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NPS Archeology Guide > Archeology Outreach > 1. Introduction


The stewardship of America's archeological heritage is a well-established policy and function of the Federal government. Outreach enables archeologists in the National park Service and others to fulfill their responsibilities as stewards of the nation's archeological heritage.

Archeology is the study of past peoples through their material remains. Archeological resources include sites, collections, and documentation associated with excavation and curation activities. Archeology outreach enables staff to engage with visitors and convey the significance of archeological resources. Outreach activities include workshops, exhibits, websites, publications and handouts, ranger talks, volunteer programs, classroom visits, and more. Such programs help the public get excited about archeology and the important information it provides about the nation's past.

Nearly every unit of the NPS contains archeological resources, be they evidence of the first people to set foot on the continent, ancient and modern Native Americans, diasporic or immigrant peoples from around the world, or even activities in the first half of the 20th century. Outreach provides visitors with opportunities for enjoyment, education, and personal reflection. It also moves a visitor to realize the relevance and significance of archeological resources in contemporary life.

Resource protection is an important purpose for archeological outreach. Through various forms of outreach, the National Park Service encourages the public to care about archeological resources and therefore to adopt a stewardship ethic. Rangers and law enforcement can draw on the principles of the guide to involve the public in protecting sites.

The Archeology Outreach module also provides numerous sources of information and assistance. These sources provide users with best practices, case studies, and how-tos to apply within their own circumstances.