Disappearing Historic Archaeology

Author(s): Neal Ackerly

Year: 2017


This paper explores the unintended consequences of recycling and solid waste disposal practices, both informal and programmatic, on nineteenth and twentieth century historic sites in the American West. Recycling or re-use of items of material culture has been around since time immemorial. However, it was not until World War I that recycling emerged on an industrial scale with the establishment of the Waste-Reclamation Service. Similarly, efforts to establish protocols for garbage (solid waste) collection and disposal languished until the beginning of the twentieth century, emerging as a serious consideration after World War II as populations relocated from rural settings to cities. The impact of these two processes on historic sites varies geographically, demographically, and temporally. The implications of these practices on the composition and longer-term integrity of sites are explored in the context of historic archeology in the West.

Cite this Record

Disappearing Historic Archaeology. Neal Ackerly. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429357)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17130