Preserving and Protecting
Monitoring and recording cultural sites is a large part of archeology in the National Park Service. This helps us manage these sites to preserve unimpaired the cultural resources and values of the National Park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.
Cultural ideas of archeology too often come from Indiana Jones movies, stories of ancient mummies, or high profile excavations. In reality, archeology in the national parks is a much different thing altogether. Just like rangers who work in law enforcement or with visitors, archeologists are here to protect and preserve.
Most of our time is spent preserving and monitoring archeological sites and artifacts without disturbing them.
Digging up artifacts often destroys a site, so while it is an important part of our work, excavation is usually our last option and only a small part of what we do.
One new area of research at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, is looking at the overlap between climate change and archeology.