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The World Bank, one of the world's main backers of development projects, is close to adopting a new policy to protect archaeological and anthropological sites that could be affected by its development projects.

The new policy would require early assessment of cultural heritage resources in areas to be developed, and calls for the borrowing nation to address the need to preserve physical resources.

Researchers hope the policy will also lead to training and placement of archaeologists and anthropologists in poor nations, many of which have few such scientists of their own.

Reference: Nature 417, 577 (2002)

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