What Could You Archaeologists Give Up to Reconcile with Collectors?

Many disagreements end via negotiations and mutual agreement in a peace treaty rather than one side surrendering. All negotiations are necessarily about compromise—and always both sides must be willing to give up something or moderate on something to meet the other side halfway so they can come to an agreement. No negotiations succeed and no agreement is reached when one side or both sides walk into a room, list 10 demands on a whiteboard, and say: “I must have all 10 of these things or my side is walking out and never coming back.” This is a recipe for certain failure.  What would the professional archaeologist side be willing to give up (or compromise on) in order to reconcile with artifact collectors and enter into a new pattern of national collaboration with artifact collectors.  A nonstarter response is unacceptable because it will lead to nowhere good.  An example of a nonstarter response is: “We could not give up anything or compromise on anything.” Please let us know your response in the Leave a Reply box below.

The following is an Example Archaeologist Compromise Statement of the general kind or type that we would like to see professional archaeologists write into the Leave a Reply box below. You can address any subject of concern with regard to giving up something or compromising.  Your statements can be either short or long.  That is all up to you.

Example Archaeologist Compromise Statement

We professional archaeologists could compromise by lightening up on complaints about surface collecting at deep-plowed sites on private property.  However, we would expect artifact collectors to meet us halfway by promising to keep, maintain, and share good written and photographic records on what you are finding on the ground surface at your sites and allowing us to submit state archaeological survey forms for your sites. 

Note: There is no professional archaeology agenda in offering the above example. It was just thrown out as a possible random example to get you thinking about all kinds of different ways you could help in achieving a compromise that would lead to better cooperation—while protecting the archaeological record as much as practical for posterity and future archaeological research.


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