In Canada, and around the world, regulations are in place to protect archaeology resources from damage and destruction. Rules are governed regionally and often have federal legislation and acts in place to support local guidelines. When a proposed project or site may need archaeological or cultural resource studies conducted before gaining approval, a variety of responses are possible. Many clients grin and bear it, hoping that the field work and research turn-up nothing and their project can proceed without additional impact to the scope or budget.
However, when cultural resources are found and if the client is not prepared to rework their footprint to avoid impacting the site, mitigative excavations and detailed study are required. As the schedule is delayed and the project budget costs rise, consulting archaeologists are often challenged by their admiration for the resource and ensuring the needs of the client are met.
The greatest satisfaction for a consulting archaeologist is when a client is fully involved and supportive of an archaeological study and research, realising the potential exists for improving their company profile, community relations, and overall corporate responsibility. These advantages to the client and the discipline of archaeology should be encouraged and fostered.
Driven by our pursuit of knowledge and the excitement and delight of discovery, we cringe when resources are bulldozed, or intentionally damaged. The loss of archaeological resources is not just personal, it inherently damages our collective sense of community, understanding, and accomplishment.
The results of archaeological studies need to be shared with the wider public whenever possible and not left to sit on dusty shelves and in museum archives. Participating in public forums educates about local archaeology and serves to promote an appreciation and respect for our shared human history. One that will serve us well in the future.