What Does Chaco Canyon In New Mexico Have In Common With Saqsaywaman, Peru? And What Is The Sun Dagger?
Chaco Canyon, New Mexico & Saqsaywaman, Peru Have Many Similarities In Terms Of Archaeological Site Management
The last few weeks I have been using the Getty Research Library to conduct an audit of archaeological sites in the world that have human conflicts similar to that in Saqsaywaman. I have found many, but the one that fits most perfectly, in terms of the conflict on the site, is Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. This site has been inhabited by various indigenous people for thousands of years. When the site management was turned over to the National Park System (NPS) of the U.S. in the 1930's, the desire to relocate the indigenous population off the site prompted a similar conflict to that at Saqsaywaman. The people living on the site atop the ruins of past cultures/ancestors didn't initially want to move off of Chaco Canyon lands. However, the NPS had a mandate to conserve the site for posterity and archaeological/anthropological study. This situation is VERY similar to the current conflict at Saqsaywaman.
Both sites have indigenous American Indians living on the site that wanted to use delicate heritage locations for ceremony and agriculture. Both sites are struggling with the need to accommodate ever increasing numbers of tourists. Both sites have been recognized as UNESCO Heritage Sites of importance to the understanding of our human history, and must be conserved for future generations. Both sites are facing threats from looting, infrastructure development (roads, technology, housing), and the need for archaeologists to continue study under the active living environments of the current inhabitants.
So Why Try To Find An Archaeological Site That Has A Similar History Of Conflict
To That at Saqsaywaman?
By studying the solutions that were developed at Chaco Canyon, we might provide a site management template that the Ministry of Culture in Peru could use for Saqsaywayman. Why recreate the wheel if a solution design for such conflicts has already been developed?
Back in 2001, the Getty Conservation Institute embarked on what was called a "Values Based Assessment" of the various stakeholders at Chaco Canyon. The values explored were identified as the following:
Is It Possible That The Solutions Reached at Chaco Canyon Can Serve As A Starting Point For Saqsaywaman?
It is my belief, based on my research, that this case study (documented in a Getty publication entitled Heritage Values in Site Management - Four Case Studies) provides a starting point from which the Ministry of Culture in Peru can develop it's own Values Based Site Management Plan.
When I go down to Peru later this year, I hope to start the process of putting together an Academic Conference to bring the descendants of the Inca to meet the Pueblo Indian stakeholders in Chaco Canyon, as well as the the U.S. National Park System staff so they all can learn from each other. In my wildest dreams this conference would happen sometime in 2018 and the resulting learning would assist the Ministry of Culture in Peru and the residents of the Saqsaywaman site to develop their own Values Based Assessment of the Peruvian site.
It is my hope that my work as an ethnographic researcher and filmmaker will add a layer of richness to the "Values Based Assessment" of Saqsaywaman. Ultimately, my research is designed to answer the question:
Can ethnographic film be a tool for Values Based Archaeological Site Management?
YOU CAN HELP GET MAREN AND HER CREW BACK TO PERU
Many of you have contributed to my Peru Fundraising efforts and I so VERY much appreciate that. I have raised about $3,500 so far. I really need to raise almost $10,000 to get down to Peru with a small team of people. I am seeking grants and corporate funding as well. So, if you are inclined to donate, I'd appreciate it. And please feel free to share this blog and my website with anyone you think might be interested. Links are below...and you can share this blog as well.
Thanks so much for your time reading this blog...and for whatever help you can give me to continue my work in Peru.
"Stone & People" Project
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