Countries use their pasts for all sorts of reasons, many of which are not explicit or intentional. Monuments to past glories on the battlefield, statues honoring achievements in the arts and letters, and state rituals and ceremonies speak to a sense of pride and social identity. Most countries declare in their constitutions or in their laws a commitment to safeguarding their past, although commonly these statements— however sincere—are not backed up with regulations or sanctions. Often, the desire to preserve the past is pitted against economic development, particularly natural resource exploitation, infrastructure improvements, and urban renewal that requires destroying or disturbing archaeological sites or replacing historic buildings with newer ones.