In this informal article, Spencer reviews the state of our built historic environment and archaeology in the Tees area. He uses selective examples to illustrate ‘a unique portfolio’: assets we cherish; archaeology and heritage at risk; some of the losses and ‘near-misses’ over the last generations. While heritage and archaeology are, generally, highly valued socially, culturally and economically, Spencer discusses some of the contradictions apparent today. These include threats to physical remains – the known and yet to be discovered – as well as to the archaeological profession itself. The piece concludes with some easy, practical steps that people can take to ensure their elected representatives know that our shared heritage is valued. Archaeology Matters!
A recommended reading list, much available online, and links to related resources are included at the end of the article.