Re: Does a BA "Make" an Anthropologist?

wilkr (wilkr@INDIANA.EDU)
Thu, 23 Feb 1995 10:21:37 -0400

I'm sorry, this comment can be misinterpreted to say that undergraduates
are incompetent.

What I am saying is that it is unethical to sacrifice a site for the sole
purpose of training - archaaological sites are, as you know, a limited
resource. The prevailing 'conservation ethic' in archaeology says that
you only destroy by excavating it when it is endangered or when there are
important research questions at stake.

I did three seasons of fieldwork as an undergraduate. I have seen
wonderful excavations run with high school students, and one with
disabled elementary school kids! But they were all CRM or research
excavations that had to be done anyway - they were not make-work.

A more complete discussion of these issues can be found in an article I
wrote in the mid 70s with Mike Schiffer in R. Gould's edited volume "The
Archaeology of Us."

Richard Wilk Anthropology Dept.
812-855-8162 (voice) Indiana University
812-855-4358 (fax) Bloomington, IN 47405