such as those that have affected Libya, are the result of the loss of memory of places and environmental cycles, and this, coupled with today’s climatic extremes, leads to catastrophes.

The ensuing discussion underscored the significance of these themes and pointed out how they represent a new dimension of interest for archaeology. By delving into the past, we can find inspiration and knowledge to address future challenges in a more sustainable manner.


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