Community outreach, digital heritage and private collections: a case study from the North American Great Plains

Matthew Douglass, Dennis Kuhnel, Matthew Magnani, Luke Hittner, Michael Chodoronek, Samantha Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Artifact collectors are commonplace the world over. They range from individuals with personal collections, to organized looting ventures which supply artifacts to market. In the United States, a strong tradition of artifact collecting exists in the North American Great Plains. In this region, artifact collections obtained from private lands are a common and potentially important source of information about the past. Here, we report on ‘Artifact Roadshows’ which are held to document lithic projectile points held in private collections. Through these events–which include the three-dimensional digitization and general artifact recording–we have expanded our understandings of collector motivations, created a platform to educate on best practices, and begun to appreciate the types of analyses which can be run on data accumulated in such contexts. These efforts seek to encourage collaboration between professional archaeologists and the public in documenting the heritage of the Great Plains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-638
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Archaeology
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

Keywords

  • artifact collections
  • digital heritage
  • Great Plains
  • projectile points
  • public archaeology

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