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Celebrate Summer

Hot days, a celebratory spirit, vacation — July is upon us!

The month marks the foundational event in America: the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4. Archeology at Independence NHP has uncovered evidence of the places where history happened, and artifacts that describe the activities of the people who witnessed it. Learn more about the individuals who signed the document, their families, and households through archeology, such as Thomas Stone, or John Adams. Beyond NPS parks, archeology at National Historic Landmarks tells us about Thomas Jefferson’s households at Monticello or General William Floyd’s activities at his house.

July marks anniversaries of important events in American life. The First Battle of Manassas on July 16, 1861 marked a Confederate victory. During that time, James Robinson and his family sought shelter nearby, rather than weather the fighting in their home on the battlefield. The Battle of Monocacy July 9, 1864 slowed the advance of Confederate troops on Washington, DC for just long enough to enable Union troops to strengthen their forces to protect the city. Learn more about archeology at Monocacy National Battlefield. Visit Manassas to see living history interpreters recreate the battle this July.

Delving into the history of archeology, July has also been a good month for the establishment of national monuments under the Antiquities Act to preserve archeological places. President Taft named Mukuntuweep/Zion National Monument in Utah. Today, it is known as Zion National Park and encompasses evidence of peoples living in the region 12,000 years ago. Thirty years later, in 1939, President Roosevelt established Tuzigoot National Monument. The Sinagua people built the first pueblo in A.D. 1000. Be one of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to learn more about the archeological heritage preserved in these parks.

Want to visit archeological places, or volunteer to do archeology? Explore, learn, and participate!

  • Artifacts tell the tale at Independence NHP's Dexter site. [photo]
  • Visitors learn about Best Farm at Monacacy NP. [photo by Ken Lund]
  • Southern Paiutes made their home in today's Zion National Park. [photo]
  • Pueblo village in Tuzigoot National Monument. [photo]

TSM/MJB