Private property, public archaeology: resident communities as stakeholders in American archaeology
Wright, Alice P.
Year of Publication
Web Address (URL)
Taylor & Francis Online
Abstract: In the United States, archaeological sites on private lands have few legal protections, and are thus at risk of damage or destruction. To alleviate these risks, archaeologists must engage thoughtfully with private property owners and develop strategies to promote site stewardship. In this article, I identify the resident community – those people who live on archaeological sites, regardless of their ancestral ties to those sites – as an important stakeholder in archaeology. Based on recent fieldwork experiences on a privately owned site in the south-eastern US, I discuss the unique challenges of engaging a resident community in archaeological research, and the potential of such engagement for fostering archaeological stewardship. Specifically, I use theories of place attachment derived from environmental psychology to explore how resident communities may be encouraged to empathize with and protect the archaeological records of past people.
Additional tags: private property; archaeological site preservation; resident communities
RPA Codes & Standards
- Principle 1: Adherence to ethical and responsible behaviour in archaeological affairs
- Principle 2: Responsibility for the conservation of the historic environment
- Principle 5: Recognition of aspirations of employees, colleagues and helpers in all matters of employment
Keywords & Terms
- Consultation/Partnership with Affected Groups
- Impact on Communities - Local, Descendant, etc.
- Preservation of Archaeological Resources
- Public Interest, Collaboration, Education, and Outreach
- Respect for and Responsibility to Affected Groups