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Editor's Corner

A few days ago, someone browsing the Web version of the SAA Bulletin (http://www.sscf.ucsb.edu/SAABulletin/) signed the electronic guestbook with the following comment: "My husband and I do a lot of searching for arrowheads and Indian artifacts. We have much success in an area he hunts in every year. We would like to find out if there is any other place to search. . . now I know you probably hate people like us but where would you be without us?"

Comments like this illustrate that, despite the successful efforts of organizations like SAA, public education should be one of our discipline's top priorities. On the bright side, many programs and organizations are employing new cost-effective ways to reach out to the public, such as the World Wide Web or similar electronic means of dissemination. However, even while the public is increasingly exposed to archaeology and the value of preserving our archaeological heritage, we are confronted with institutional, state, and federal budgetary concerns that jeopardize our efforts.

This issue of the Bulletin appropriately features several articles devoted to public education and preservation. For example, both the Public Education and the Public Relations Committees report on their recent activities, while Lipe and Redman's report on "Renewing Our National Archaeological Program" discusses a variety of issues related to public education and archaeological preservation.

As these articles point out, one of the most successful forms of public education is personal contact; the individual quoted above should now understand why collecting arrowheads endangers our collective heritage.


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