As World War II reached its climax, U.S. officials began to plan a
post-war, national system of dams for flood control and reservoirs for
water supply in many important river valleys. Archeologists immediately
took action to ensure that archeological resources, many of which might
be destroyed by these projects, were not forgotten during planning.
This action culminated in the creation of the Committee for the Recovery
of Archaeological Remains (CRAR). Due to the efforts of the Committee
and its supporting national organizations, federal agencies included
funding for archeological surveys and excavations as part of new dam
and reservoir construction. The Interagency Archeological Salvage Program,
a public archeology program administered by the NPS and Smithsonian
Institution, was developed to carry out these activities. Its goal was
to preserve archeological data and materials from destruction by modern
construction. During the 1950s the salvage of archeological data in
the face of construction was imitated in the development of highway
and pipeline salvage archeology. In 1966 the National Historic Preservation
Act (NHPA) was enacted to control the adverse impacts of federal development
projects on archeological sites and historic structures.
The Committee for the Recovery of Archaeological Remains (CRAR)
is established. It provides a voice for archeologists to express
their concern that salvage archeology is conducted to preserve archeological
remains before reservoir projects are completed. Its members include
William S. Webb, Frederick Johnson, John O. Brew, and Alfred V.
Missouri River Basin Survey
The River Basin Survey (RBS) Program begins in attempt to protect
archeological materials from destruction by dam construction and
flooding. Funding is provided by the Corps of Engineers and the
Bureau of Reclamation. The archeological work is administered by
the NPS and SI.
The RBS Program expands when NPS establishes the Interagency Archeological
Salvage Program in cooperation with the SI under the Historic Sites
Act of 1935. In the SI, the River Basin Survey is created under
the administration of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Missouri River Basin Surveys in South Dakota
of Land Management (BLM) is established.
J. O. Brew's "Symposium on River Valley Archaeology" is published
in American Antiquity 12(4): 209-225.
Frank H. H. Roberts publishes "A Crisis in U.S. Archaeology" in
initiates the Pipeline Salvage Program in the Southwest. Archeologists
work alongside pipeliners, surveying the land for surface evidence
of underlying objects and inspecting the trenches in which the pipes
are being laid.
Development of highway salvage archeology is enhanced with the passage
of the Federal Aid Highway Act, which contains specific language
for the salvage for archeological materials within a construction
Salvage Act is enacted to preserve historic and archeological
materials that might otherwise be lost through dam construction.
Salvage archeology during dam construction
Following a report chaired by A. Starker Leopold, natural resource
management is restructured along ecological lines. Environmental
interpretation and the emphasis of ecological relationships and
special environmental education programs reflect and promote the
nation's growing environmental awareness.
Council on Underwater Archaeology is formed to educate scholars,
governments, sport divers, and the public about underwater archeology
and the preservation of underwater cultural resources.
President Johnson signs the Land and Water Conservation Fund
Act and the Wilderness Act
Photo by A. Rowe, courtesy of the White House
The Bureau of American Ethnology merges with the Department
of Anthropology at the Smithsonian and becomes the Office of
Anthropology. By 1968 it is called the Department of Anthropology
of the SI.
Pecos National Monument, with its long legacy of archeological exploration,
is authorized. It is renamed Pecos
National Historical Park in 1990.
Archeological field work at Gran Quivira National Monument
Fred Johnson publishes "Archeology in an Emergency" in Science
and Gordon C. Baldwin publishes Race Against Time: The Story
of Salvage Archaeology.
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) is enacted in response to the
concerns about the adverse impacts of federal development projects
on archeological sites and historic structures. It establishes national
policy and programs for the preservation of those resources. In
particular, NHPA calls for consideration of historic properties
during modern development such as urban renewal and highway construction.
A report by Ronald F. Lee, John O. Brew, and Ernest A. Connally
provides the blueprint for how the NPS should take on its national
archeological and historic preservation responsibilities outside
the National Park System.
Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) is established
within the NPS. OAHP has an Interagency Archeology Services (IAS)
Division whose chief is the Departmental Consulting Archeologist.
for Historical Archaeology forms to promote scholarly research
and dissemination of knowledge about the archeology of the modern
world (A.D. 1400 to present).
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