[NPS Arrowhead] U.S. Dept. of Interior National Park Service Archeology Program
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  Antiquities Act 1906-2006 [link to homepage] Continuing Conservation and Preservation [title]

Since 1906, fifteen presidents have used Section 2 of the Antiquities Act to proclaim new national monuments or to expand existing monuments on public land. Many have since been designated as national parks or cultural sites of international renown. In addition to the National Park Service, these sites are administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service.

Since the Antiquities Act highlighted the importance of caring for archeological collections and making them accessible to the public, museums have played a significant role in protecting and exhibiting archeology. Section 3 of the Act requires that the resulting collections and records from permitted investigations be cared for in public museums and made available for public use and interpretation. Over the past century, museums have broadened beyond just collecting to become public resources for learning about the past in a variety of ways. Exhibits, outreach and education programs, field schools, and web sites are some of the ways that museums fulfill their missions.

Public support and interest in America's archeology continues, and stewardship awareness and conservation programs have become an essential tool for managing archeological resources. Public appreciation of archeology was recently underscored by a national public opinion survey by Harris Interactive that polled Americans'attitudes towards archeology. In 2000, poll respondents gave the importance of archeology in today's society a notable approval rating of 7.3 on an 11-point scale. Almost all (99%) of the respondents said that archeological sites have educational and scientific value. A majority of respondents also said that archaeological objects and sites have aesthetic or artistic value (94%), value related to personal heritage (93%), and spiritual value (88%). Most people (96%) felt that there should be laws to protect historic and prehistoric archeological sites.

Challenges in the 21st Century



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