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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre



Carsten Paludan-Müller is an archaeologist, PhD from the University of Copenhagen 1980. He has held various leading positions within museums and heritage management in Denmark.

From 2003 to 2017 he was the General Director of NIKU, The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research. After his retirement he spent a year of extensive travelling to collect material for his ongoing work with cultural heritage and conflict in research and in hands-on-projects.

Since 2010 he has been occupied with cultural heritage as a medium for cooperation between Turkish and Armenian heritage experts. The focus has been particularly on Armenian heritage in Eastern Anatolia.

Related to this is Carsten Paludan-Müller's research focus on the geopolitics of heritage. The aim is to develop the understanding of how long historical processes are themselves mirrored in our definition, perception and use of cultural heritage. And of course, in how its objects came into existence and developed, before becoming defined as heritage.

In that context an important focus is the role of premodern and early modern empires across Eurasia in the formation of what we today understand as cultural heritage. Much of this formation happened through exchange, fusion, and recombination of cultural elements within and between the empires and their diversity of cultures. Out of this arises the key question of, how that cultural entanglement is dealt with in postimperial processes of nation building.

Carsten Paludan-Müller, has worked/works as an expert with the Council of Europe, the European Commission, Anadolu Kültür, the Norwegian MFA and the World Bank. He was involved as a scientific advisor in the CRIC project (Cultural heritage and the reconstruction of identities after conflict). He is a board member of the Danish ICOMOS Committee, and a deputy member of The Danish Environment and Food Board of Appeal.



Key publications: 

Selected Publications Since 2009

2009 Europe – A constrained and fragmented space on the edge of the continental landmasses. Crossroad, battlefield and melting pot. In Heritage and Beyond, Council of Europe, Strasbourg.

2010 Actors and orders: The shaping of landscapes and identities. In Bloemers et al. The Cultural Heritage & Heritage Paradox. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam.

2012 The imperial mirror: Rome as reference for empire. I D. M. Totten and K. L. Samuels (red.): Making Roman Places Past and Present, pp. 145-158. Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplementary series 89. Portsmouth, Rhode Island: Journal of Roman Archaeology.

2012 Harnessing the Hidden Potential of Cities – Can Cultural Heritage Investment Support Inclusive Urban Development. Coedited with Inge Lindblom. NIKU. Oslo.

2012 Nationalism: Nationalism in the History of Archaeology. Religious Fundamentalism. In Silberman, Neil A. Oxford companion to Archaeology Vol. 1. New York.

2013 On Rivers, Mountains, Seas and Ideas - or What Vast Spaces and Long Lines Mean to Culture and History. in: Counterpoint: Essays in Archaeology and Heritage Studies in Honour of Professor Kristian Kristiansen. Archaeopress 2013 p.p. 617-622

2013 Caring about the past requires care for the present. In Agneta Lagerlöf (ed.) “Who cares? Perspectives on Public Awareness, Participation and Protection in Archaeological Heritage Management, pp. 87- 91. EAC Occasional Paper No. 8. Namur.

2015 Postscript 2, When Memory Takes Place pp. 261-268. In Marie Louise Stig Sørensen and Dacia Viejo-Rose (eds) “War and Cultural Heritage: Biographies of Place” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2015.

2017 co-authored with, Staša BabićRaimund KarlMonika MilosavljevićKoji MizoguchiCarsten Paludan-MüllerTim MurrayJohn RobbNathan SchlangerAlessandro Vanzetti, What is European Archaeology? What should it be? In European Journal of Archaeology vol. 20 issue 1. Cambridge.

2018 Heritage and Conflict Resolution, In Sandra L. López Varela (ed.) SAS Encyclopaedia of Archaeological Sciences. Hoboken, New Jersey.

2022 Heritage of War - For Peace? The inevitable duality, pp. 14-15 in INMP Newsletter Issue #37 September 2022

2022 The Geopolitical Context of Cultural Heritage Destruction, pp. 414-446. In Claire Finkelstein, Gillman, and Rosén (eds.) The Preservation of Art and Culture in Times of War. Oxford University Press, New York.

Affiliated Member, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre
Dr Carsten  Paludan-Muller
Not available for consultancy