The fact that a pristine area rich in artifacts is now widely known will inevitably draw pothunters and "jerks" who trash archaeological sites. There's the pity.
If that shoe doesn't fit, why get your knickers in a bunch?
I have my own bone to pick with academia excluding amatuers (anyone without an institutional grant) from archaeology, or for that matter, paleontology, to a great extent. I'm a geologist, but I can't pick up a tooth on federal land, despite being a professional, despite the fact that, if reported, the fossil will probably be destroyed by the same forces which brought it out of the strata in which it was entombed. I'd rather see it in a shoebox under some kid's bed, well revered, than washed down the creek to oblivion. At least there is a chance it will be studied someday. All this prohibition has done is squelch the budding enthusiasm of the next generation of archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists. It makes for an unwieldy crop of couch potatoes who think surfing the web is a replacement for being there.
Do I feel this site area is the holiest of holies? No, it is just the abandoned trash and belongings of the previous residents. Not much holy about a trash pit.
Do I think that some knowledge could be gleaned there? Perhaps some insight might be gained if people don't loot the place. The best way to keep that from happening is to keep the lid on the location.
I got my start picking up arrowheads in a tobacco field with my grandfather. Hardly an undisturbed site. Most places have felt the plow, and have lost a great deal of significance as archaeological sites go. This one, apparently has not.
On our survey (with the Federal Government. Oh my, imagine this), we had high school kids from the local school come out and spend a day with each of our survey crews. A few REALLY got into it, and others were more like couch potatoes.
We also invited local metal detector 'amateurs' out to help us with a portion of the Park that had Civil War remains. They really helped us find some very interesting artifacts that our surface survey would not have found. Each crew also had a volunteer who was an amateur. One guy was in his late 60s but he kept up with us 20 year olds no problem. He just had a profound interest in the subject and was one of the best workers as a result. No formal training whatsoever. We all loved him.
As archaeologists we also recorded a number of fossils in the arroyo beds, even though strictly speaking they were more the purview of geology than archaeology. But as with most things we mapped its location (on a topo and using GPS) and details about it, but left it as we found it.
Why someone would go out of their way to destroy such things is beyond me--just to get back at 'academia'? What a stupid reason. You might as well go spray paint some graffitti on a Police Station or something equally intelligent.
Makes me ashamed to share the title 'Freeper' with such a person.
I truely did not mean to direct it at you!
All this prohibition has done is squelch the budding enthusiasm of the next generation of archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists.
You state things in much more mature way!