Like Ripples Across a Pond: Catalyzing Heritage Programs Through Radical Openness

  • Uzi BaramEmail author
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)


Heritage adds value to a wide range of endeavors, with heritage tourism and historic designations presented as opportunities for economic development. Other values for heritage include increasing social capital, using places, heirlooms, and stories to pass on traditions and increase the understanding of locales and history. Public archaeologists and other heritage professions have been using heritage to engage, partner, and contribute to communities. Community-based and transparent heritage practices, whether archaeological investigations or creating new representations of the past for a location, offer positive and continuing opportunities for heritage as positive social actions. An example from the Florida Gulf Coast will illustrate how radical openness for a project facilitated archaeological outreach moving beyond specific research goals to catalyze new endeavors based on the history uncovered. From public archaeology that revealed a previously unknown nineteenth-century maroon community, the freely shared information and insights led to creative expression, innovative uses of newly revealed histories, and more research that went far beyond what the research team might have produced. Such heritage activism allows interest in, and support for, heritage in a manner that can compete with market-driven concerns and expand knowledge and appreciation of the past.


Public archaeology Maroon community Community-based heritage practices Florida Gulf Coast Capitalist model 



Thanks to John Jameson for the invitation to contribution to this collection and comments on the draft chapter. Discussions at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Western Michigan University encouraged focusing on archaeology’s increasing social potential in this age of heritage. Looking for Angola transformed my approaches to research and Vickie Oldham, Canter Brown, Rosalyn Howard, and Terry Weik deserve continuing gratitude for their scholarship, collaborative approaches, and inspiration. And, as I think about heritage, the enthusiasm and engagement of my children keep me optimistic about future possibilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesNew College of FloridaSarasotaUSA

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