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Comments for Searching for evidence of prehistoric hunters and gatherers

  • I received the following comment regarding the above answer to Sylvia and Marshall’s question:

    Your response to a reader’s question that it would be “fun” to search for “prehistoric hunters and gatherers” evidence during their travels was inadequate, at best.

    I am a trained archaeologist and my husband is a biologist; we have spent many years researching in the American Southwest and other areas.

    *Protected v Not Protected Sites-The Feds, States, etc., have very little money to invest in protecting the environment-people, places, animals, vegetation, etc. The “protected” areas are an extreme few compared to areas in this country that should also be “protected” but are not. Suggesting people go off exploring for “evidence” is irresponsible! There are thousands of truly incredible American Southwest areas not on any bookstore map that put the protected park sites to shame. This is the only way to ensure the inexperienced public does not find them.

    *The damage that people can leave is usually irreversible:
    **chalking in petroglyphs or pictographs to make them stand out for a picture often erodes the glyphs.
    **Scrounging around for streams or ponds can prevent local wildlife from bringing their babies for water-crucial in the desert spring.
    **Moving anything like a rock or branch for a picture can completely change or destroy the “in situ” evidence important in providing valuable information about a site. **Many people bring their collections to a park archaeologist only to learn that removing or even just moving a found rock, etc, leaves little to examine and changes or destroys the important information on the area where the item was found.
    **Ad nauseam.

    I believe it is extremely important to encourage would be “explorers” to educate themselves before they wander off! There are many books about areas of interest that people should read to gain not only information about an area but also how to respect areas where people and animals live and lived.

    Collect memories, leave only footprints!!!

    Dinah Ackerson

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