AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION:
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.
Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Identification
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.
are organized as follows:
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.
The research design should include the following:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
Recommended Sources of Technical Information
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.
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.
Historic Vessels and Shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic
Places. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National
Register, History and Education, 1992.
State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO)