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Open AccessArticle

Addressing Problems beyond Heritage, Patrimony, and Representation:  Reflections on Twenty Years of Community Archaeology in the Southwestern Maya Lowlands

1
Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
2
Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Heritage 2020, 3(3), 561-586; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage3030033
Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maya Anthropological Archaeology)
Collaborative or community archaeology as a methodological approach has a long history and is becoming increasingly common in the Maya world. This article draws from the authors’ experiences on three distinct archaeological projects to discuss the benefits and obstacles we confronted while conducting collaborative research with contemporary Maya communities as well as lessons we learned that can increase the odds of a mutually beneficial partnership. After summarizing the history of the research projects and the expectations for and contributions of the scientific and community stakeholders, we propose several characteristics that were particularly helpful. These include the need for all parties to engage in sincere and sustained dialogue, to be flexible, and to take others in account when making any plans that affect them. Most importantly, we urge archaeologists to collaborate with community endeavors beyond those that are directly related to their research, offering a few examples of how archaeological skills, equipment, and social capital can be used to address a wide range of local concerns beyond patrimony and heritage. View Full-Text
Keywords: community archaeology; Maya archaeology; community development; archaeological ethics; world heritage; continuity community archaeology; Maya archaeology; community development; archaeological ethics; world heritage; continuity
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Woodfill, B.K.; Rivas, A.E. Addressing Problems beyond Heritage, Patrimony, and Representation:  Reflections on Twenty Years of Community Archaeology in the Southwestern Maya Lowlands. Heritage 2020, 3, 561-586.

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