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TORONTO — The fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones has long enthralled movie audiences, taking on assorted villains in quests to find mythical treasures, with some limited help from the government.

Minus any bullwhips, the real-life U.S. State Department works with other federal departments in a journey to protect important archaeological sites and ancient treasures in the face of conflict, according to professional archaeologists Morag Kersel and Christina Luke in their new book “U.S. Cultural Diplomacy and Archaeology: Soft Power, Hard Heritage” (Routledge, 2012).

Luke and Kersel both worked with the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center (in Kersel’s case, as a contractor). They met on Luke’s first day of work, Sept. 10, 2001, the day before the 9/11 attacks, and in the years ahead they saw the State Department’s role in overseas archaeology (particularly antiquities preservation) grow and transform. Read more.

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