Rethinking Site Significance to Improve Preservation and Protection

Author(s): Daniel Odess

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "New Perspectives on Heritage Protection: Accomplishing Goals" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The archaeological record is under attack. Whether from willful destruction at the hands of religious extremists, vandalism aimed at destroying the heritage of minority populations, looting for fun and profit, development in the name of progress, ill-considered agency actions, or climate-driven fire and erosion, the tangible remains of our collective history are suffering death by a thousand cuts. The problem is global: despite our efforts, these cuts occur every day and in every nation. In many areas, efforts to address this problem are plagued by a lack of priority-driven focus that leads to an inability to participate effectively in planning processes. Simply put, we have difficulty setting priorities for protection and preservation because we cannot agree upon and articulate what is most important. As a result, project proponents and resource managers are unable to avoid damaging resources efficiently within their broader planning efforts. Until we can agree upon and effectively communicate significance-based priorities for preservation, effective resource stewardship will remain an elusive goal. This paper discusses how we might begin to rethink our approach to significance to incorporate archaeological resources into landscape-scale (big picture) conservation planning and design.

Cite this Record

Rethinking Site Significance to Improve Preservation and Protection. Daniel Odess. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451463)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24135