What Could You Collectors Give Up to Reconcile with Archaeologists?

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 artifact collector side be willing to give up (or compromise on) in order to reconcile with professional archaeologists and enter into a new pattern of national cooperation with professional archaeologists. We realize that no one organization officially represents all artifact collectors, so we are asking each one of you collectors what you as an individual collector would be willing to give up to make peace and have future collaborations with professional archaeologists like those that existed in the old days.

What specific thing could you, as an individual collector, compromise on? 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 Collector Compromise Statement of the general kind or type that we would like to see artifact collectors 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 Collector Compromise Statement

I would be willing to quit digging for artifacts, but I would also expect the professional archaeology community to meet me halfway on this by lightening up on complaints about surface collecting on rural sites that have obviously been plowed to a depth of 1 foot or more for the better part of two centuries. 

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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