Long-term protection of archaeological sites is an essential component of Preservation Archaeology.
Here in the American Southwest, a great number of important archaeological sites occur on private land. Nineteenth-century homesteaders settled in areas with readily available water and arable land, just as Native peoples had for millennia.
Today, scores of new residents are attracted to the Southwest’s wide open spaces and spectacular scenery—and to that special sense of place its natural and cultural resources inspire. Growth comes at a cost, though: many archaeological sites have been lost to residential and commercial development, and many more are at risk.
Using tools ranging from regular communication with landowners to outright purchase, Archaeology Southwest takes direct action to protect the places of our past. We work with landowners to develop case-specific strategies that protect a site over the long term and meet their needs as property owners.
As of August 2017, we own 11 properties outright and hold an archaeological conservation easement on 8 more. On 2 other properties, our archaeological excavation easements provide us a six-month window prior to any ground disturbance to conduct scientific excavations. With the Fleming parcel acquisition this year we have protected more than 1,000 acres of land with important cultural resource values. These holdings are in Arizona and New Mexico. Check out some of these holdings below.