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Management of Archaeological Sites and the Public in Argentina

María Luz Endere
Publication Year:
187pp. Illustrated throughout with figures, maps, plans, drawings and photographs, 2 data Appendices
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This work presents the author's research on legal issues concerning archaeological heritage and indigenous rights in Argentina. The country has overcome the political unrest of the early years of the new millennium and the previous heritage laws were finally modified in 2003, although the terms of the new legislation are still a matter of debate and have produced a great deal of criticism. In the course of this period, a new chapter in the story of the three case studies included in the book - the 'Pucará of Tilcara', the 'Quilmes' Ruins' and 'Menhires' Park' - has opened. The Humahuaca ravine, where the 'Pucará of Tilcara' is located, was included on the World Heritage List in 2003; the concession of the Quilmes' Ruins has expired and the members of theIndigenous Quilmes community are campaigning to be recognized as partners in the management of the site; and all the menhires were relocated to a plot of land in El Mollar. The Menhires' Park itself no longer exists, yet the monoliths remain unprotected. The Northwest region of Argentina -where the three sites are located - has become an important tourist destination for national and international visitors thanks to the devaluation of the national currency and the improvement of the economic conditions among the local population. Consequently, changing winds are bringing new challenges for each of these sites, although much of their fate remains in the same hands. Nevertheless, their future - as well as that of the entire archaeological heritage in Argentina- is heavily dependent on a deeper understanding of the past and present circumstances of such sites. Finally, the goal of this book is to analyze the state of archaeological heritage management in Argentina, although many of the conclusions reached also provide clues to understanding contested heritage issues in many other countries, particularly those relating to the Third World.