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ARCHEOLOGY AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION:
Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines
[As Amended and Annotated]


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Standards & Guidelines for:.
Introduction
Preservation Planning
Identification
  • Standards
  • Guidelines
  • Technical Information
  • Evaluation
    Registration
    Note on Documentation and Treatment of Hist. Properties
    Historical Documentation
    Architectural and Engineering Documentation
    Archeological Documentation
    Historic Preservation Projects
    Qualification Standards
    Preservation Terminology
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    Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Identification

    Identification activities are undertaken to gather information about historic properties in an area. The scope of these activities will depend on: existing knowledge about properties; goals for survey activities developed in the planning process; and current management needs.

    Standard I. Identification of Historic Properties Is Undertaken to the Degree Required To Make Decisions

    Archival research and survey activities should be designed to gather the information necessary to achieve defined preservation goals. The objectives, chosen methods and techniques, and expected results of the identification activities are specified in a research design. These activities may include archival research and other techniques to develop historic contexts, sampling an area to gain a broad understanding of the kinds of properties it contains, or examining every property in an area as a basis for property specific decisions. Where possible, use of quantitative methods is important because it can produce an estimate, whose reliability may be assessed, of the kinds of historic properties that may be present in the studied area. Identification activities should use a search procedure consistent with the management needs for information and the character of the area to be investigated. Careful selection of methods, techniques and level of detail is necessary so that the gathered information will provide a sound basis for making decisions.

    Standard II. Results of Identification Activities Are Integrated Into the Preservation Planning Process

    Results of identification activities are reviewed for their effects on previous planning data. Archival research or field survey may refine the understanding of one or more historic contexts and may alter the need for additional survey or study of particular property types. Incorporation of the results of these activities into the planning process is necessary to ensure that the planning process is always based on the best available information.

    Standard III. Identification Activities Include Explicit Procedures for Record-Keeping and Information Distribution

    Information gathered in identification activities is useful in other preservation planning activities only when it is systematically gathered and recorded, and made available to those responsible for preservation planning. The results of identification activities should be reported in a format that summarizes the design and methods of the survey, provides a basis for others to review the results, and states where information on identified properties is maintained. However, sensitive information, like the location of fragile resources, must be safeguarded from general public distribution.

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    Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Identification

    Introduction

    These Guidelines link the Standards for Identification with more specific guidance and technical information. The Guidelines outline one approach to meet the Standards for Identification. Agencies, organizations and individuals proposing to approach identification differently may wish to review their approaches with the National Park Service.

    The Guidelines are organized as follows:
    Role of Identification in the Planning Process
    Performing Identification
    Integrating Identification Results
    Reporting Identification Results
    Recommended Sources of Technical Information

    Role of Identification in the Planning Process

    Identification is undertaken for the purpose of locating historic properties and is composed of a number of activities which include, but are not limited to archival research, informant interviews, field survey and analysis. Combinations of these activities may be selected and appropriate levels of effort assigned to produce a flexible series of options. Generally identification activities will have multiple objectives, reflecting complex management needs. Within a comprehensive planning process, identification is normally undertaken to acquire property-specific information needed to refine a particular historic context or to develop any new historic contexts. (See the Guidelines for Preservation Planning for discussion of information gathering to establish plans and develop historic contexts.) The results of identification activities are then integrated into the planning process so that subsequent activities are based on the most up-to-date information. Identification activities are also undertaken in the absence of a comprehensive planning process, most frequently as part of a specific land use or development project. Even lacking a formally developed preservation planning process, the benefits of efficient, goal-directed research may be obtained by the development of localized historic contexts, suitable in scale for the project ares, as part of the background research which customarily occurs before field survey efforts.

    Performing Identification

    Research Design
    Identification activities are essentially research activities for which a statement of objectives or research design should be prepared before work is performed. Within the framework of a comprehensive planning process, the research design provides a vehicle for integrating the various activities performed during the identification process and for linking those activities directly to the goals and the historic context(s) for which those goals were defined. The research design stipulates the logical integration of historic context(s) and field and laboratory methodology. Although these tasks may be performed individually, they will not contribute to the greatest extent possible in increasing information on the historic context unless they relate to the defined goals and to each other. Additionally, the research design provides a focus for the integration of interdisciplinary information. It ensures that the linkages between specialized activities are real, logical and address the defined research questions. Identification activities should be guided by the research design and the results discussed in those terms. (See Reporting Identification Results.)

    The research design should include the following:

    1. Objectives of the identification activities. For example: to characterize the range of historic properties in a region; to identify the number of properties associated with a context; to gather information to determine which properties in an area are significant. The statement of objectives should refer to current knowledge about the historic contexts or property types, based on background research or assessments of previous research. It should clearly define the physical extent of the area to be investigated and the amount and kinds of information to be gathered about properties in the area.

    2. Methods to be used to obtain the information. For example: archival research or field survey. Research methods should be clearly and specifically related to research problems.

      Archival research or survey methods should be carefully explained so that others using the gathered information can understand how the information was obtained and what its possible limitations or biases are. The methods should be compatible with the past and present environmental character of the geographical area under study and the kinds of properties most likely to be present in the area.

    3. The expected results and the reason for those expectations. Expectations about the kind, number, location, character and condition of historic properties are generally based on a combination of background research, proposed hypotheses, and analogy to the kinds of properties known to exist in areas of similar environment or history.

    Archival Research
    Archival or background research is generally undertaken prior to any field survey. Where identification is undertaken as part of a comprehensive planning process, background research may have taken place as part of the development of the historic contexts (see the Guidelines for Preservation Planning). In the absence of previously developed historic contexts, archival research should address specific issues and topics. It should not duplicate previous work. Sources should include, but not be limited to, historical maps, atlases, tax records, photographs, ethnographies, folklife documentation, oral histories and other studies, as well as standard historical reference works, as appropriate for the research problem. (See the Guidelines for Historical Documentation for additional discussion.)

    Field Survey
    The variety of field survey techniques available, in combination with the varying levels of effort that may be assigned, give great flexibility to implementing field surveys. It is important that the selection of field survey techniques and level of effort be responsive to the management needs and preservation goals that direct the survey effort.

    Survey techniques may be loosely grouped into two categories, according to their results. First are the techniques that result in the characterization of a region's historic properties. Such techniques might include "windshield" or walk-over surveys, with perhaps a limited use of sub-surface survey. For purposes of these Guidelines, this kind of survey is termed a "reconnaissance." The second category of survey techniques is those that permit the identification and description of specific historic properties in an area; this kind of survey effort is termed "intensive." The terms "reconnaissance" and "intensive" are sometimes defined to mean particular survey techniques, generally with regard to prehistoric sites. The use of the terms here is general and is not intended to redefine the terms as they are used elsewhere.

    Reconnaissance survey might be most profitably employed when gathering data to refine a developed historic context—such as checking on the presence or absence of expected property types, to define specific property types or to estimate the distribution of historic properties in an area. The results of regional characterization activities provide a general understanding of the historic properties in a particular area and permit management decisions that consider the sensitivity of the area in terms of historic preservation concerns and the resulting implications for future land use planning. The data should allow the formulation of estimates of the necessity, type and cost of further identification work and the setting of priorities for the individual tasks involved. In most cases, areas surveyed in this way will require resurvey if more complete information is needed about specific properties.

    A reconnaissance survey should document:

    1. The kinds of properties looked for;

    2. The boundaries of the area surveyed;

    3. The method of survey, including the extent of survey coverage;

    4. The kinds of historic properties present in the surveyed area;

    5. Specific properties that were identified, and the categories of information collected; and

    6. Places examined that did not contain historic properties.

    Intensive survey is most useful when it is necessary to know precisely what historic properties exist in a given area or when information sufficient for later evaluation and treatment decisions is needed on individual historic properties. Intensive survey describes the distribution of properties in an area; determines the number, location and condition of properties; determines the types of properties actually present within the area; permits classification of individual properties; and records the physical extent of specific properties. An intensive survey should document:

    1. The kinds of properties looked for;

    2. The boundaries of the area surveyed;

    3. The method of survey, including an estimate of the extent of survey coverage;

    4. A record of the precise location of all properties identified; and

    5. Information on the appearance, significance, integrity and boundaries of each property sufficient to permit an evaluation of its significance.

    Sampling
    Reconnaissance or intensive survey methods may be employed according to a sampling procedure to examine less-than-the-total project or planning area.

    Sampling can be effective when several locations are being considered for an undertaking or when it is desirable to estimate the cultural resources of an area. In many cases, especially where large land areas are involved, sampling can be done in stages. In this approach, the results of the initial large area survey are used to structure successively smaller, more detailed surveys. This "nesting" approach is an efficient technique since it enables characterization of both large and small areas with reduced effort. As with all investigative techniques, such procedures should be designed to permit an independent assessment of results.

    Various types of sample surveys can be conducted, including, but not limited to: random, stratified and systematic. Selection of sample type should be guided by the problem the survey is expected to solve, the nature of the expected properties and the nature of the area to be surveyed.

    Sample surveys may provide data to estimate frequencies of properties and types of properties within a specified area at various confidence levels. Selection of confidence levels should be based upon the nature of the problem the sample survey is designed to address.

    Predictive modeling is an application of basic sampling techniques that projects or extrapolates the number, classes and frequencies of properties in unsurveyed areas based on those found in surveyed areas. Predictive modeling can be an effective tool during the early stages of planning an undertaking, for targeting field survey and for other management purposes. However, the accuracy of the model must be verified; predictions should be confirmed through field testing and the model redesigned and retested if necessary.

    Special survey techniques
    Special survey techniques may be needed in certain situations.

    Remote sensing techniques may be the most effective way to gather background environmental data, plan more detailed field investigations, discover certain classes of properties, map sites, locate and confirm the presence of predicted sites, and define features within properties. Remote sensing techniques include aerial, subsurface and underwater techniques. Ordinarily the results of remote sensing should be verified through independent field inspection before making any evaluation or statement regarding frequencies or types of properties.

    Integrating Identification Results

    The results of identification efforts must be integrated into the planning process so that planning decisions are based on the best available information. The new information is first assessed against the objectives of the identification efforts to determine whether the gathered information meets the defined identification goals for the historic context(s); then the goals are adjusted accordingly. In addition, the historic context narrative, the definition of property types and the planning goals for evaluation and treatment are all adjusted as necessary to accommodate the new data.

    Reporting Identification Results

    Reporting of the results of identification activities should begin with the statement of objectives prepared before undertaking the survey. The report should respond to each of the major points documenting:

    1. Objectives;

    2. Area researched or surveyed;

    3. Research design or statement of objectives;

    4. Methods used, including the intensity of coverage. If the methods differ from those outlined in the statement of objectives, the reasons should be explained.

    5. Results: how the results met the objectives; result analysis, implications and recommendations; where the compiled information is located.

    A summary of the survey results should be available for examination and distribution. Identified properties should then be evaluated for possible inclusion in appropriate inventories.

    Protection of information about archeological sites or other properties that may be threatened by dissemination of that information is necessary. These may include fragile archeological properties or properties such as religious sites, structures, or objects, whose cultural value would be compromised by public knowledge of the property's location.

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    Recommended Sources of Technical Information

    Current Recommendations
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    Archaeological Method and Theory: An Encyclopedia. Linda Ellis, editor. Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, 2000.

    Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing. I. Scollar, A. Tabbagh, A. Hesse, and I. Herzog. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1990.

    "The Character of Surface Archaeological Deposits and its Influence on Survey Accuracy." L. Wandsnider and E. L. Camilli. Journal of Field Archaeology 19:169-188, 1992.

    "Comments on the Case for Full-Coverage Survey." Keith W. Kintigh. In The Archaeology of Regions: A Case for Full-Coverage Survey. S. K. Fish and S. A. Kowalewski, editors. Pp. 237-242. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1990.

    "Conclusions." Suzanne K. Fish and Stephen A. Kowalewski. In The Archaeology of Regions: A Case for Full-Coverage Survey. S. K. Fish and S. A. Kowalewski, editors. Pp. 261-277. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1990.

    "Decision Making in Modern Surveys." S. Plog, F. Plog, and W. Wait. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory Vol. 1. M. B. Schiffer, editor. Pp. 383-421. Academic Press, New York, 1978.

    "The Design of Archaeological Surveys." M. B. Schiffer, A. P. Sullivan, and T. C. Klinger. World Archaeology 10:1-28, 1978.

    "Discovering Sites Unseen." F. P. McManamon. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 7. M. B. Schiffer, editor. Pp. 223-292. Academic Press, 1984. New York.

    Distributional Archaeology. James Ebert. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1992.

    "The Effectiveness of Subsurface Testing: A Simulation Approach." Keith W. Kintigh. American Antiquity 53:686-707, 1988.

    "The Expanding Role of Surface Assemblages in Archaeological Research." Dennis E. Lewarch and Michael J. O'Brien. Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 4. M. B. Schiffer, editor. Pp. 297-342. Academic Press, New York, 1981.

    Field Methods in Archaeology, 7th edition. Thomas R. Hester, Harry J. Shafer, and Kenneth L. Feder. Mayfield Publishing Company, Mountain View, CA, 1997.

    "Geophysical Exploration for Archaeology: An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration." Bruce W. Bevan. Midwest Archeological Center Special Report No. 1. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Midwest Archeological Center, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1998.

    Guidelines for Local Surveys: A Basis for Preservation Planning (WordPerfect file or .zip file) Anne Derry, H. Ward Jandl, Carol Shull and Jan Thorman. National Register Division, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978, revised 1985.

    Historical Archaeology. Charles E. Orser, Jr. and Brian M. Fagan. HarperCollins College Publishers, New York, 1995.

    Interpreting Space: GIS and Archaeology. Kathleen M. S. Allen, Stanton W. Green, and Ezra B. W. Zubrow, editors. Taylor and Francis, New York, 1990.

    Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy. E.C. Harris. 2nd ed. Academic Press Inc, San Diego, 1989.

    "Red Flag Models: The Use of Modelling in Management Contexts." Jeffery H. Altschul. In Interpreting Space: GIS and Archaeology. Kathleen M. S. Allen, Stanton W. Green, and Ezra B. W. Zubrow, editors. Pp. 226-238. Taylor and Francis, New York, 1990.

    "Regional Surveys in the Eastern United States: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Implementing Subsurface Testing Programs." K. G. Lightfoot. American Antiquity 51(3):484-504, 1986.

    "Sampling in Archaeological Surveys: A Critique." S. Plog. American Antiquity 38(1):280-285, 1978.

    "A Shot in the Dark: Shott's Comments on Nance and Ball." Jack D. Nance and Bruce F. Ball. American Antiquity 54 (2):405-412, 1989.

    "Shovel Test Sampling as a Site Discovery Technique: A Case Study from Michigan." Michael J. Shott. Journal of Field Archaeology 12:458-469, 1985.

    "Shovel-test Sampling in Archaeological Survey: Comments on Nance and Ball, and Lightfoot." Michael J. Shott. American Antiquity 54:396-404, 1989.

    "The Siteless Survey: A Regional Scale Data Collection Strategy." R. Dunnell and W. Dancey. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 5. M. B. Schiffer, editor. Pp. 267-287. Academic Press, New York, 1983.

    "Surface Collection, Sampling, and Research Design: A Retrospective." C. L. Redman. American Antiquity 52(2):249-265, 1987.

    "Survey Design, Theory." Allen P. Sullivan III. In Archaeological Method and Theory: An Encyclopedia, Linda Ellis, editor. Pp. 600-605. Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, 2000.

    "Surveying and Site Examination, Manual Methods." Francis P. McManamon. In Archaeological Method and Theory: An Encyclopedia. Linda Ellis, editor. Pp. 605-609. Garland Publishing, Inc., New York, 2000.

    Property Types:

    Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating and Registering Aids to Navigation (WordPerfect file). Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1990.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Historic Aviation Properties. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1998.

    Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating and Registering America's Historic Battlefields. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1992.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Cemeteries and Burial Place. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1992.

    How to Evaluate and Nominate Designed Historic Landscapes. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1990.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Historical Archeological Sites (WordPerfect file or .zip file). Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1992, revised 1999.

    Guidelines for Identifying, Evaluating and Registering Historic Mining Properties. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1992, revised 1997, 1999.

    How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Post Offices (WordPerfect file). Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1984, revised 1994.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Nominating Properties that Have Achieved Siginificance in the Past Fifty Years. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1979, revised, 1990, 1996, 1998.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Rural Historic Landscapes. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1991, revised 1999.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Properties Associated with Significant Persons. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1989.

    Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1990, revised 1992, 1998.

    Nominating Historic Vessels and Shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic Places. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register, History and Education, 1992.


    The Archeological Survey: Methods and Uses. Thomas F. King. Interagency Archeological Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1978. Washington, D.C. Available through the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. GPO stock number 024-016-00091. Written primarily for the non-archeologist, this publication presents methods and objectives for archeological surveys.

    Cultural Resources Evaluation of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1977.

    The Process of Field Research: Final Report on the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project. American Folklife Center, 1981.

    Regional Sampling in Archeology. David Hurst Thomas. University of California, Archeological Survey Annual Report, 1968-9, 11:87-100.

    Remote Sensing: A Handbook for Archeologists and Cultural Resource Managers. Thomas R. Lyons and Thomas Eugene Avery. Cultural Resource Management Division, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1977.

    Remote Sensing and Non-Destructive Archeology. Thomas R. Lyons and James L. Ebert, editors. Remote Sensing Division, Southwest Cultural Resources Center, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior and University of New Mexico, 1978.

    Remote Sensing Experiments in Cultural Resource Studies: Non-Destructive Methods of Archeological Exploration, Survey and Analysis. Thomas R. Lyons, assembler. Reports of the Chaco Center, Number One. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior and University of New Mexico, 1976.

    Sampling in Archeology. James W. Mueller, editor. University of Arizona Press, 1975. Tucson, Arizona.

    Scholars as Contractors. William J. Mayer-Oakes and Alice W. Portnoy, editors. Cultural Resource Management Studies. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1979.

    Sedimentary Studies of Prehistoric Archeological Sites. Sherwood Gagliano, Charles Pearson, Richard Weinstein, Diana Wiseman, and Christopher McClendon. Division of State Plans and Grants, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1982. Washington, D.C. Available from Coastal Environments Inc., 1260 Main Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. Establishes and evaluates a method for employing sedimentological analysis in distinguishing site areas from non-site areas when identifying submerged archeological sites on the continental shelf.

    State Survey Forms. Available from Interagency Resource Management Division, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. Characterizes cultural resource survey documentation methods in State Historic Preservation Offices.

    Truss Bridge Types: A Guide to Dating and Identifying. Donald C. Jackson and T. Allan Comp. American Association for State and Local History, 1977. Nashville, Tennessee. Technical leaflet #95. Available from AASLH, 172 Second Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37201. Information about performing surveys of historic bridges and identifying the types of properties encountered.


    See also
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    Archeology & Ethnography Program

    National Register of Historic Places

    Society for Historical Archaeology

    Society of American Archaeology

    State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO)
    Many SHPO Offices have prepared survey manuals and guides for survey projects, many of which might be available.



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