Sustaining Heritage: New Directions for Archaeology

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

Sustainability at its core depends on proactive engagement and a preemptive outlook that embraces durability, balance, and equity. As a concept and aspiration, and now a necessity, it entered development and conservation well before archaeology or heritage studies. So, what does sustainability mean for the preservation of the past? How can current global needs be met without compromising resources for future generations? In well-documented ways, heritage is particularly vulnerable to the pressures of our globalized society. Archaeological materials in context provide unique sources of information and experience. They are under increasing threat, whilst methods and definitions that we employ in heritage studies concurrently constantly expand and produce new material. The focus of this session is 'sustaining heritage.' The challenge is to move beyond established epistemological approaches to consider how the heritage of the past can, or should, embrace a sustainable future, while accurately formulating and communicating these issues with necessary impact. What does it mean when the future is privileged or at least accorded the same degree of importance as the present, or indeed the past? Session papers address these issues and examine how balance, continuity, and inter-generational equity – enfolded in sustainability – apply to archaeological heritage.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-4 of 4)

  • Documents (4)

  • Çatalhöyük and Localized Universality: the challenge of sustaining heritage post-UNESCO (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Caitlin Curtis. Peter Biehl.

    UNESCO has long set the example for heritage practice, with site practitioners worldwide motivated to achieve the nearly universally desired World Heritage Site (WHS) status to help preserve and sustain their sites. However, the idealized goals espoused by UNESCO, a global organization, are inherently universalizing, which can render them incompatible with the particularities of each local setting. One illustrative example is Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Since being granted UNESCO WHS status in 2012,...

  • Heritage and Sustainable Tourism In Turkey: The Case Study of Aktopraklık (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Necmi Karul. Mert Bertan AVCI.

    This paper will present the Aktopraklık Cultural Heritage Management Project, which was established as a result of the archaeological evidence excavated from the prehistoric site of Aktopraklık in northwest Turkey. The project encompasses all aspects of archaeological heritage as well as heritage and sustainable tourism. The paper discusses public outreach and interactive engagement through reconstruction of the prehistoric life, ethnographic exhibits, and experimental areas together with the...

  • Heritage Preservation, Community Development and Sustainability: Tihosuco, Mexico and the Caste War of the Yucatan (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tiffany Cain. Richard Leventhal.

    International tourism is a powerful economic force in Mexico today but usually provides little help to indigenous communities except through a long process of economic trickle-down. In addition, many of the ancient sites, the focus of this tourism, are controlled by the nation-state with indigenous peoples often having little say about development or use of the economic benefits. Our recent project in Tihosuco, Quintana Roo is a collaboration between the town of Tihosuco, the Tihosuco Ejido, the...

  • Heroes of heritage: Detrimental situations as commendable motivation for hobbyist metal detecting (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Josephine Rasmussen.

    Within contemporary European heritage discourse, agriculture and forestry are increasingly identified as threats to archaeological remains. At ploughed-over archaeological sites, objects that where once associated with primary depositional contexts become mixed into the top soil, and this enhances their destruction. This paper explores the discourse that revolves around hobbyist metal detecting as a large scale means of rescuing archaeological material from destruction. Based on a case study...