Dissatisfaction with some effects of salvage archeology led to the development
of cultural resources management (CRM) in the U.S. CRM involves the management
of "…not only archeological sites, but historic buildings and districts,
social institutions, folkways, arts, crafts, architecture, belief systems,
the integrity of social groups, the ambiance of neighborhoods…" (McGimsey
& Davis 1977). During the 1970s, public agencies began to employ professional
archeologists in unprecedented numbers to meet CRM responsibilities. The
NPS, for example, extended its archeological and historic preservation responsibilities
to archeological and historic resources within and outside the parks. Meanwhile,
National Park System archeological sites were increasingly looted. This
led to the passage of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act in 1979.
Programs to improve the care and use of archeological collections, records,
and reports also began to receive attention.
- Hester Davis publishes "The Crisis in American Archaeology"
- The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act passes.
The establishment of marine sanctuaries help preserve shipwrecks
within their boundaries.
and Historic Preservation Act, also known as the Moss-Bennett
Act, is enacted. This act assigns the oversight and coordination
of U.S. public archeology to the Secretary of the Interior.
It also authorizes federal agencies to expend funds on archeological
excavations, testing, and associated research and publication
of project results.
Example of stolen Guatemalan stele
Photo courtesy of USIA
- The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lets stand the conviction
of two men charged with conspiracy and interstate transport
of a Pre-Columbian stele stolen from a Mayan ruin in Guatemala.
The case involves using the definition of stolen property under
Guatemalan law and marks an early effort to stem the illicit
international trade in cultural property.
Increasing awareness of federal agencies' archeological responsibilities
leads to an increased hiring of professional archeologists.
Cataloging items at the Yorktown excavation
- The Cultural Resource Management Conference, the first of
its kind, is held in Denver.
- The Society of Professional Archeologists (SOPA) develops
a Code of Ethics and Standards of Performance. It establishes
a written code for professional activities by its members and
provides a model for other archeologists to follow.
The wreck site of the Civil War ship USS
Monitor is designated the first national marine sanctuary.
Girls Scouts participating in Virginia Archeology Week
- The Management of Archeological Resources: The Airlie
House Report is published by the SAA and establishes guidelines
for CRM practices.
- The Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service (HCRS) is
created. It incorporates the functions of the Office of Archeology
and Historic Preservation formerly carried out by the NPS.
- The Archaeological
Resources Protection Act (ARPA) passes. It affirms the public
policy of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and promises to improve
the enforcement of archeological resource protection, including
sites and collections.
- Three men arrested in 1977 for looting an archeological site
in Arizona's Tonto National Forest plead guilty to charges brought
under ARPA's criminal provisions. The case (United States v.
Jones, et al.) marks the first three convictions under the new
- The Alaska
National Interest Lands Conservation Act more than doubles
the size of the National Park System.
- HCRS is abolished and archeological and historic preservation
functions are reintegrated into the NPS.
The Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines
and Historic Preservation are issued to provide technical
guidance to federal, state and local governments about archeological
and historic preservation activities and methods.
Tildon Easton Pottery site
Photo courtesy of Alexandria Archaeology
- The Convention
on Cultural Property Implementation Act is signed into law,
allowing the U.S. to restrict the import of cultural property
at the request of foreign nations or states. It provides the
legal basis for the UNESCO Convention of 1970 in the U.S.
- The authority to issue archeological permits is redelegated
to each Federal land-managing agency.
Uniform Federal regulations 43
CFR Part 7 establish procedures for implementing provisions
of ARPA, including protecting archeological resources, issuing
permits for authorized excavations, imposing penalties for unauthorized
excavations, providing for the preservation of collections and
data, and ensuring confidentiality of sensitive information.
- One year after discovery of the wreck of the RMS Titanic,
Titanic Maritime Memorial Act encourages the US and other
nations to enter into negotiations to designate the shipwreck
as an international maritime memorial and develop guidelines
to conduct research on, exploration of, and, if appropriate,
salvage of the shipwreck.
- The U.S. imposes an import restriction on certain pre-Hispanic
archaeological material originating in El Salvador, the first
import restriction under the authority of the 1983 Convention
on Cultural Property Implementation Act.
- The Abandoned
Shipwreck Act is enacted. It establishes government ownership
over historic shipwrecks in state waters and declares that shipwrecks
are not subject to the law of finds and Admiralty courts.
- Amendments to ARPA strengthen law enforcement and add public
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