The absurd state of native american archaeology:
The woods of New England are littered with bizarre, massive structures. Theories abound as to their origin, ranging from seafaring indo-europeans to ancient races spoken about in native american oral histories. Excavation of these structures is impossible for several reasons.
1. If the government were to recognize these structures as native american, which they do not, it would be illegal to excavate them, as excavating native sites is outlawed since the 1990s.
2. The only way to confirm if a structure is native is to discover native american artifacts therein. But it is illegal to dig anywhere in New England without a permit, and it is illegal to carry out freelance archaeological digging anywhere. So if you were to simply dig, “by accident”, and discover native artifacts, you have broken a serious federal law by excavating a native site.
3. “Sacred native sites” may not actually be native. There are ample records of natives denying that these “mounds” were built by natives themselves, often giving credit to ancient races who died off thousands of years ago.
4. The state of preservation enthusiasts is completely detached from reality. These structures are destroyed daily by highway and private construction projects, and naturally these forces do not work to document or maintain any artifacts. The enthusiasts view these sites with a religious fervor, and often tell you they do not want any press on these sites at all, for fear of their disturbance. But without press, without garnering public interest, these sites will stay anonymous and continue to be destroyed anonymously.
In short, the laws surrounding the preservation of these sites should be removed. Few people are interested to begin with, and the sites are going to be destroyed en masse no matter what. Some exploration and preservation is better than none at all.