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Protecting the Region’s Past for the Future: What Role Does Contract Archaeology Play in this Process?

February 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Dixie Archaeology Society’s February Meeting:

Protecting the Region’s Past for the Future: What Role Does Contract Archaeology Play in this Process?

Heidi Roberts, President, HRA, Inc., Conservation Archaeology

Most people don’t realize that development projects on State, Federal, or Tribal lands must comply with a host of laws that protect significant historic or prehistoric properties. In this talk Ms. Roberts will describe the role that contract archaeologists, such as herself, play in this process, and how they assist these agencies toward the goal of protecting the region’s past. Three of her company’s recent projects best illustrate how this process works, and the important discoveries that result when archaeological sites can’t be avoided. For example, excavations prior to the construction of the Jackson Flat Reservoir in Kanab yielded the oldest date on corn north of the Colorado River. Other projects, such as a housing development near Grapevine Spring and expansion of the Kayenta Development in Ivins, are providing new insight into prehistoric lifeways 5,000-3,000 years ago.

Ms. Roberts, who holds a B.S. and an M.A. in anthropology, founded HRA, and as president she has built HRA into one of region’s most successful contract archaeology firms. As a professional archaeologist since 1978, Ms. Roberts has directed large excavation and survey projects throughout the Great Basin and Southwest. She is RPA certified and an active member of local and national professional organizations. In 2006 Ms. Roberts organized the Great Basin Anthropological Conference in Las Vegas, and in 2008 she was elected Treasurer of that association. Between 2004 and 2006, Ms. Roberts served on the Board of Directors of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation, and she has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Cultural Resource Association (ACRA). Ms. Roberts is considered an expert on the development of contract archaeology, and she organized and co-edited a volume on the history of contract archaeology that was published by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). Ms. Roberts’ most recent publication is an edited volume, also published by the SAA, on the issues related to buried archaeological sites in the Western U.S. In graduate school Ms. Roberts specialized in human osteology, and she later co-authored a chapter on fieldwork methods in a popular human remains excavation guidebook. Ms. Roberts is also a published fiction writer and her first novel, published by the University of Utah Press, captures the early days of contract archaeology in remote Utah.


February 12
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Dixie Archaeology Society


Dixie State University Udvar-Hazy Building Boeing Auditorium
225 South 700 East
St George, UT United States
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