Some NPS archeology facts
Excavations such as this at Booker T. Washington National Monument record the diversity of our American past. (NPS)
Archeological sites record diversity throughout our past, from some of the earliest American sites in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve to the prehistoric structures and roadways around Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico to the foundations of Benjamin Franklin's house in Philadelphia.
- A recent Harris poll reveals that Americans believe that archeology is important and valuable and helps us to understand the modern world. 90% believe that information from archeological studies should be taught in schools.
- Archeological objects comprise more than half of the approximately 75 million objects in NPS collections.
- Archeologists estimate that there may be as many as 1.5 million archeological sites within National Park System units.
- Archeologists add about 2000 sites per year to the inventory of archeological sites in the parks.
- The Archeological Sites Management Information System (ASMIS) was launched in 1997 to collect information on archeological sites in parks for management purposes. Over 190 park units have compiled ASMIS data.
- The National Archeological Database, Reports module (NADB-R) contains over 240,000 bibliographical entries consulted by approximately 800 users per month.
- More than 17,000 readers learn about current issues in archeology and ethnography in the magazine Common Ground.
- The Applied Ethnography Program in the NPS National Center for Cultural Resources works with communities and groups associated with park cultural and natural resources to understand and address local interests.
- Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990), the parks work with tribes and other interested organizations to ensure that Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and other objects of cultural patrimony are identified, respectfully treated and repatriated when appropriate.
- The Vanishing Treasures Initiative manages and repairs irreplaceable ancient and historic ruins in the Southwest. The Initiative trains Native Americans to continue the adobe repair work that their ancestors have done for centuries.
- Two NPS Strategic Plan goals deal with archeological resources-one on inventory, the other on the condition of archeological sites. These goals promote accountability of archeological resources in the National Park System in compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act.