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 Heritage Values Minimize

Statement of Purpose

The Heritage Values Interest Group is concerned with how the past is valued in, and by, contemporary society. A principal objective is to advance understanding regarding the complex concept of heritage and its burgeoning and significant role in the current discipline and practice of archaeology. As such, it endeavors to provide an open forum for exchange and dialogue that acknowledges the multiplicity of the past in contemporaneous representations of material cultures and landscapes.

The Heritage Values Interest Group seeks to provide an environment for SAA members to explore the ways in which heritage is constructed and construed and to what extent that composition coheres with or contradicts value systems ingrained in diverse discourses, such as national paradigms, international standards, codes of ethics, management schemes, collective memory, and shared or dissonant identities. It therefore explores the multi-faceted meanings of the past, probes the ensuing derivation and ascription of value, and embraces international and interdisciplinary lines of inquiry.


  1. To promote the study and understanding of ‘heritage’ and ‘value’ within archaeology
  2. To advance the concept of ‘heritage values’ as an integral component to the practice and discipline of archaeology in contemporary society
  3. To provide an open and dynamic forum that not only fosters exchange, interaction, and collaboration among SAA members regarding the role of ‘heritage’ in archaeology but also offers an avenue for action on ‘heritage’ issues
  4. To serve as a resource and point of contact for SAA members by enhancing communication, raising awareness, and facilitating the dissemination of information regarding ‘heritage’
  5. To examine the practical concerns and theoretical underpinnings pertaining to the concept of heritage and to the manner in which value is derived and ascribed to the heritage of archaeology to gain a greater understanding of the breadth and scope of how ‘heritage values’ impact archaeology in order to be better equipped to implement public policy, spending, management schemes, educational curricula, training programs, among other projects
  6. To encourage interdisciplinary and international engagement, debate, research and networks


  1. Hold meetings and elections in conjunction with the SAA Annual Meeting.
  2. Form an electronic network to enable communication among members between such yearly meetings.
  3. Sponsor sessions, symposia, forums, workshops, or special events at SAA Annual Meetings.
  4. Propose position and/or policy statements to the SAA Board.
  5. Contribute articles, reports, updates, and other applicable news to be printed in SAA publications, such as The SAA Archaeological Record.

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