Author Archives: Matthew Sanger

MAPA announces new fieldwork at Poverty Point, LA – Starting Summer 2017

  Poverty Point is one of the largest, most ancient, and most complex earthen mound constructions in the Western Hemisphere.  Made up of six concentric earthen ridges, six mounds, a central plaza, and associated borrow areas spread across 163 hectares in northeastern Louisiana – Poverty Point was constructed by populations who hunted, gathered and fished between 3,700 and 3,100 years ago, and is one of the earliest monumental sites in North America. Deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014, Poverty Point exemplifies many aspects of public archaeology in the United States – it is a place of both local and global heritage, it looms large within the study of Native Americans in the region, and it is considered socially, politically, and cosmologically powerful by its many publics. For these reasons, MAPA is excited to begin fieldwork at Poverty Point this coming year.  In conjunction with Mississippi State University, University of Louisiana at Monroe, the Louisiana Office of State Parks, and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, faculty at Binghamton University, including Matthew Sanger and Carl Lipo, have developed field research at Poverty Point and its surroundings slated to begin in Summer 2017. While most attention at [Read More]

What is the role of academic training in bringing about change in the cultural resource management industry?

  This recent post on Succinct Research has made waves across the CRM world and, to a lesser degree, among academic archaeologists. It speaks to the current state of the cultural resource management industry and suggests we are at a tipping point. As the doldrums of the recession begin to fade and new projects are showing up, the post suggests that CRM needs to reinvent itself to be more dynamic, innovative, and diversified. At the core of the post is a suggestion that the CRM world needs to do more than run compliance projects if it is going to reach its full potential – it instead needs to promote its public value by contributing to local communities in an active manner. According to the post, there is a large public demand for authentic encounters with the past and a wealth of projects, partners, and opportunities left on the table by traditional CRM companies who doggedly focus on finding the next Phase I to keep their employees employed. Rather than curtailing our industry to compliance-driven research, CRM firms could branch out and provide new products and services to communities and other industries interested in benefiting from increased knowledge about the past. [Read More]