Envisioning Engaged and Useful Archaeologies



Public archeology encompasses all archeology supported with tax dollars, thus including a range of archeological professions from the federal archeological system to cultural resource management as well as academic archeology that uses federal research grants. Such support should provide public return on investment. But given the diverse ways in which archeology is practiced, there are many constraining frameworks and similarly diverse views on what this means and how it can or should be accomplished or improved. This chapter considers relevance from the perspective of the US federal archeological system, particularly the National Park Service, and sets both an historical background of discussions on the meaning and purpose of archeology and lays out recommendations for an altered vision of both the field and the archeologists who practice it. A common theme through these recommendations is the need for enhanced connections: between those who do archeology in different settings, between the fields of anthropology and archeology and related social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences such as ecology and its role in conservation, and between the voices and perspectives of archeologists and the many publics who engage with it.


Public Benefit National Park Service Historic Preservation Cultural Resource Management Archaeological Practice 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. National Park Service and University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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