Archaeology as a vital US strategic interest

After a fieldwork hiatus, I’m belatedly reposting an op-ed from Fox News (!) by my colleague Sturt Manning.

The piece provides a succinct warning that a failure of a society to grapple with prehistory and archaeology more broadly comes with potentially catastrophic consequences.  Moreover it offers a stark contrast with America’s geopolitical peers (and rivals) who are investing heavily in archaeology just as the US appears to be losing its nerve.  A selection here and the full piece at the link:

For the U.S., in particular, our past is a global one: its population has come from all over the world, from the first migrants more than 12-13,000 years ago, to European settlers, to African slaves, to later waves through the present day. Most of the evidence for this long, complex past comes from archaeology.

China invests heavily on research and preservation of its archaeology and history — sometimes even controversially, such as its massive spending on maritime archaeology as part of the assertion of Chinese control of the South China Sea.

In contrast, the U.S. spends a tiny fraction of the money that China, or Europe, invests in archaeological research and preservation. Moreover, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation – the FIRST Act – that would devastate the already limited support the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides toward the U.S. archaeological effort.

Archaeology as a vital US strategic interest | Fox News.

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