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Public Lands and Cultural Resource Protection

A Case Study of Unauthorized Damage to Archaeological Sites on the Tonto National Forest, Arizona

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2017

Saul L. Hedquist
Affiliation:
School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1009 E. South Campus Dr., Tucson, AZ 85721
Leigh Anne Ellison
Affiliation:
The Center for Digital Antiquity, P.O. Box 872402, Tempe, AZ 85287
Andy Laurenzi
Affiliation:
Archaeology Southwest, 300 North Ash Alley, Tucson, AZ 85701

Abstract

Archaeological resource protection remains an important management concern on public lands in the U.S. Southwest and beyond. While legislation and educational programs have contributed to a general improvement in public attitudes toward cultural heritage, archaeological resources on public lands remain vulnerable to a variety of human impacts. We present results of a condition and damage assessment of 96 prominent precontact sites on the Tonto National Forest (TNF) in central Arizona. We summarize field methods and observations and discuss their implications for the management and protection of archaeological resources on the TNF and other public lands. Sites at varying distances from roads were assessed in an effort to identify potential relationships between damage frequency and road proximity. Field results indicate that (1) unauthorized damage occurs more frequently at sites near TNF roads; and (2) economical measures like advisory signage provide potentially effective means of deterring unauthorized damage to sites in higher risk locations. Our findings add to a knowledge base important for understanding patterns of damage and site vulnerability and for developing practical protection strategies in line with public land missions and administrative capabilities.

La protección de los recursos arqueológicos sigue siendo un gran problema de la administración de tierras públicas en el suroeste de los EE.UU., al igual que en otras partes del país. Aunque los programas de la legislación y la educación han contribuido en mejorar las actitudes públicas hacia el patrimonio cultural, los recursos arqueológicos en tierras públicas siguen siendo vulnerables a una variedad de impactos humanos. En esta ponencia (o artículo) se presentan los resultados de una evaluación de la condición de daños en 96 prominentes sitios pre-hispánicos ubicados en el parque nacional Tonto National Forest (TNF) del centro de Arizona. Resumimos los métodos de campo y discutiremos las implicaciones para la administración y protección de los recursos arqueológicos en el TNF y en otras tierras públicas. Los sitios arqueológicos ubicados en diferentes distancias de las carreteras fueron evaluadas en un esfuerzo por identificar las posibles relaciones entre la frecuencia de daño y la proximidad de carreteras. Los resultados de los estudios indican (1) los daños no autorizada ocurren con más frecuencia en los sitios cercanos a las carreteras d l TNF; (2) medidas económicas como la señalización de asesoramiento proporcionan medio potencialmente eficaz para disuadir los daños no autorizada en sitios ubicados en áreas de alto riesgo. Nuestros resultados contribuyen a una base de conocimientos importantes para entender los patrones de daño y la vulnerabilidad de los sitios, así como para el desarrollo de estrategias de protección prácticas para las misiones de tierras públicas y las capacidades administrativas.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Society for American Archaeology 2014

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References

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