Archaeology and Tourism

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

On a national and international level archaeological sites have great social, cultural, and economic value. Archaeological sites are integral parts of regional histories, heritages, and identities. They are also often major tourist attractions. The economic potential has increased the pressure on archaeological sites to accommodate greater influxes of tourists and on the authorities in charge to open up more sites to tourism. Tourism expands local opportunities and brings in revenue but it can also have serious impacts on sites. Archaeotourism must be considered carefully and entered cautiously. Steps must be taken to maintain the integrity of the site as both a cultural resource and as a subject for research and scholarship. If negotiated properly, many future possibilities lie in the cooperation between cultural managers and tourism experts. In this session we will explore the possibilities and best practices of presenting archaeological research and communicating the importance of archaeological heritage to an interested public as well as share innovative approaches to archaeotourism involving local communities, technology, and more.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-9 of 9)

  • Documents (9)

  • Archaeology as Heritage Resource: Foundations for Successful Archaeological Tourism, Achievements and Challenges from Petra to Angkor (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erin Linn.

    Global heritage tourism is at an all time high with tourism numbers expected to increase in the coming years. The challenges associated with managing heritage sites are as countless as they are complex. Heritage resources are finite non-renewal assets that provide critical links to the past, a source of identity, knowledge, and cultural values that enable communities and individuals to better understand and navigate the present. The management of archaeological resources, as part of heritage...

  • Bridging the Great Cultural Tourism Divide: Working with the Tourism Industry (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ben Thomas. Meredith Langlitz.

    A growing public interest in archaeotourism has resulted in greater numbers of visitors to archaeological sites as well as tourism being increasingly being seen as a use for sites for both social and economic reasons. While additional visitors can generate more revenue for local interests, they also increase human impact on the site. While tourism operators, archaeologists, and heritage managers frequently work at the same sites, they often work in isolation. While, many sites are preparing for...

  • Bringing Visitors to State Historic Sites: Remote Sensing and Hands-on Research (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Linda Stine.

    North Carolina’s Department of Cultural Resources is pressed by state legislators to justify keeping Historic Site’s properties open, and its Office of State Archaeology (OSA) staff gainfully employed. The state university system has also seen its share of cuts. By pooling research interests and resources, OSA and University of North Carolina Greensboro archaeologists and geography professors and students could highlight potential below ground features and excavate at two sites. The project...

  • Diving to a Flash of Education: Archaeological Tourism at Maritime Sites (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Della Scott-Ireton. Jennifer McKinnon.

    Underwater archaeological sites around the world draw thousands of diving tourists lured by the excitement of shipwrecks and the beauty of the marine environment. Through scientific research and beguiling information, archaeologists have the opportunity to educate these visitors about the history of the sites and, perhaps more importantly, about the need for preservation. Effective interpretation leads to appreciation of submerged cultural sites as links to our past, rather than simply as mines...

  • Ghost tourists in Gondar: Sustainable tourism and archaeological heritage (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jaime Almansa-Sanchez.

    Literature in heritage and tourism usually addresses the multiple benefits of visitors, their threats and the controversial concept of ‘return’. As heritage managers we usually focus our efforts on these visitors, as the panacea for everything. In the context of postcolonial theory and public archaeology, there are two factors of this equation that we usually forget; local communities and the real recipients of the money. Working in Gondar (Ethiopia) I have come to define the concept of the...

  • In Defense of Archaeotourism (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Deborah Gangloff.

    Archaeotourism, the visiting of sites of historic and prehistoric significance, not only satisfies people’s interest in the past, but more importantly helps to build greater support for cultural resource preservation and research. While protecting sites is paramount, professional archaeologists cannot ignore or risk losing the opportunities archaeotourism provides; namely creating a scientifically- and culturally-literate population that can help advance the protection of cultural resources and...

  • A matter of balance: Opportunities and challenges in "difficult" heritage (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Heidi Bauer-Clapp.

    Tourism centered on archaeological sites or associated material culture can benefit local communities, financially or otherwise. Yet when the site in question involves "difficult" heritage such as violence, communities often must grapple with tensions regarding how to balance memorialization or education with profitability. Such tensions can be heightened when the site involves human remains. This paper presents a case study of St Helena, a small British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic...

  • Promoting Responsible Heritage Tourism through Public Archaeology at Two Great Lakes Lighthouses (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Surface-Evans. S.K. Haase.

    Central Michigan University recently undertook a series of public archaeology projects in cooperation with local historical societies and county governments in to investigate two northern Michigan lighthouses that are public parks. The McGulpin Point Lighthouse operated from 1869 to 1906 and was purchased by Emmett County in 2009. The 40 Mile Point Lighthouse was built in 1897, was deeded to Presque Isle County in 1998. The modern political and socioeconomic conditions of the two counties are...

  • Public Archaeology at Cottonwood Creek (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Fran Seager-Boss. Alfred Theodore. Kathryn Krasinski. Brian Wygal. Richard Martin.

    In Southcentral Alaska, Matanuska-Susitna Borough is among the Nation's most rapidly growing regions. At the cost of losing indigenous archaeological settlements, subdivision activities have mushroomed in response to increased population. Collaboration with the Knik Native Dena'ina Tribe is tantamount to saving numerous proto-historic settlements where inland rivers confluence with Knik Arm in Upper Cook Inlet. Working with the State and Knikatnu Tribal Corporation who own sites adjacent to...