Collectors Submit Questions to Archaeologists

This page is dedicated solely to providing collectors of Native American artifacts and historic-era artifacts an opportunity to ask questions to professional archaeologists about the details of why American archaeologists have been so deeply concerned about their artifact-collecting activities.  However, please avoid being too general with your questions. You need to understand that no one has time to write a 300-page book to answer a highly generalized, broad-spectrum question for you Please try to ask specific, focused questions about any related subjects or issues that are on your mind. 

Many collectors of Native American artifacts and historic-era artifacts do not understand specifically why professional archaeologists have been so deeply concerned about their collecting activities. This might be hard for some professional archaeologists to believe, but it is true in many cases. Perhaps this is because a past generation of professional archaeologists made its case long ago to a past generation of artifact collectors—but now the members of both generations are dead. In autumn 2014, a young artifact collector approached us on Facebook and remarked in personal anguish and great frustration: “I have tried asking professional archaeologists specific questions about why they are so upset at us artifact collectors, and they refused to answer any of my questions about it.”  If you are a young artifact collector or an old artifact collector, this is your chance to ask professional archaeologists those important questions that are on your mind.  You may ask your questions in the Leave a Reply boxes below.

The following is an Example Question of the general kind or type that we would like to see artifact collectors write into the Leave a Reply box below.  Your questions can address any subject of concern with regard to artifact collecting and professional archaeologists.  Your questions can be either short or long.  That is all up to you.

Example Question

We artifact collectors are reluctant to share information about the privately owned sites we collect on (with owner permission) and what we are finding there because we are afraid you will call up the property owner and tell him to deny us further access to the site.  You professional archaeologists should know that word about your actions travels fast to other collectors—and then no collector will share any information with you or your colleagues.  Why do you professional archaeologists insist on doing things like this when you are really just shooting yourselves and your colleagues in the foot?


One Response to Collectors Submit Questions to Archaeologists

  1. Steve K says:

    Over the years I have been Scuba diving the New Jersey Shore wrecks and have been allowed to see several private shipwreck artifact collections. I have several pieces that I have preserved and done what research available on the internet and library. Many ideas come from other divers as to where to look for information on some of these artifacts and word of mouth and stories are valuable items as well. Many of us want to show our artifacts but there has been resistance from many museum who want the items “Donated” for them to be shown. Fortunately we do have a private museum at where we can “Loan” artifacts for show with a signed receipt so we can get the artifact back if desired…

    I have also spoken to a local civil war museum operated by the National Park Service and have heard that they have basement full of artifacts that have been donated but will probably never see the light of day due to restrictions as well as “Approved display” needed by the government that oversees such museums…

    Any chance this will ever get easier to “Loan” artifacts to these bigger museums?


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