Development, Looting, and Collecting: Destructive Acts that Harm Archaeological Sites

In addition to providing access to the archaeology we conduct through public participation, our PAST Program aims to encourage community members to be stewards of their local archaeological resources. There are many factors that put archaeological sites at risk, some obvious and some not. This post addresses a few of the destructive acts that harm archaeological sites, provides information about archaeology laws, and suggests ways we all can help to protect and preserve our irreplaceable archaeological resources.

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Public Participation: An Approach to Public Stewardship (by Amy Reid)

volunteers working at the screens

Volunteers working at the screens

People from all walks of life are attracted to archaeology by the allure of adventure and excitement of finding something really old or really significant. Whether a professional or avocational archaeologist, student, educator, or child, the past belongs to all of us. I believe that as professionals we have a responsibility to take what we find, what we learn, and share it with the public. More importantly, the public should also have a part in the process of archaeology; they should be our partners, not just a passive audience for our outreach efforts after we have done all the work. The benefit of this type of inclusiveness is reciprocal: the public becomes closer to archaeology (not to mention they are able to participate in the projects that their tax money pays for) and archaeology gains from their perspective and support. I strongly believe that this relationship is the foundation for preservation and anti-looting efforts.
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Welcome to PAST Posts!

PAST Posts is a blog for the Texas State University’s Center for Archaeological Studies’ PAST Program. Our PAST (Public Archaeology Serving Texas) Program is a dynamic public outreach program that aims to involve Texans in the archaeological work we conduct and raise awareness of our state’s rich cultural and natural heritage. The PAST Program is first and foremost committed to providing the public access to the archaeology of the Spring Lake site on the Texas State University campus, specifically we aim to show how archaeology is completed and the importance of archaeology in understanding the past lifeways around Spring Lake. In order to foster appreciation of, respect for, and increase a vested interest in the irreplaceable heritage present at Spring Lake and around Texas, the PAST program uses a holistic approach, offering a suite of public outreach activities that appeal to a diverse audience.

Why a blog?

This is a good question in today’s world of social media and 140 character posts. Continue reading