Current Issues In Anthropology Essay

1189 words - 5 pages

Archaeology and Society: Current IssuesCurrently in our world there are numerous artifacts that are considered to be sacred within their region of origin. Individual countries and regions use its past to either promote tourism, to generate revenue through legal and illegal sales of antiquities, and other activities that make the past profitable to an economy. Recent history points to cases where that arise from ownership of artifacts, pillaging of ancient artifacts, destruction of archaeological heritage through the constructions of mega dams. Overall, these cases have a detrimental effect on a region's cultural heritage and moreover eliminates the idea of how past accomplishments link and connect to a culturally prosperous future.Currently, one of the most important issues in archaeological studies is the theme of ownership. There are countless artifacts that are displayed in museums that are not in the country or region of origin. This raises a question to many of who is the true owner of the artifact as a commodity. "Increasing globalization is an undeniable fact of life in the twenty-first century, but it is premature to view this commercialization of the past as overtaking or rendering obsolete states' manipulation of the past for nationalist purposes." (Kohl 2004:298) Kohl outlines the difference between the use of monuments currently and to the past. Now monuments are being used to generate dollars but previously it promoted a sense of national unity to bring people together under the government at the time. Countless dollars are generated through the revenue of museums from people who want to see and have an experience which is similar to the real thing. Many of these countries want their artifacts back due to for their own monetary reasons. "Landowners sometimes also choose to exploit the archaeological resources that comprise part of their property for commercial gain." (Skeates 2000: 59) Most owners of land want to make economic benefit from their land rather than preserving it for future generations to enjoy.Another issue that arises from present day archaeology is the use of archaeological sites as tourist attractions. There is an inverse relationship between tourism and preservation of a site. It is quite difficult to preserve a site in tact if there is a constant mass of people flocking to a site to touch and feel each part of the site to evoke a cultural feeling, as if they are one with the site. A good example of a site destroyed by mass tourism is the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland due to the mass appeal of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Numerous tourists flooded to the site like a theme park for the novel that was not anticipated by clergy. "Tourists may inadvertently destroy that which they come to see, by bringing with them erosion, pollution, noise and demands for services, such as transport, toilet, entertainment, cafes, souvenir shops and accommodations." (Skeates 2000:61) Preservation is key for future generation to enjoy...

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