UTSA Center for Archaeological Research hosts leadership program

tour group

International visitors tour UTSA Center for Archaeological Research

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(Sept. 6, 2012) -- The UTSA Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) recently hosted an international tour of archaeologists representing the Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program. The focus of this year's delegation was preserving cultural heritage.

Established in the 1940s when a group of Latin American journalists first visited the United States, the program has expanded to include 4,000 to 5,000 professionals annually addressing a variety of topics including culture, education, law enforcement and politics.

Participants are professionals selected by their embassies for the three-week program, which makes stops in Washington D.C., New York City, Albuquerque and other cities.

"They can get contacts to correspond with institutions or possibly return for training," said Norman Skoughstad, English language officer. "They also might find collaborators, funding or learn good practices that they can take back with them. It's supposed to be a two-way exchange between them and their professional counterparts."

While in San Antonio, the delegation toured Mission San Juan and the UTSA Center for Archaeological Research.

CAR Director Steve Tomka welcomed the group and discussed some of the challenges the center has faced in its cultural resource management methods over the last 30 years. Countries represented included Albania, Egypt, India, Macedonia, Peru and Sudan.

Mary Beth Tomka, research scientist told the delegation she has been working for 12 years trying to get a good inventory on the center's collections.

"One of the biggest problems is that the states are running out of space for curations," she said. "Everybody says they need development to move forward, but we can't destroy our culture in the process."

Learn more at the UTSA Center for Archaeological Research website.