Strategies for Protecting Archeological Sites on Private Lands

View of the 11,000-year-old Thunderbird Site in Warren County, Virginia.
View of the 11,000-year-old Thunderbird Site in Warren County, Virginia. The reproduction of one of the earliest human structures in the Western Hemisphere was based on archeological evidence from the site. In early 2011, The Archaeological Conservancy acquired the Thunderbird Site, which will be maanged as one of the Conservancy's archaeological research preserves. (Photo courtesy of Heritage Resources Branch, Fairfax County, Virginia, Office of Comprehensive Planning)
"The best time to buy and protect a site is before it's threatened." -- Mark Michel, President, The Archaeological Conservancy

"The more people who know about sites, the more who will care about them and watch out for them." -- Jim Miller, Florida State Archaeologist

"Legal procedures for the protection of archeological and historical properties do not develop without the establishment of public policies that are backed by popular support." -- Linda L. Mayro, Cultural Resources Manager, Pima County, Arizona

Strategies serves as a guide to the wide variety of tools available for protecting archeological sites on private lands. It contains information on strategies that are currently being used throughout the country, contact information, and other sources of useful information.

Key strategies include:

Introduction | Considerations | Land Ownership | Financial Options | Development Regulations | Laws Specific to Archeology | Voluntary Strategies | Site Management | Taking the Iniative | Bibliography | Appendices | Home | Comments

Heritage Preservation Services | Historic Preservation Planning

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This publication and web site, and the "Protecting Archeological Sites on Private Lands" project of which it is a part, has been partially funded by the National Park Service's Cultural Resource Training Initiative. Project cosponsors were the Archeology and Ethnography Program of the National Park Service, the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Archaeological Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. The "Protecting Archeological Sites on Private Lands" project has been conducted through a cooperative agreement between the National Park Service and the Society for American Archaeology.

This web site was written by Susan L. Henry Renaud, with the exception of Case Studies #2, 6, and 7, which were written by Patricia Mercado-Allinger; Case Study #3, which was written by Kate Willard; Case Studies #8 and 9, which were written by Christopher Judge; and Case Study #15, which was written by Robert C. Vogel. Plan and ordinance excerpts were provided by local communities and used with their permission.

August 2000
Updated July 2011