Why is there a special society for Canadians?
Canadian archaeologiests are so rarely represented on the global stage, especially those who study Latin America. This society is to build a network and a platform for this work to be recognized.
Are you a Professional society'?
We are a scholarly non-profit society. We do research, work with leaders in the field, present at conferences, and distribute publications just like a professional society. What makes us different is membership and outreach. You don't have to be an archaeologist/archaeology major or have an .edu email or certification to join. All you need is a love of archaeology and a desire to learn. As for outreach, we make our content open and free, because we don't think knowledge belongs behind paywalls.
What is Latin American Archaeology?
Latin America encompasses the lands shared between Mexico and the continent of South America that were later colonized by Spanish speaking countries. The archaeology aspect bounds our interests to the civilizations that existed between pre-History to 1500 AD (Conquest).
Why do you study it?
The past is a facinating place and its influence is still felt today. By understanding what once was, we can understand what is there now.
I'm an international researcher working in Canada, can I join?
Yes. For as long as you are residing in Canada you are considered 'Canadian' by the society.
I'm a Canadian citizen that now lives internationally, can I join?
Yes. As a Canadian citizen you are considered 'Canadian' by the society no matter where you are now.
Can I join if I'm *not* an archaeologist?
Yes. Some of our members are art historians, linguists, anthropologists, curators, and even people completely unaffiliated with the field. If you are interested in archaeology then you are welcome here.
I'm not in university yet, can I join?
Yes. Though your participation in our events might be restricted depending on the situation.
Can you tell me how much this artifact is worth?
No. CLAAS does not comment on the authenticity or cultural affiliation of any objects for members of the public. As archaeologists we abide by ethical codes, which are in place to protect the cultural heritage of the regions that we study and work in. Objects outside of their country of origin have likely arrived there through illicit means, since most countries have legal frameworks in place that lay patrimonial claim to cultural objects manufactured within their borders. Canada recognizes the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, designed to reduce the looting of sites worldwide and the sale of illegally acquired antiquities, through the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Under this act, it is illegal to bring cultural property into Canada whose export or sale is banned or controlled by the country of origin.
The International Council of Museums maintains emergency ‘red lists’ which document heritage at-risk of looting and illicit trafficking, including lists specific to Latin America. They also provide an overview of the vast range of legal protection afforded to such heritage, and we encourage you to view these lists for more information: https://icom.museum/en/resources/red-lists/
If you are interested in learning more about a cultural object in your possession, please contact the ministry of culture or a museum in the country of origin where it likely originated. To learn more about issues of looting and the illegal trade of cultural heritage, and what you can do to help, visit the following websites:
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