I am definitely what you would call a layman to Archaeology. I have taken some anthropology courses and over the years have researched different facets of the field. The most educational for me was doing volunteer work with those who are professionals in the field. I may not have agreed with all their views but I do have respect for their passion of Archaeology and the preservation of cultures.
As in all fields that isn’t necessarily the case for all. Some, professionals give into greed and vanity only preserving the facts that support their views. I find it similar to how people view religion. Where there is a defined set of beliefs and no room to compromise when something doesn’t neatly fit into place.
I was always taught that was where faith comes in. Faith was taught as something that can not be explained. How ironic?! In essence, all religions teach us to keep our minds open to things that can’t be explained.
Back to archaeology and where my point lies with the above example. In the present, we are not able to define what other cultures believed thousands of years ago. We can guess and even if we find some written language supporting their views. It’s still just from a select individual not from a whole society.
My view of history is very simple. One thing that never changes is human nature. We love our families and want to leave something behind for them to remember us. Throughout, history it is proven that sometimes a select a few will let their ambitions cause destruction on others. I still believe that the majority were only protecting their families.
It’s that love that should be respected and reverenced when looking upon the past. The lessons learned from the past are not necessarily defined in to a certain set of beliefs. Preserving the history of the mounds is a tribute to those who were here before us. Reminding us that our time is short upon this same land and to appreciate that beauty that is around us.