Why Archaeology Matters: A Petition

Gov Affairs

Over the past month, the Society for Historical Archaeology and the archaeological community have been actively engaged in voicing our concern for the recent op-ed published by US Representatives Eric Cantor and Lamar Smith in the USA Today. SHA President Paul Mullins drafted a letter to Cantor and Smith, and our push to encourage people to share their thoughts about #WhyArchMatters was a surprising success. We’ve also asked for your stories and experience with NSF funding, a process that has yielded a number of responses that will aid in our efforts to further engage the federal government regarding why archaeology matters, and how public funding supports archaeological research.

We’ve also been working behind the scenes to establish a way for you and the people you serve to be even more engaged in communicating your opinion about the importance of publicly funded archaeological research. Today, we’re announcing the beginning of our first SHA Change.org petition.

By visiting the petition and adding your name, you will join us in telling Representatives Cantor and Smith that we believe archaeological research matters and should be funded by the US Government. But we need you to do more than just sign this petition: in order for this effort to be successful, we need you to take this petition into your own communities. Share it with the people who visit your museums, who you engage with through your research, or who volunteer at your labs. Post it on Facebook and Twitter and send it out through email, and let the communities you work with know how publicly funded research supports the work that you do, and how that work, in turn, benefits them.

We also want to draw your attention to a similar petition drive being led by our colleagues at the National Humanities Alliance. The National Endowment for the Humanities is also facing proposed budget cuts of 49 percent, and the National Humanities Alliance has begun a campaign to petition Congressional leaders. We encourage you to support their cause, since NEH funding has been a critical source of funding for historical archaeology projects, as well.

Your support is important to archaeology and to SHA. Thank you!

Sign the SHA Petition to encourage Eric Cantor and Lamar Smith to continue Supporting publicly funded Archaeological research

Friday Links: What’s new in Historical Archaeology

It’s time to see what’s happening in Historical Archaeology once again. This week, our photo is from Valerie Hall, a graduate student at Illinois State University, of her children at SHA’s Public Archaeology Day, looking at the display from the Jefferson Patterson Maryland Archaeology Lab. You can read her post about their visit here! 

But now, it’s on to the links. As always, please share your links in the comments below!

Headlines

Conservators are working to preserve Civil War era graffiti in a former war hospital in Virginia.

The Society for Historical Archaeology was pleased to present Award of Merit to Historic St. Mary’s City this year.

Fiona Reynolds discusses the value and importance of cultural heritage to the economy, and government’s responsibilities to it.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation archaeologists have uncovered the Dyotville Glass Works (nice videos of their excavations).

DePaul students excavate at a home that was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Resources

Looting Heritage is a new website that tracks and maps reported looting sites across the globe.

The Blogs

The Plowzone asks some questions about historical archaeology and New Humanism.

The MSU Campus Archaeology Program has released a new online exhibit.

Middle Savagery describes the physical effects of a long season out in the field.

Mount Vernon’s Mystery Midden’s Luke Pecoraro discusses the importance of clothing, and its representation in the historical and archaeological record.

And finally, a video about the Texas A&M Program in Nautical Archaeology, featuring some graduate research:

Photo Copyright All rights reserved by diggrrl on Flickr.