Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 15 (1999-2000). Copyright © Ann C. Bauermeister; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


Archeology has long enjoyed popularity among the public. Such interest is an asset to the discipline, for it can generate the support integral to the profession and to the study of the archeological record. Unfortunately, the allure of archeology also has the potential to be destructive to the archeological record. When archeology is viewed as a hobby is when problems can--and do--arise. The term "amateur archeologist" has been applied to nonprofessional or untrained persons who pursue archeological work. Why our profession is thought of as one where amateurs are welcome is not entirely clear, though perhaps it is due in part due to how archeology has been romanticized through entertainment mediums. This paper addresses the current situation regarding collectors or "amateur archeologists". More specifically it focuses on the commercialization of antiquities, the problem with fake and replicate artifacts, and finally the role that the Internet now plays.

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