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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Anthropology

Heritage Management, Public Policy, and Interpretive Archaeology

The Department of Anthropology department takes advantage of its positioning within the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs to engage in issues related to heritage management and public policy issues.  Faculty and students are also keenly interested in research that involves the public and which provides a rich interpretive context to their archaeological studies.  We offer graduate and undergraduate classes in Public Policy and Archaeology (ANT445/ANT645) and World Heritage Sites (ANT449/649), Museums and Indigenous Peoples (ANT461/AANT661).  The public policy and archaeology class examines legal structures for archaeological site protection and heritage management in the United States along with providing a survey of global perspectives on cultural resource management.  We take a proactive approach to examine how laws and legal structures can be restructured to be more effective.  The World Heritage site class examines UNESCO's world heritage site program and explores the potentials land problems in protecting cultural and natural resources from local and global perspectives.  At Syracuse we have been active in heritage management and interpretive archaeology completing large scale preservation planning projects in Central New York, and stepping in to assist in the protection of fragile and endangered resource.  Examples include projects associated with: Wesleyan Methodist Church (Syracuse, New York); Harriet Tubman Home (Auburn, New York); Magens House and Bankhus Sites, St. Thomas, VI); Cinnamon Bay (St. John, VI); Spring Street (New York City); Bunce Island (Sierra Leone).  We are currently working on interpretive signage and displays related to research at the Harriet Tubman Home, and with the survey, documentation and restoration of Bunce Island in Sierra Leone; and are working with the Barbados World Heritage site task force in defining a proposed site relating to landscapes of enslavement and movements to freedom.  We have collections management facility and our faculty have experience in museum studies and the curation.

Graduate Students at Syracuse can also work to complete the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Cultural Heritage Preservation.  This is an interdisciplinary program that involves three schools anthropology (Maxwell), museum studies (Fine Arts), and library and information sciences (Information and Computer Studies.  The program encourages students to take a series of classes focusing on the management and interpretation of cultural resources.