Originally posted by PGTWEED
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
Sorry, JohnnyCanuck. Infoseeker is also correct. I know archaeologists who have had what he described happen to them. They make a find, report to the
appropriate academics, who then dismiss the find only to lead an excavation at the site where the find was discovered by the archaeologist that
reported the discovery. Infoseeker is describeing the jealousies between amatuer and academic archaeologists. Especially, if the discovery is
controversial political or historical.
My comments here are going to reflect a local context.
You know, much of your discussion has to do with what one wants out of a site. Many amateurs are fueled by a lust for 'goodies' and conduct their
investigations accordingly. Here in Ontario, it is illegal to conduct archaeological activities without a licence issued by the government. There are
a whole series of hoops to jump through to qualify...then you need to register your project and
report on the results. Since archaeology
destroys its database in the process, it needs to be conducted to a particular set of standards...mapping, recordkeeping, all of that. I have an
'avocational' licence which only permits me to do Stages 1 & 2...up to and including shovel test pitting, all on my lonesome. I can do further work
alongside a higher grade...ie
with someone who has a professional licence.
Which all goes to say that just because there is a site known, it should not follow that it should be excavated unless it is in danger of destruction.
Outside of that, excavation should only be done to assist in a particular line of research. Otherwise...just leave it where it is. Burials, of course,
should be left alone except under the most exceptional circumstances and in full consultation with the cultural descendants.
So what may look like jealousy and site jumping more reasonably reflects the fact that archaeological resources are fragile and generally only provide
one opportunity to tell their tale. Too often, that tale is lost due to well-meaning amateur excavation.
And to address the central discussion, I'd like to see more investigation regarding the peopling of the Americas...First Nations and