Fremont rock imagery with bullet damage, McKee Springs.
The SAV (Stop Archaeological Vandalism) campaign is a new public awareness push to let everyone know that the past is all around us, and that we need to stay mindful and respectful in order to protect it. The reasons why we do this are probably obvious to you if you have found our page, so we won’t discuss them in this post! Instead, we want to give you the tools you need to spread the word about why you
have chosen to take the pledge and protect the past.
Here are some ideas for conversation starters as well as a few social share images you can use to boost the message and bring more people into our cause. Until everyone knows how to identify archaeological sites and can visit them with respect, the archaeological record, descendant communities, and all of us who cherish history will continue to suffer.
Conversation starter 1: I’ve pledged to Protect the Past, and here is why.
A “museum rock” where people have taken artifacts from across the site and collected them in one place, forever changing the story the site can tell.
I have pledged to protect the past because I want my son to have the same experiences that I have. And I pledge to protect the past because friends I know and friends I haven’t made yet are deeply personally connected to the past. And I am pledging to protect the past because I love the wild beauty of the earth reclaiming pieces of human history.
There are so many reasons why you have taken the Stop Archaeological Vandalism pledge, and sharing
that with others is a great way to open up to people about why these places matter to you.
Conversation starter 2: How does your favorite archaeological site make you feel?
Curious? Nostalgic? Connected to your community and ancestors? A sense of peace, or a sense of grandeur? I know that some of my favorite archaeological sites make me feel this way time and time again. By asking our friends to reflect on how visiting places of the past makes them feel, we can help them understand why we should protect these places. And if you want to protect them, then taking the pledge is a great way to learn how!
Volunteers cleaning up shotgun shells and bullet casings from an archaeological site, Lake Mountain.
Conversation starter 3: In the last year I was shocked to learn that…
In the last year I was shocked to learn that visitation to archaeological sites has skyrocketed! I was shocked to learn that people have been taking artifacts from sites and stacking them near trails! I was also shocked to see how many times sites have been spraypainted, scratched, or intentionally harmed in some way. This is a great education moment to let people know exactly how the past has been threatened by human behaviors. Maybe it is something you have seen first hand or one of the many acts of vandalism that have reached the news, but certainly something recently has shocked you, as it has me!
What makes a great post?
Fremont rock imagery on private land along the Dry Fork of Ashley Creek.
- Use these hashtags so people can find our project and others like it:
- Open-ended questions, calls for responses, requests to share.
- Sometimes, you just have to tell people exactly what you would like them to do. The conversation starters above are great ways to get people talking, and don’t forget to ask them to share their own experiences!
- If you have your own, great! If you need some you can borrow some of ours Click the images below to view a full-size version and download.
A sign explaining how to protect Native American archaeological sites, damaged by target shooting, West Mountain.
- Just like you were curious enough to find more information, your friends probably are, too! Sprinkle some of these links into your
social media posts
Last but not least…
Like and follow us on social media! Throughout May (which is Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month here in Utah!) our staff will share their own experiences and why they have pledged to Stop Archaeological Vandalism. Please tag us, comment, and share on our posts, we can’t wait to hear from you about what Stop Archaeological Vandalism means to you!