The common Arab interest in archaeology and heritage affairs goes back to 1946, date of the ratification of the “Cultural Treaty of the Arab League”. Article 10 of the Treaty provides that “The States of the Arab League will work for the consolidation of contacts between libraries and museums, whether scientific, historical or artistic, by such means as the exchange of publications, indexes, and duplicating antiquities, as well as by the exchange of technical officials for excavations by agreements between them.”
To achieve these significant goals, the Arab League decided to hold a periodic conference on archaeology. The first conference took place in Damascus, Syria, in 1947.
The Conference was designed to provide a forum for exchanging scientific and technical expertise for the preservation of Arab heritage, promoting heritage awareness, and strengthening inter-Arab cooperation in this regard.
The Conference was then brought under the competence of ALECSO. It now serves as a forum for :
- Coordinating joint Arab action and proposing policies in the field of archeology and heritage;
- Seeking to harmonize relevant Arab legislation;
- Presenting relevant scientific and technical research;
- Bringing together relevant experts and specialists;
- Sharing relevant information, experience and expertise.
At its various sessions, the Conference addressed a myriad of issues pertaining to cultural heritage in the Arab world. The Organization published the proceedings of most of the sessions of the Conference, along with valuable studies on archeology and cultural heritage.