Preserve and Protect
At the Midwest Archeological Center, it is our mission to
preserve and protect the cultural resources of the National
Park Service. This mission is especially dear to us; as agents
of the NPS and as archeologists. The NPS was formed within
the Department of the Interior in 1916 to preserve our nation's
treasures for the enjoyment of future generations. Archeological
resources are among those treasures, and their protection
is foremost among priorities. Once archeological resources
are impacted or destroyed they can never be restored to their
original state; there is no going back.
The Midwest Archeological Center is doubly committed to this
class of resource. Archeologists are given the responsibility
of learning about the past from the archeological record,
while maintaining its integrity for future generations of
researchers, who will undoubtedly have more advanced techniques
of discovery and investigation.
It is a delicate balance -- learning from while preserving
the record. In this equation there is no room for the acquisition
of archeological materials for sheer aesthetics or material
gain. This kind of activity only squanders a precious and
nonrenewable resource. For this reason, there are laws protecting
the record, and a set of standards for archeological investigation.
The National Park Service's Cultural Resources web site contains
a wealth of information and links relevant to preservation,
as do many other organizations. Some of these sites are highlighted
pages and organizations devoted to preservation
The NPS Links to the Past web page. All of the following topics
are contained within this site.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which promotes
the preservation and enhancement of historic resources.
The Archaeological Conservancy is a non-profit organization
dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation's
remaining archaeological sites.
Protecting the Past edited by Smith and Ehrenhardt, html version.
An edited volume of articles concerning preservation issues
in archeology. Hosted by the Southeast Archeological Center,
Background and context
A technical report, providing legal background and context
for cultural resource protection laws.
A brief history of the National Park Service, explaining the
role of preservation in its development.
The American Antiquities Act of 1906; the earliest legislation
protecting archeological resources.
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This legislation
established the National Register of Historic Places, an important
resource for saving and preserving historic places in the
face of processes such as suburban expansion and urban renewal.
Section 106 of this document structures much of the work of
cultural resource management professionals.
The specific regulations followed under NHPA Section 106,
and a guide to their implementation.
Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. Legislation
banning the unauthorized excavation, removal, damage, alteration,
or defacement of archaeological resources from public or Indian
lands, and the trafficking in archaeological resources which
were wrongfully acquired.
Native American Graves Protection And Repatriation Act.