National Park Service, Cultural Resources, Heritage Preservation Services
Strategies for Protecting Archeological Sites on Private Lands

SITE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR PROTECTING ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES ON PRIVATE LANDS

SITE MANAGEMENT

An archeological site cannot be protected merely by buying it, acquiring an easement on it, or setting it aside as open space in a residential development. Responsible site protection can best be achieved through an aggressive, long-term management program. See Case Study 21

STRATEGY BENEFITS PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO
Planning and Management. Protecting the site after acquisition requires an aggressive, long-term management program that includes thorough documentation of site characteristics and condition, site stabilization, security, maintenance, monitoring, compatible use, and, where appropriate, eventual research. Effective long-term management begins with the preparation of a site management plan that addresses these activities. Careful, thorough site planning and management can minimize or even eliminate forces that could damage or destroy the site, ensuring long-term protection. Requires long-term commitment and knowledgeable staff; can be costly and time-consuming.
Site Protection and Stabilization. In order to protect the archeological site from damage, a number of techniques are available, such as revegetation, erosion control, burial, fencing, and signs. Combined with periodic monitoring, these techniques can protect sites from damage or destruction. Specialized skills and expertise are needed to apply some of these techniques. Extent of physical and chemical changes resulting from site burial are not yet fully known. None of these techniques protect in perpetuity; periodic monitoring is required.
Monitoring. A program for periodic site visits to check on site condition, perform routine maintenance, and determine if the site is being damaged or is in imminent danger of damage or loss is essential in any long-term site protection program. Regular human presence and ongoing maintenance at the site is a strong deterrent to vandals and looters, and potential site damage can be identified and corrected before it becomes serious. Requires long-term commitment and knowledgeable staff.


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

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