Jamie Stott

Why Taking Arrowheads is Bad

January 15, 2015, by Jamie Stott, category Ramblings

Mmmkay.

For those of you who have seen South Park and get my Mr. Mackey reference, good on ya. For the rest of you, I’m sorry that doesn’t make any sense. Today I wanted to talk about a subject that gets brought up over and over for me, and is perhaps something that a lot of people are curious about: Why taking an arrowhead, or projectile point as us archaeologists call them, is bad.

187

Chances are that you or someone you know has come across a projectile point at some point in your life and were faced with that crucial moment…to pick it up and take it or put it back? Sadly, more often than not, projectile points wind up in people’s pockets and eventually, in some junk drawer or in a shoebox in the back of their closet. Why?

When I ask folks this question the most standard response I get is, “If I don’t pick it up and take it someone else will.” This answer burns my biscuits and is completely illogical. First of all, the thing has been sitting out in the open for likely more than 800 years and been fine, so whats another year or two? Secondly, it is a very deterministic way of thinking. Who is to say that the next person who finds that projectile point is going to pick it up? They might not even see it, or if they do, they might put it back after checking it out. Lets put some trust in our fellow man and hope that through various forms of public outreach and education that he/she knows the proper way to treat an artifact.

So you might be thinking, “What is the proper way to treat an artifact?” I love Love LOVE answering this question, because it shows a willingness to learn. Any artifact, aside from something incredibly fragile (e.g., organic materials such as corn cobs, clothing, or human remains) can be picked up and enjoyed. Be sure to note where you picked it up from, and be sure to put it back in the exact same spot. Hold it in your hand, admire the craftsmanship, take 50 photos on your iPhone, whatever floats your boat…just be extremely careful and always put it back when you’re done.

Jamie Stott

 

“Why can’t I pick up any of the fragile items you mentioned above?” This is also a good question. These things (aside from human remains) can be looked at and even photographed, but under no circumstances should they be picked up or touched. First of all, these objects are be incredibly fragile and disturbing them could cause unintentional damage or deterioration. Secondly, a lot of these items can be radiocarbon dated (to learn about radiocarbon dating click HERE) and any modern interference, like touching, can contaminate or negatively affect the dating process. Under no circumstances should human remains be touched or photographed. If you have encountered what you believe to be human remains the best thing to do is to take a GPS coordinate, or mark their location on a map and notify the appropriate land manager immediately.

So I’ve told you why you shouldn’t pick up an arrowhead, but let’s talk about why I want you to leave it. Have you ever noticed that projectile points come in all sorts of shapes and sizes? Each style variation is usually indicative of a specific projectile point type, and those types have known date ranges. For example, take something like this I found at an archaeological site:

desert side notched

 

This type of projectile point is known as a Desert Side-notched. I know that based on a variety of factors such as general shape, type of side notching, type of basal notching, measurements, and angles. Depending on your area, there are a variety of scholarly articles and books that can help classify projectile point types. In this case, I used an article by David Hurst Thomas from the 1981 Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, Volume 3, No. 1, titled, “How to Classify the Projectile Points from Monitor Valley, Nevada”. If you’re keen to check it out, you can click HERE to view the entire article online.

DSN

DSN1

 

Once the projectile point type is classified, I can look up its date range. In this case, the Desert Side-notched point dates post A.D 1300. So why is this important? Without doing any sort of excavation or ground disturbing activity I was able to date the projectile point, and thus the age of the site. Knowing the age of an archaeological site is immensely important because it I know where it falls chronologically, and how it relates to other known archaeological sites in the area. It can help me determine what cultural group might have made the projectile point, and it can help me determine the sites eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places.

Andy Yentsch

 

Bet you didn’t know all that was possible from a single projectile point did ya? Well now you do. So now you can see why picking up a projectile point is a bad idea. Not only are you robbing future people the pleasure of seeing something ancient in it’s original context, but you are taking away one of the most critical diagnostic components of an archaeological site.

Oh. And I almost forgot. It’s illegal to take anything cultural from state, federal, or native american lands. The mack daddy of cultural resource laws is the Archaeological Resources Protect Act of 1979 (ARPA), violators of which can be punished with a felony offense. Not that that always happens…in truth, punishment of archaeological offenses is a little murky as evidenced by the 2009 raids in Blanding, Utah.

In any case, I strongly believe that though public outreach and education we as archaeologists can change the way people think about the past. Hopefully something as small as this blog post has educated some of you on why you shouldn’t take home an arrowhead.  And if just one person learned something from me writing this, then I’ve done something right.

 

17 Comments

  1. Kate Flynn |

    Jaimie Stott and I share a common desire to kick-butt and preserve nature. I enjoy her humorous rhetoric and not wavering attitude when it comes to leave no trace and respect for artifacts. Many people don’t mean to be malicious, they just want a souvenir. It makes sense. But for the same reason that picking wildflowers in a National Park is a federal offense, take a photo and move on. The conserved land should be preserved and enjoyed by all human, animal, plant, etc.
    This was a great read!
    -Kate

    Reply
  2. Steven Carter |

    I consider myself an amateur archaeologist commensurate with arrowheads and other relics. I pick up heads because; I have observed over my entire life-time, these heads are being broken by cattle, horses, and vehicles off from trails. Heads at the top of hills, even flats, and ravines are being rolled, broken, and reburied following storms. This is extremely evident on the AZ Strip. All the heads picked up in the 50’s in carbon county were the residue of heads not broken by goat herds and had not quite went into the several deep washes through those flats….The natives camped right on the razors edge’s of these rivers, and washes. Most of the time we picked heads just before they went off the edge….All of the collectors of my day have put those heads in Museums, see my friend Keith Hansen’s collection donated to the Price, Utah Museum, they make the whole museum…The same with all the other museums across the country, where do you think those heads have came from. All the heads in the Great Basin have been classified, aged, and demonstrated for use. The same with all other parts of the country. Even the last find probably ever, Range Creek in Carbon County for the Freemont….No one can show me a head that I cannot age and classify….I saw the University of collection and the Salt Lake Museum collections during the 50’s before they sold over half of those heads back east, check it out….I can show you places on the AZ strip that have been bulldozed by the Ranchers and BLM to make access road take-offs for the Ranchers. Well guess what, some of those they broke hundreds of pottery bowls. Me and my friends picked up big pieces and set along the side of the road and contacted the BLM, nothing was done or said, people came by and eventually picked up the pottery….I am saying that there is no more that can be done with arrowheads. I know you can make up stories about how they are layered and new information, that is a croc. There is no new information….Please tell people to pickup these heads so they do not get destroyed and lost for all time and eternity. I am betting that over 90 percent end up in Museums….Not all Museums are good care-takers as I have pointed out either. But some are, for example the price Museum….I do not want to tell you the names of prominent Archaeologist that have personal collections in their Front-Rooms and Den’s, so lets not be hypocritical here….Please learn what you are talking about in reality regarding a history that could be easily lost for ever without the peoples help!

    Reply
    • Jamie Stott |

      Steven-

      Thanks for reading and sharing your opinions. It is true that both natural and man-influenced adverse effects are occurring daily on archaeological sites around the globe. It is sad and true. However, despite the not-so-bright situation, it does not give anyone the right to ignore state and federal laws that prohibit collection of artifacts. Please refer to the American Antiquities Act of 1906 (http://www.cr.nps.gov/local-law/anti1906.htm), the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (http://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/Laws/arpa.htm) and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 2000 (http://www.nps.gov/archeology/tools/Laws/nagpra.htm). Please note that individual states often have archaeology resource protection acts of their own, you can do a quick search online to find out what applies for your state.

      I am aware that a majority of museum collections are the result of past collecting efforts (both private and sanctioned). This was occurring at a time when archaeology laws were in their infancy and archaeological ethics were still being developed. I want to clarify that I am not against collection of artifacts, but when this happens it should be done by trained professionals who have the necessary credentials and permits.

      I must disagree with you that everything has been found. There are always new types and styles of projectile points or artifacts yet to be discovered. Case in point? Colleagues with the University of Utah who manage the Range Creek field station report that less than 10% of the canyon has been formally surveyed. In this case 90% of the land is still un-surveyed, and perhaps they won’t find anything new…but who knows, they might.

      I think it’s fantastic that you contacted the BLM about the pottery you found, good on ya! It is a downright shame that those pieces were looted. Not to defend any land agency, but from experience I do know that they are usually understaffed and underfunded to respond to every tip in a timely manner. I wish they could, if they had maybe those pieces of pottery would still be around and not in someone’s basement or display case. In the future if you are worried about a particular artifact’s visibility, try moving it to a more protected location in the immediate vicinity (e.g., under bush or rock).

      Most artifacts that are encountered by professional archaeologists are documented, reported, and then left in place. It is rare that they are collected or excavated. In fact, most museums have more than their share of artifacts and cannot put all of them on display. However, these excess collections are usually available to various institutions and scholars for research purposes. And those artifacts in museum possession that are unprovenienced (without locational or site data) are typically used in teaching collections that can be accessed by the public.

      Personally I am not a huge fan of collecting all the artifacts and putting them in museums for the aforementioned reasons. Unless it is a groundbreaking find, it probably doesn’t need to be sitting in another archival box in a museum collections room. That’s the beauty of archaeology these days, things are left on the ground because that’s where they belong. They can contribute to the data of the site they are associated with, and can provide future visitors the thrill of seeing something ancient.

      With my two academic degrees and over eight years of professional experience, I think I have the right to say that I definitely know what I’m talking about.

      Reply
    • peakhunter1 |

      Im with you 100%….the true way to value and respect artifacts that are on the surface is to PICK them up and enjoy them. Display them and show them to others….especially kids!!! HIs statements are contradictory in this article…he states that no one has picked them up in 800 years or so, so the chances of someone else just picking them up are slim….then goes on to state that you shouldnt pick them up because you are robbing others from experiencing the artifact later…..thanks to amature arcaeologist sites are found and logged. Professional archaeologist are quite defensive of artifacts and are frequently hypocritical as many of them have extensive collections. I truly believe that arrowheads are better off preserved by us and proudly displayed than left out of context in some desolate location destined for breakage and enjoyed by no one. Smashed arrowheads laying in the desert are just a waste. It would be like beethovens 6 symphony never recorded to be heard after he died….gone forever in the memory of the few fortunate enough to have lived and heard him in concert

      Reply
  3. Ann Lewis |

    I am so very appreciative of this use of facebook. I am learning so much and I feel certain you are educating many dozens more.

    Thankfully you are not imposing a too often typical facebook listing about “my life, my day,my mood, and why I need to rant about someone or something.”

    Hurrah for you. Teaching and new revelations come about on facebook- what a joy!

    Reply
    • Jamie Stott |

      Thanks Ann! I appreciate your positive comments. If you have any questions or ideas on what you’d like to know more about, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Cheers-

      Jamie

      Reply
  4. Christopher Arthur |

    I have to disagree strongly with Mr. Carter…the moment you remove an artifact from a site, remove it from its original context, it simply becomes an object. It may be pretty, it may be a prime example of some exquisite Paleo flintknapping, but it loses all of its interpretive value. The site from which it was removed, instead of having a place in the chronological series of open camps with a cultural context in the panoplay of human behavior in the Plains or wherever it was located simply becomes another locality containing a pile of chipping debris and a few dirty holes in the ground from which we might if lucky obtain radiocarbon dates and palynological samples. That ‘head’ to which you refer, on the other hand, might tie this site to Clovis complex people, or to other early hunter-gatherers of maybe earlier or later periods whose tool traditions were subtly different, but we would never know because you figured it wouldn’t matter because sheep would have pounded it to bits. I am all for picking it up, looking at it, admiring the workmanship, imagining the life of the maker, but put it back. It isn’t yours, it belongs to the person who made it. In modern terms, it belongs to the landowner, who, in much of the west, is the Public at large (i.e. the United States of America) and if you take it, you are ripping off the People of the United States by stealing public property, and there are laws against it. Plain and simple. You are ripping off our collective cultural heritage in terms of scientific and cultural data, and you are taking public property. If it goes to a museum, it very likely will never again be seen, as it will be cataloged as general surface collection and go in a box in the basement as unprovenienced material, perhaps sent out as hand specimens for school kids to touch, but its research potential is nil.

    The net result, Mr. Carter, is that removing any object from an archaeological site may preserve the item, but it destroys both the site and the scientific value of the item. My perspective from 40 years as a professional, both as a private consultant and an agency archaeologist.

    Reply
    • Jamie Stott |

      Love the input! Thanks for participating in this discussion Christoper. Always nice to hear from another professional.

      Reply
    • peakhunter1 |

      Thats ridiculous….there are a mere handful of archaeologist and they dont have the funding or resources to do anything with or for 99.9% of all the sites. The truth is that next to nothing useful is done with common sites and next to nothing new benefits the previous or future culture. Its a passion and hobby we have….im a huge advocate for preserving history but know realistically that it will all be destroyed or developed and needs to be picked up by all of us now before that happens…….how many sites are now dammed up or have homes built on them….leaving an artifact to be plowed over and paved is an atrocity. Cristopher …tell me this….would you rather it be lost forever due to development or preserved by us now..no rockhugger replies please. Credentials dont mean anything in an ethics discussion….and so what if an artifact is tied to clovis people if it lies unfound and paved over or dammed up. Professional archaologist are so few and far between that sites lie dormant for ever without a second being dedicated to them. Its just the nature of the world and lack of need for archaeology in the public eye.

      Reply
  5. Jack |

    when I come across points I photograph them, GPS them and send the photo and location to my old Anthropology professors at University other then that I don’t touch them… My kids will look at them and now they don’t even touch them, I have turned it into a game and for every point we give the GPS location to the University I give my kids a dollar

    Reply
    • Jamie Stott |

      What a fun way to interact with prehistory and still preserve it at the same time! Kudos to you for passing on proper site etiquette to your kids.

      Reply
  6. Clayton |

    I’m going digin today and I ain’t leavening nothing behind having a degree doesn’t make one person better than another think of all the artifacts found by archeologist locked away and rarely looked at there is only so many point types out there and only so much u can learn from them like how old they are how they were made u won’t find a cure for cancer or the meaning of life for a lot of diggers like myself the hobby has been passed down through family and friends I love the times I got to dig with my dad and friends that are no longer with us and will cherish the memories and artifacts that were unearthed in the process I’ve been collecting artifacts for over 25 years my artifacts are not in a shoe box in a closet there in frames and proudly displayed If I find the holy grail or the cure for cancer or a alien body with some crystal skulls I’ll be sure to let someone know but until then I’ll be in a hole digging for artifacts and putting them in my pocket that’s my two cents

    Reply
    • Archaeo_girl |

      Clayton, you would not know the “holy grail or the cure for cancer or a alien body with some crystal skulls” if you found it! Why? because you do not have the education nor the expertise to support understanding the value of said artifacts. Instead you are placing your own misguided values on the artifacts you find. Then you have the audacity to make your own determination regarding the artifact’s significance to scientific research (which you admittedly have no education to support). You might as well be saying that the sky is purple and planet Earth is the center of the universe. In other words…your rationale is bullshit.

      As a side note: I sure had trouble quoting you with your limited-to-no use of English Language conventions and horrible grammar. Grrrrrrr.

      Reply
  7. Christopher Arthur |

    I do hope, Clayton, you are doing your digging and collecting on private property with the landowner’s permission. Otherwise, you are breaking the law. You are entitled to your opinion regarding the collection of artifacts, which obviously is in opposition to that held by professional archaeologists. However, the law is pretty clear when it comes to collecting artifacts. If you are on private land without permission, a) you are trespassing and b) any collected artifacts become stolen property. If you are collecting on federal lands, you are in violation of any number of statutes, most importantly the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. Depending on where you are, say, like in a National Park or Monument, a host of other regulations can be brought to bear. At the least, theft of government property is always underpinning the whole thing. Whether you get caught or not is beside the point. You are more than likely breaking the law unless you are in Joe Bob’s pasture with his permission. You are taking someone else’s opportunity to look at that arrowhead and enjoy it like you do. If it is on public land, it belongs to me just as much as you, and if you take it, you’ve ripped me off, as well as everyone else. It is a matter of principle. Clearly, you do not share this attitude. I am not writing this to bash you, but to maybe show you that there is more to this than just you and your shovel and your picture frame with a bunch of arrowheads arranged in a nice tipi pattern.

    Reply
  8. Kevin |

    800 years on the surface? What’s another two? give me a break. Most artifacts are not on the surface for very long. They are uncovered and covered back up again.

    Reply
  9. Tracy |

    As an American citizen and a taxpayer, I have a few comments to make:

    1) Professional archaeologists are always upset at artifact collectors for picking up arrowheads or destroying archaeological context on sites. One can understand why with regards to these “sins of commission.” However, it can be argued that professional archaeologists are similarly engaging in some hypocrisy here because they too are party to the destruction of archaeological sites by “sins of omission.” Numerous archaeological sites on privately owned land are destroyed nationwide each year by land developers—probably far more sites than those lost to artifact collectors and those impacted by federal projects. I almost never see professional archaeologists putting up any sort of fight for those sites nor do I see them engaging in any sort of effort to collect information and data on those sites. I never see professional archaeologists hammering the banks financing such projects, the development companies that plan such projects, or the construction companies that actually do the physical impacting on sites. There is very much of an attitude of just shrugging shoulders and looking away as if it is not happening—in short—the “sins of omission” by simply doing nothing or nearly nothing. What is the problem? You seem to have no problem at all lecturing and threatening artifact collectors and private citizens. Are you scared out of your wits to speak the same truth to money, power, and political influence? It seems to me that you are. In addition, you always have the excuse that you could have done nothing to protect the site or collect information/data on it because you did not have enough funding, time, or manpower. As professional archaeologists, it is your job to have enough funding, time, and manpower to address these sites—just like it is a hospital’s job to have the funding, time, and manpower to heal and save the lives of its patients. Like I said: sins of omission.

    2) In the early and middle 20th century (in some regions of the nation), professional archaeologists eagerly befriended artifact collectors to tap their unique knowledge about local archaeological sites. This was knowledge essentially unknown to the professional community. Through the often very close professional archaeologist–artifact collector friendships formed in those days, the professional archaeologists were able to quickly learn the regional archaeology and use it as a foundation for increasing our understanding of prehistory in those regions. Unfortunately, from the artifact collector’s perspective, the professional archaeology community in some of those regions one day decided to express its long-term gratitude to its valuable collector friends by suddenly condemning all artifact collecting—and their friends in the collector community along with it. Some professionals labeled all artifact collectors as deeply and fundamentally unethical people who committed unconscionable acts of destruction against our shared American cultural heritage. They were soon treating collectors as pariahs, even though artifact collecting was legal in the United States―as it still is today. The affected members of the American collector communities in these regions of the nation felt used, slighted, betrayed, and embittered by the archaeological professionals they had once admired and counted as friends. Why would professional archaeologists behave in such a two-faced and antisocial manner towards a segment of the population that was actively helping them. Do you call that good public archaeology?

    3) During the late 20th century, professional archaeologists would further upset American artifact collectors by lobbying federal and state politicians to pass cultural resource management laws that had the effect of restricting artifact collecting on federal and state lands, in federal waters, and to a limited extent on privately owned lands. Feeling confused and threatened by these newly passed laws and the regulations promulgated under them, many artifact collectors who had once been very open and public about their collecting activities and the contents of their collections began to move underground in the sense that they were less open about their collecting activities, cautious in allowing access to their collections, and very careful to avoid contact with professional archaeologists―who were now regarded with suspicion and fear. Under these new circumstances, some artifact collectors were far less inclined to assist professionals with their research than they had been in earlier times. Using the balance scales, it seems that professional archaeologists have succeeded in protecting sites on federal and state lands (and waters) to some degree, but they have also lost the trust of individuals in the artifact collecting community who could have helped them with their research—but now staunchly refuse to do so because they see professional archaeologists as a dangerous enemy. Was this really a wise thing to do, or could it have been handled better by cooler heads in some room?

    4) The college catalogs of most American colleges and universities have traditionally listed at least one course in art appreciation, and in many of these institutions, taking that course has been a requirement for graduation. Whether they have thought about it consciously or not, artifact collectors have long regarded themselves as keen appreciators of fine art for its own sake―a basic and important American cultural value. Many artifact collectors have decried the wholesale destruction and loss of valuable prehistoric art (for its own sake) to the teeth of the bulldozer pans on privately owned sites. For such sites under immediate threat by earthmoving operations, one common collector retort across the years has been: “If you professional archaeologists cannot afford to preserve these privately owned sites or do controlled excavations on them, you and the site owners should at the very least allow us collectors to come into these sites and salvage the precious Native American fine art that lies beneath the ground surface before the bulldozers destroy it.” Many artifact collectors are proud of their appreciation of ancient art for its own sake, and they feel such sentiment is fully in line with traditional American values and should not be demeaned by professional archaeologists who falsely claim that the sole concern of collectors is artifact monetary value. What do you have to say about that?

    5) For most of American history, collecting Native American artifacts and historic-era artifacts was a legal and honored American hobby (like collecting postage stamps and coins). It enjoyed widespread public acceptance and support, and it still does in the eyes of many millions of ordinary Americans today who are not artifact collectors.. Even the Boy Scouts of America once encouraged it to a limited extent as a vehicle for teaching boys about Native American culture. With this already strong and long-standing foundation of public support for their hobby among the American people, artifact collectors were naturally concerned that professional archaeologists were trying to end a legitimate, legal, and widely accepted hobby collectors cherished as much as life itself.

    It is a well known fact that professional archaeologists have an endgame goal of stopping all private artifact collecting, buying, selling, and trading in the United States. However, it seems to me that professional archaeologists have failed miserably in this effort. The American people in general still see artifact collecting as a “just great” hobby. Collector archaeological societies such as the Central States Archaeological Societies, Inc. expanded to more than double their size since 1980. Before the advent of the Internet, artifact collectors were often locally and regionally isolated from their fellow collectors, and little communication between collectors was possible. When the Internet arrived, all of those collectors who had been isolated were suddenly in constant touch with each other, sharing information, and organizing for growth in various ways nationwide. It is not at all unusual to find numerous “artifact collecting evangelists” on-line who are encouraging more and more people than ever before to enter the hobby of artifact collecting. As one knowledgeable collector told me recently, artifact collecting is not just growing nationwide—it is booming!!! This has been helped along by artifacts dealer sites that can be accessed by any collector at any time to buy artifacts. It is easy as pie for any collector to sell his artifacts through one of these dealers—and then there is eBay—the magnum accelerator of artifact collecting for any ordinary Joe with a few bucks in his or her pocket. Then there are the information exchange sites such as Arrowheadology.com and Arrowheads.com. The professional archaeology community’s attempt to stop artifact collecting has been an almost total washout—and the washout is getting far worse with each passing day rather than better. With such miserable failure in your back pocket for at least 60 years and the goal slipping farther away. it occurs to me that the professional archaeology community needs to rethink its paradigm.for dealing with artifact collecting and artifact collectors. What do you think?

    6) American archaeology is a money-poor discipline operating in a modern culture that runs on money. Preserving, protecting, and studying archaeological sites requires funding and the enthusiastic support of a perpetually interested and engaged public that can raise that badly needed funding by various means and deliver it. While members of the American public in general are fascinated by archaeology―even wildly so on a shallow intellectual level―American archaeology does not enjoy significant monetary support and dedication from the American public, as do many other organizations, disciplines, and endeavors throughout the United States.

    It can be argued that one primary reason for this public neglect is that professional archaeology is one of the few enterprises on the American stage that often goes out of its way to make controversial public statements and perform provocative actions that ultimately have the effect of alienating its potentially largest, wealthiest, and most enthusiastic base of support among the American people―those citizens who simultaneously collect Native American artifacts and hold a deep and abiding interest in American archaeology―a level of interest that goes far deeper than the shallow fascination typically found on the American street corner. That being the case, at least hypothetically, it would appear that the archaeological record could be better protected in the future if the professional archaeology camp and artifact collector camp can find ways to come together like they once did decades ago; resolve their differences in a way that is acceptable (or at least mutually tolerable) to both sides; mend fences with each other to some workable extent; and find new pathways to a higher level of collaboration to preserve, protect, and study our shared American past.

    7) One of the things that somewhat annoys me about this blog is that the owner is constantly preaching to the average citizen about that citizen’s personal responsibility to protect and preserve archaeological sites. The truth of the matter is that no one has formally, culturally, and societally assigned such responsibility to the average citizen on Elm Street. Who are you to tell them what they MUST DO when you do not pay them their salary or have any other kind of recognized authority over them? Just in case you have not noticed, taxpayer dollars support most of the archeology done in the United States. In that regard, the average citizen really does pay your salary and holds significant authority over you because he or she has the power to write their elected representatives and request that your funding be cut (like with the upcoming National Science Foundation cuts to social science research). Rather than preaching to citizens about their responsibility to protect archaeological sites and serve the needs of archaeologists, it occurs to me that the public should be preaching to you about how you could do your jobs better and get along better with the public. You seem to view public archaeology as a one-way street that flows from the general population to you and other professional archaeologists when it should be the other way around. It is not wise to preach at and bite the hand that feeds you—a basic fact that many professional archaeologists do not seem to understand. Sometimes, as it seems to me, professional archaeologists behave in irrational and nonmindful ways that make them their own worst enemy.

    These are just some thoughts kindly and respectfully submitted to you from an American citizen who votes and has paid an enormous amount of my money in taxes across my nearly 63 years. Thank you and have a good evening.

    Reply

So, what do you think ?