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Switching Perspectives: Ethnographic Analysis of Community Viewpoints Regarding In Situ Preservation of Archaeological Sites

Author(s): Natalie De La Torre Salas ; Isabel Rivera-Collazo

Year: 2017

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Summary

The varied definitions of cultural heritage imply that archaeological sites and their landscapes are important for the shaping of local cultural identities. Nonetheless, many of these definitions are unclear about the relationship that communities can have with archaeological sites. Using place attachment theory and a knowledge-centered approach, I explore the cultural and historical knowledge that people have regarding their cultural heritage, their general perception of archaeology, their attachment to archaeological sites, and their opinion regarding "in situ" preservation of heritage. The community of Los Indios in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, presents an ideal case study to evaluate these issues given that it has a very long history of occupation and is located on top of a large archaeological site. In this presentation I show how, through the use of ethnographic data, it is possible to evaluate and understand the motivations and interests of residents regarding the definitions, and preservation of cultural heritage. Knowing which elements limit or facilitate participation of residents towards the preservation of archaeological sites is an undervalued variable that affects local knowledge shaping local identities, cultural knowledge, and understanding of what it is cultural heritage; and should be incorporated into long-term site management plans and regulations.


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Switching Perspectives: Ethnographic Analysis of Community Viewpoints Regarding In Situ Preservation of Archaeological Sites. Natalie De La Torre Salas, Isabel Rivera-Collazo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428846)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15292

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America