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From Pioneer to Tourist: Public Archaeology at Spring Mill State Park

by Melody K. Pope, April K. Sievert, Sheree L. Sievert
International Journal of Historical Archaeology ()

Abstract

This paper examines processes and consequences of transforming historic sites into tourist attractions, in this case, Spring Mill Pioneer Village at Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, Indiana. The site is considered from perspectives of history, tourism, and archaeology to show that relations among conservation, tourism, and preservation factors are neither simple nor direct, and can lead to the unintended consequence of seeing sites as unauthentic. The results demonstrate how tourism inspires multi-vocal interpretations of historic sites and underscore the importance of archaeology to inform on the historicity of tourist sites since interpretation above the ground is often at odds with what lies below.

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