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A Survey of Vandalism to Archaeological Resources in Southwestern Colorado

A Survey of Vandalism to Archaeological Resources in Southwestern Colorado


International Edition

About the Book

One of the most critical concerns for land managers and professional archaeologists is vandalism or unwarranted destruction of vestiges of the nation's historic and prehistoric cultural resources. Though illegal since 1906, the attrition of archaeological sites and data on public lands has been and continues to be a serious problem. This study undertakes analysis of the factors affecting vandalism to archaeological sites in the Bureau of Land Management's Sacred Mountain Planning Unit, located in southwestern Colorado. The study area has long been known for its many spectacular prehistoric ruins and, as a consequence, relic or artifact collecting has been a common pastime since the 1880s. In order to define factors associated with vandalism from which recommendations for improved management and conservation of the area's ruins could be made, several phases of inquiry were outlined. These include: 1) a review of activities which are deleterious to cultural resources; 2) an overview of cultural resource destruction in the project area; 3) a compilation of known site data through the use of certain variables thought to be important to the problem; 4) a field implementation phase designed to verify the trends and factors identified in the known site file data; and 5) interviews with known collectors of antiquities living in the area. As a result of these efforts, quantitative data are offered to support previous ideas that in the project area archaeological site density, distribution, and visibility, along with relatively easy access, are the principal factors associated with vandalism to cultural resources. Other factors of secondary importance include the local and family traditions of artifact collecting, and a commercial or profit motive. Recommendations to management center on actions related to the need for demonstrable intent to prosecute violators of extant antiquities laws, expansion of existing preventative programs, and continued and increased emphasis on public education approaches. This study of vandalism to archaeological resources represents a new management approach by the Bureau of land Management in protecting our cultural heritage. The intent of the work was to use different sources of information such as data on known vandalized sites and interviews with former or current artifact collectors to determine the source, type, and extent of the vandalism problem in southwestern Colorado. The result of this study has allowed the BLM to make better and more productive use of its limited protection funds. Our protection effort is now emphasizing three areas: public education on the heritage value of cultural resources, interpretation and stabilization of the more visible and important resources, and the use of patrol and law enforcement to deter vandals from further destruction of these nonrenewable heritage values.

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781496044853
  • Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publisher Imprint: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Height: 280 mm
  • No of Pages: 186
  • Series Title: Cultural Resources
  • Weight: 444 gr
  • ISBN-10: 1496044851
  • Publisher Date: 23 Feb 2014
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: N
  • Spine Width: 10 mm
  • Width: 216 mm

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