This paper reports on heritage initiatives associated with a 12-year-long archaeology project in Yucatan, Mexico. Our work has involved both surprises and setbacks and in the spirit of adding to the repository of useful knowledge, we present these in a frank and transparent manner. Our findings are significant for a number of reasons. First, we show that the possibilities available to a heritage project facilitated by archaeologists depend not just on the form and focus of other stakeholders, but on the gender, sexuality, and class position of the archaeologists. Second, we provide a ground-level view of what approaches work well and which do not in terms of identifying aspects of cultural heritage that are relevant to a broad swath of stakeholders. Finally, we discuss ways in which heritage projects can overcome constraints to expanding community collaboration.

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Published in Heritage, v. 3, no. 2, p. 228-242.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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The PASUC archaeology project has received support from the National Science Foundation (NCS-106336), theWaitt Foundation, theWenner Gren Foundation, The Maya Area Cultural Heritage Institute, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections and the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and the Vice President for Research.