America's First Archaeological Suburb?

Most developers dread finding archaeological remains. Normally it means months of delays and increased costs while archaeologists investigate the site. However, some savvy developers are turning archaeological finds into a marketing advantage.

Many developers "believe the discovery of bones will lead to the state or an Indian tribe seizing private land. Fearing that, some will probably order the bulldozers quietly to bury what they unearth."

"...Bloomington, a suburb of St George, has built a cul-de-sac around a huge boulder marked with petroglyphs-a model that will soon be followed by a developer near Salt Lake City. A site near Cortez, in Colorado, which is dotted with more than 200 Indian ruins, is being marketed as "America's first archaeological development": buyers can do their own excavations, but must bequeath what they find to a local museum. Perhaps the most extraordinary example is Mountain's Edge, a half-built suburb near Las Vegas, where an ersatz archaeological dig has been incorporated into a park. Clearly, if a site lacks history there is a need to invent it. In a fast-growing area where many buyers lack roots, a bit of local history may help sales."

As GPS and web-based maps proliferate, it becomes increasingly difficult to protect far-flung and lonely archeology sites from vandalism and theft. While "archaeology-themed suburbs" may be troubling to some, the "best chance of preserving America's archaeological heritage may be to surround it with houses."

Full Story: Grave goods

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95