Archaeological Legacy Institute

Why We Were Founded


Archaeological Legacy Institute (ALI) is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt (501[c][3]), research and education corporation registered in Oregon in 1999. Recognizing that the archaeological record is the legacy of all human beings and dedicated to bringing the benefits of archaeology to a wider constituency, ALI was founded to address a number of critical issues now facing archaeology and its potential beneficiaries:


  • Damage to archaeological sites is taking place at an alarming rate, but support for preservation programs could be enhanced through the use of modern communications technology to increase public awareness that their archaeological legacy is seriously endangered.
  • Despite many millions of public and private dollars spent annually, the poor availability of project reports (the "gray literature"), written mainly to satisfy minimum government requirements, inhibits both research progress and popular support for archaeology.
  • Too little is written for an information-hungry public by professionals, who receive few incentives for such activity.
  • Interested and normally honest lay people, far more numerous than professional archaeologists, often have extensive knowledge of archaeological sites and artifacts that they will not share with professionals for fear of being accused of misdeeds.
  • Media news items, seldom prepared by archaeologists themselves (who are busy doing research, teaching, or meeting clients' needs), are frequently shallow, inaccurate, and incomplete.
  • Indigenous peoples, whose past is often the subject of archaeological study, and despite decades of objection, still have too little voice in conduct of research, share too few of its benefits, and consequently often do not support studies that could improve knowledge and appreciation for their cultural heritage.
  • School curricula that could employ archaeological knowledge to help inform future adults about their place in history and relations with other peoples typically offer only cursory coverage of archaeology, which is fun and informative about very important issues, but so far is seldom used as an educational tool.


Archaeological research itself, particularly in the area of fieldwork, is still largely conducted in habitual and inefficient ways that would be greatly improved by the focused application of modern technologies that could significantly reduce research costs.



Our Original Mission Statement


The mission of ALI is to develop ways to make archaeology more effective both in gathering important information about past human lifeways and in delivering that information to the public and the profession. A fundamental postulate is that archaeology has important messages to deliver accurately and completely to people worldwide about our origins and development as a species and that among these messages are those about mistakes we have made in the past and must not make in the future. In essence, ALI is devoted to archaeological research and its contributions to science and to humanity. In the furtherance of this mission, ALI, its associates, and its employees adhere to the Principles of Archaeological Ethics promulgated by the Society for American Archaeology.



Our Focus Today


Our focus now is to tell the human story through media in the most efficient and effective ways possible. This is our principle means for exploring and sharing with all humanity the information and perspectives that result from careful research into the human past. We are a nonprofit media organization devoted to nurturing and bringing widespread attention to the human cultural heritage.








Richard M. Pettigrew, Ph.D., RPA, is an established consulting archaeologist in Eugene, Oregon, with 43 years of experience in western North America. His educational background includes a B.A. (Psychology) at Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. (Anthropology) from the University of Oregon. Dr. Pettigrew has conducted extensive archaeological research, involving hundreds of projects, in the Pacific Northwest in both the academic (University of Oregon) and private sectors; has published numerous technical works (including solicited contributions to the Smithsonian Institution Handbook of North American Indians); is well versed in computer technology, mathematics, remote sensing, lithics analysis, and obsidian studies; has taught University classes; has been invited to many professional conferences; and is a peer reviewer for several professional journals and the National Science Foundation. He has served on film festival juries in France, Germany, Iran, and Italy and is experienced as a producer of cultural heritage films. He is the founder and Executive Director of ALI. He was the 2006 recipient of the Society for American Archaeology Award for Excellence in Public Education, symbolizing his recognition worldwide as a leader in public education about archaeology and cultural heritage.






Hervey Allen works for the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC), based at the University of Oregon. The NSRC provides technical information, engineering assistance, training, equipment, and educational materials to network operators at research and education institutions and Internet Service Providers in emerging regions. Over the past few years, Hervey has done extensive organizing, coordinating and teaching in network workshops and tutorials covering topics such as network monitoring and management, Unix system administration, security best practices, DNSSEC, scalable network services, and campus network design. These workshops have been held in over 40 countries around the world and have been part of events such as APRICOT, APNIC, SANOG, AfNOG, PacNOG, WALC and multiple ccTLD trainings. Before joining the NSRC, Hervey graduated from the University of Oregon in Computer Science and Pomona College in Los Angeles, California, in History of Science. He has run and built help desks at Pomona College and the University of Oregon, was a Systems Engineer with Turbolinux, Inc., and worked with several non-profit organizations building their technical infrastructure.





John Waters is an information security consultant holding Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications. He was previously financial adviser with Wedbush Morgan Securities, Inc., in Eugene and the founder and operator of Webfoot Software. Mr. Waters has a acquired a breadth of experience that includes schooling in India, Australia and the United States and serving as Advertising Sales Manager for an Oregon newspaper (Willamette Valley Observer) and Financial Consultant and Investment Executive for three major investment firms (Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney and Wedbush Morgan). John's work takes him on audit and assessment projects throughout the United States focusing on security at banks, credit unions, utilities, hospitals, and other regulated industries.






Cecilia Forrest, who resides in Eugene, Oregon, completed a Theatre degree from Northwestern University in 1969 and a Masters of Dance from the University of Oregon in 1977. She has worked as a choreographer, ballet dancer, dance teacher and dance studio owner and manager. After retirement in 2003, Cecelia's energy focused on participating in organizations that enrich people with new ideas and inspiring experiences. Before joining the ALI Board, she served on the Board of Directors for the Dance Theatre of Oregon and the Oregon Contemporary Theatre. Alongside her husband, Scott Forrest, she is part owner and long-time Board member for Forrest Technical Coatings, a Eugene-based manufacturer with extensive international clients. Her profound interest in history, mythology, world travel and cultural diversity make archaeology a logical next step from the dance world. She is the proud mother of three, one of whom is an archaeologist.


Esther Stutzman, a resident of Yoncalla, Oregon, is a Native American storyteller and teacher and Chair of the Komemma Cultural Protection Association. Her Native American background is Coos and Kommema Kalapuya and she is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. Esther brings to ALI a strong background as a keeper and teacher of her indigenous Oregon cultures, which she shares widely through stories and crafts handed down from her ancestors. She has worked with the Oregon Folklife Council at the Oregon Historical Society, the Applegate House Arts and Education program in Yoncalla, and as a Board Member of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation.





Josh Adams (Social Media Specialist)

Gayle Barnes (Personal Assistant to the Executive Director)

Bijun Chen (Digital Media Specialist; Video Editor)

Xiaoxi Ge (Executive Assistant and Marketing Intern)

Micah Green (Digital Media Specialist; Video Editor)

Eric Gibson (Development Consultant)

Danny Hernandez (Audio News Podcast Specialist)

Michelle Hilling (Principal at Archaeologica; Audio News script generator)

Brooke Kenline (Audio News Editor and Script Writer)

Aly Knight (Office Assistant; Bookkeeper)

Pete Knox (Web Site Developer)

Laura LaTona (Web Site Developer)

Corey McQuinn (Audio News Script Editor)

Monica Miner (Office Manager)

Jesse Peters (Web Site Administrator; Administrative Assistant)

Mary Petrich-Guy (Listserv Specialist)

Laura Pettigrew (Voice of the Audio News; Voiceover Specialist)

Claudia Hemphill Pine (Audio News Script Editor)

Gracie Ramsfield (Listserv Specialist)

Justin Reeder (Office Assistant)

Katie Riemer (Office Assistant)

Ashley Richter (Publicity Specialist)

Emma Steele (Copy Editor; Publicity Specialist)

Wenyu Xu (Marketing Specialist)




To pursue our mission and realize our goals, ALI is involved with a number of existing and planned initiatives and activities.


  • We utilize media programming to get our messages across by means of The Archaeology Channel (films, news, commentary, interactive programs, etc.), social media sites and other online and cable TV venues, special film screening events, partnering with film and program producers, producing video and audio programs of our own, and conducting an annual international film competition.
  • We promote archaeology in education through the development and implementation of school curricula, teacher training, exhibits and programs for the public, an annual conference on cultural heritage film, and training and degree programs for archaeologists and archaeological technicians.
  • We partner with indigenous peoples through media programming, research projects, scholarship awards, assistance with cultural resource programs, and museum exhibits and programs.
  • We are planning publications, including a peer-reviewed journal; conversion of contract reports into monographs in print, on CD, and on the Web; a news service for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations; and the promotion of literature intended for a lay audience.


The Archaeology Channel (TAC) is our top priority at present. Explore TAC to learn about the full range of our activities.


The ALI logo, the negative impression of a human hand such as seen in rock art throughout the world, was chosen to symbolize our commitment to sharing with all human beings the story of the cultural legacy belonging to all members of our species. We searched for a symbol that was recognizably human, yet not associated with any particular culture or region of the world or with either males or females. We also desired a symbol that could represent the time depth of recognizably human cultures.


We feel that the hand impression not only meets these criteria, but also suggests our human self-awareness and our innate drives to communicate and to seek recognition. To our eyes, the hand on the cave wall cries out "I was here!" and signifies to us that we were there. The signature of the cave artist is the signature of our human ancestors. In a very meaningful sense it is our signature, representing the human presence in the world. It may also serve to remind us that the human presence in the world today is indelibly marked into the face of the planet and challenges us to create a sustainable future for ourselves and our fellow creatures. By exploring our past we may gain some of the wisdom needed to find our way into the future.


More About the Hand Motif in Rock Art Around the World


The negative hand motif, created by spraying liquid pigment (usually black or red) from the mouth over the hand, is found in ancient rock art in many parts of the world and has great antiquity. The earliest documented use of this symbol is in Chauvet Cave, a recently discovered site in France with some of the most spectacular rock wall paintings ever found. Here, the cave paintings, including a number of negative hands, have been shown to be 31,000 years old, nearly as old as the earliest evidence of modern humans in Europe. Another recently discovered French site with rock art is Cosquer Cave. Located on the Mediterranean coast, this cave was found by divers who encountered its submerged entrance, which leads upward to an air-filled grotto containing wonderful paintings, including 55 negative hand impressions dated to 27,000 years ago. Somewhat less ancient expressions of this motif are also found in North America at such places as Chinle Wash, Arizona, and at many places in Australia, such as Carnarvon Gorge. A pictorial worldwide survey of the hand symbol in rock art has been posted by the Bradshaw Foundation, which illustrates examples from 27,000 year old French site Gargas Cave and spectacular cave sites in Borneo, Australia, and Argentina.



The Archaeology Channel (TAC) is a streaming media website brought to you by Archaeological Legacy Institute (ALI).


Archaeological Legacy Institute
P.O. Box 5302
Eugene, OR 97405


We don’t have the staff time to handle large volumes of letters or telephone calls, so please contact us by e-mail.


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All materials that appear on this site are copyrighted by their creators/owners, and all of whom have given explicit permission to ALI for their online broadcast. ALI doesn’t allow for the copy/edit/redistribution of the content contained on this site without written consent of ALI and/or its content partners. ALI cites Fair Use 17 U.S.C. § 107, for Non-profit Educational Use, for any content that does not have any explicit copyright details. Any other materials not mentioned here are given credit in their presentation, such as in the credits at the end of any such presentations (e.g., videos, etc.).


This website's appearance and theme are based on the theme "Beez 20" by Angie Radtke. It has been modified under the GNU/GPL for non-profit use.


The image used for the background of this website: A Wallpaper of the archaeological site in Tulum, Mexico. This site was home to the local Maya of ancient times.


Certain photography from


This website was designed and created by Rick Pettigrew and Aaron Martins of ALI.


Other contributors include Jesse Peters, Ian Stanfield, Pete Knox, Ward Ricker, Melisa McChesney, Jordan Henderson, and Laura Latona.