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Heritage Resource Looting and Vandalism in Arizona: How Serious is the Problem?

Who We Are We are professional archaeologists and resource managers with career and organizational commitments to the protection and appropriate uses of heritage sites and objects—places and things inherited from the past and still valued today. The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Archaeology Southwest are dedicated to the proposition that archaeological and historical…

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How to Visit Cultural Sites with Respect

Archaeological sites are fragile and non-renewable. The impacts of our visits to sites can add up to significant damage. But there are ways to appreciate these special places and preserve them for future generations.   “I always stress respect. Everything is a sacred, living entity. Everything has a spirit… Every place you go should be…

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How Respect and Cultural Awareness Protect Archaeological Sites

  “Archaeological sites being ‘abandoned’ doesn’t mean that they’re abandoned in the spiritual world. They are still a part of this culture. Tangible aspects were left there so that people don’t forget.” Kenny Bowekaty, as told to Stacy Ryan   Kenny Bowekaty is from the Pueblo of Zuni and has worked as an archaeologist for…

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Repatriating Ancestors From a Missionary’s Basement

  “Native people have been dealing with desecration of not only our homelands but our burials and our sacred places for ages and ages and ages. It’s nothing new to us.” Pete Coffey, as told to the Art Bust podcast   In 2014, Pete Coffey–One Feather received gruesome news about human remains recovered from an…

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“Our Way of Life is Forever Disrupted”: A Conversation with Benjamin Nuvamsa on the Theft of the Talaotumsim

by Benjamin H. Nuvamsa and John R. Welch When it comes to being a Bear Clan elder, Ben Nuvamsa (Hopi) emphasizes duties and obligations over rights and benefits. Being born into the Hopi Bear Clan brings with it hereditary responsibilities to look out for the good of your children, the Hopi Sinom (people), and people…

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Archaeological Resource Crime is a Wicked Problem

Archaeological Resource Crime is a Wicked Problem John R. Welch, Landscape and Site Preservation Program Director People around the world agree that taking stuff that’s not theirs and digging up graves is wrong. So why do these wrongs keep happening? Why are they common, almost universal? Why have several generations of community leaders and law…

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