Current issues in anthropology

Essay by chris86University, Bachelor'sA-, January 2008

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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."...