A hike in the museum

“A Hike in The Museum”

You find a Puebloan dwelling in an obscure side canyon. On the wall are superb archeoastronomy pictographs. Next to it are the dwellings of the ancient ones. And in front of the metate are corn cobs artfully arranged along with an obvious tool. What is going on here? How can an 800+ set of tools be displayed so well? Well, it’s not. You see a museum display.

A museum display is simply taking artifacts and arranging them in such a way that they mimic what is found at a museum (AH! HA!). Rarely done maliciously, organizing the potsherd, corn cobs, or other tools in such a manner makes it difficult for archeologists and other trained scientists to reconstruct the ancient world. 

At a site, observe, take photos and try not to disturb what you find.

And if you do come upon a museum display, leave it be. Unlike knocking down “artful” cairns, not only is the damage already done with these museum displays, but you can arguably make it worse by trying to “fix” what you see. Disturbing a site even more at best but also accidentally destroying an artifact.


So take photos, enjoy, and look upon the past as it currently lies when you arrive. And not how you think it should be.

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