Public Benefits of Archaeology

Edited by Barbara J. Little

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"It is no longer a question that conducting archaeology with an eye toward the general public is important for the discipline. What Little has accomplished in this volume is to push the dialogue further in exploring both why it is important to a nonarchaeology audience and how it is important in our world today."--Mark Warner, University of Idaho

Little brings together an unprecedented mix of authors from all aspects of the profession, as well as several non-archaeologists, who address the broad range of contributions that archaeology makes beyond research. Their discussion confronts the issue of exactly who the public is and why it should care about archaeology at all. These authors prove, in exploring diverse cross-sections of the public, that archaeology plays a crucial role in providing an authentic past, opportunities for critical thinking, and multicultural education. The eclectic nature of the collection allows for a thorough exploration of major issues central to the conduct of archaeological scholarship: museum and site interpretation, site preservation, education, media relations, descendant communities, and politics and public policy.

Foreword: The Value of Archaeology, by Roger G. Kennedy
Part I. Finding Common Ground
1. Archaeology as a Shared Vision, by Barbara J. Little
2. Public Benefits of Archaeological Research, by William D. Lipe
Part II. Many Publics, Many Benefits
3. Heritage, History, and Archaeological Educators, by Francis P. McManamon
4. Hopi Understanding of the Past: A Collaborative Approach, by Leigh (Jenkins) Kuwanwisiwma
5. Neat Stuff and Good Stories: Interpreting Historical Archaeology in Two Local Communities, by Adrian Praetzellis
6. Underwater Heritage and the Diving Community, by Lynn Harris
7. On the Power of Historical Archaeology to Change Historians' Minds about the Past, by James P. Whittenburg
8. Garbology: The Archaeology of Fresh Garbage, by W. L. Rathje
9. Empowerment, Ecology, and Evidence: The Relevance of Mortuary Archaeology to the Public, by Thomas A. J. Crist
Part III. Learning from an Authentic Past
10. Protecting the Past to Benefit the Public, by George S. Smith and John E. Ehrenhard
11. Roadside Ruins: Does America Still Need Archaeology Museums? by David Hurst Thomas
12. Archaeology and Tourism at Mount Vernon, by Esther C. White
13. Broadening the Interpretations of the Past at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, by Paul A. Shackel
14. Myths, Lies, and Videotapes: Information as Antidote to Social Studies Classrooms and Pop Culture, by Fay Metcalf
15. Project Archaeology: Putting the Intrigue of the Past in Public Education, by Jeanne M. Moe
16. Pursuing the ZiNj Strategy Like There's No Tomorrow, by Kevin T. Jones and Julie E. Maurer Longstreth
Part IV. Promoting the Public Benefits of Archaeology
17. Irreplaceable Heritage: Archaeology and the National Register of Historic Places, by Carol D. Shull
18. Archaeology in Santa Fe: A Public-Private Balancing Act, by Mary Grzeskowiak Ragins
19. Potsherds and Politics, by Terry Goddard
20. Archaeology and the Tourism Train, by Katherine Slick
21. The Web of Archaeology: Its Many Values and Opportunities, by S. Terry Childs
22. The Archaeologist as Storyteller, by Peter A. Young
23. Reaching the Hidden Audience: Ten Rules for the Archaeological Writer, by Mitch Allen
Epilogue, by Brian M. Fagan

Barbara J. Little is an archaeologist for the National Park Service.

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"In examining why the public should care about this topic, the authors (experts from inside and outside the field) document how archaeology helps connect the present to the past, create opportunities for critical thinking, and advance multicultural education." - Museum News
--Museum News

"Historians who are otherwise wary of edited conference proceedings should embrace this volume: its diverse perspectives and multiple voices reinforce the major theme of the book and the current direction of archaeology and public history alike." - Public Historian
--Public Historian

" An intriguing book that tackles one of the most perplexing conundrums in archaeology today: how to reinvent a diverse and complex field in a way that appeals to the modern public." "There is no question that archaeologists, wherever they are employed, must spread the message about the value and excitement offered by investigating the past." "The authors of tis volume have provided many useful ideas and object lessons for all archaeologists to ponder."
--Journal of Field Archaeology

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