The Bahamas and Greece are both countries with rich histories, yet they provide examples of extremely different approaches to preserving that history and making it accessible to the public. Measures have been taken at certain archaeological sites in Greece, specifically Knossos, Crete, to not only prevent further destruction, but to actually attempt to rebuild the sites. The reconstruction has interpretative stations, as well as staff members who prevent tourists from touching the ruins. In contrast, Bahamian plantation ruins such as Prospect Hill on San Salvador, are almost inaccessible due to overgrowth of vegetation. Cultural attitudes, economic factors, and the nature of the history itself all play into these approaches to historical preservation. These two extreme examples show the range of values placed on history and make us question why sites are worth preserving in the first place, and what the best methods are for protecting sites and making them accessible without destroying their historical integrity through faulty interpretation and the projection of current values onto the sites. Given the many factors that are involved in situations regarding historic remnants, a streamlined standard of preservation will not apply to all of them. Plans for site preservation must be considered on a case-by-case basis in order to find the most suitable solutions for individual sites.
Catherine LiaBraaten, ’12
Sponsor: Catherine Stewart