Protecting Rarity

Numerous organizations throughout the world work tirelessly to preserve our planet from the present dangers of climate change. The negative effects of our global climate change are too many to count - animal species endangered, historical sites eroding, pollution, natural disasters, various health hazards affecting us and impacting future generations.

Our world is progressing at an exponential rate, with new technology, buildings and cities. New cities are built on top of old cities, some history is preserved, some is lost. The speed of technological and industrial development has outpaced the speed of human awareness and development.

Changes occurring that are both human caused, and occurring naturally as consequences, are creating a new sphere of the concept of rarity. The word “rare” by the Merriam Webster Dictionary translates as “seldom occurring or found.” The Eight Wonders of the world, the famous paintings by Da Vinci, and the Mona Lisa are considered wonders for many reasons, and one is because they are rare and one of a kind.

It is with this kind of perspective that archaeology and preservation approach history, bringing light to the fact that rare findings are essential to our human history, and preserving them is of the utmost importance.

One of the most precious experiences for humans is to have a connection. Having a connection can come in many forms. Some feel deeply connected to places like their homeland. Some have deep connections to people they come to know and love - let it be partners, children, and even people met while traveling. Some feel a deep connection to nature or animals. Each of us has some type of connection to all of the above in various degrees and forms.

With loss, these experiences often grow deeper and become more important. If one loses a parent or grandparent, the memories become even more precious. If one can no longer travel to a place that has deep meaning and connection to them, the value of their time spent there is magnified. The human experience of losing a place of habitation where ancestors dwelt and their culture for thousands of years can be devastating, as it affects future generations and overall knowledge in the world. That is why additional importance is applied to these events, peoples, history, archaeology and research.

For example, in the case of the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and today’s Native American population in the Americas dictate that the artifacts, history, people and the land upon which indigenous peoples have dwelt for the duration of all human history have become rare due to systematic extermination and displacement of certain peoples and cultures, and the preservation even more so important.

An additional concept that grows out of rarity is importance, “marked by or indicative of significant worth” ( ). It is possible to conclude that the rarer something is, the more important it is, as it cannot be replicated or reproduced. In the case of history (or a one of a kind painting), if it is lost, it most likely cannot be recovered to its original state. Therefore, it is a duty and a service to ensure that rarities are preserved.

Serving the cause of historical preservation ensures that information, knowledge, and education are available for future generations. Although the world has progressively developed rapidly, some of the answers we search for are not only in the future, but in the past.

A lens into the past provides an invaluable resource that may help people discover who they are, where they come from, and where they could be going. This approach also has the potential to increase understanding of different peoples, cultures, and histories which can aid in our overall understanding of each other, and our appreciation for various individuals, communities, and cultures all over the world.

Historical Lands and Peoples Preservation Organization | HLAPPO

August 9, 2021

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