U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
VII. ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES AND GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
Boundaries define the horizontal extent of a historic property. Defining the perimeter of an archeological site is often difficult because of the unique environmental setting and archeological characteristics of individual properties. There is no single standard method for defining the extent of an archeological site's boundaries.
The methods for defining and documenting the boundaries of an archeological property should be explicitly described. Although final boundaries may have to be determined after data analysis is complete, the archeologist should make every effort to define preliminary boundaries of the property while in the field (For further guidance, consult the National Register bulletin Defining Boundaries for National Register Properties and its appendix, Definition of National Register Boundaries for Archeological Properties).
The intent of the "Geographical Data" section of the National Register nomination is to define the location and extent of the property being nominated. The parameters that physically define and describe the property's boundaries and the rationale for establishing those parameters are of paramount importance in this section.
Absolute boundary definition is often not achievable, especially for archeological properties. Nevertheless, for public administration purposes, defensible boundaries are required. This means that the boundaries chosen have to be justified and that justification must be consistent with the information presented in the description and significance sections.
When selecting boundaries, keep in mind the following general guidelines:
National Register bulletins provide guidance on defining boundaries, including How to Complete the National Register Registration Form, and Defining Boundaries for National Register Properties and its appendix, Definition of National Register Boundaries for Archeological Properties.
Note that for discontiguous districts, each separate area of land must be described in terms of acreage, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) references, a boundary description, and a boundary justification.
Enter the total acreage for the property. Acreage should be accurate to the nearest whole acre; or, if known, to the nearest tenth of an acre. If the property is less than one acre, enter "less than one acre." On the other hand, if the property acreage is known to be, for example 0.7 acres, then 0.7 may be entered instead. (For properties that are more than 100 acres, a United States Geological Survey (USGS) acreage estimator or other accurate methodmay be used to calculate the acreage). If the property is a discontiguous district, then the acreage for each area must be listed as well as the total acreage (e.g., A = 0.3; B = 1.2; and C = 5.7 acres. Total = 7.2 acres).
Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid references are used to identify the exact location of the property. A USGS quadrangle map and a UTM coordinate counter are tools for determining UTM reference points. Other methods for accurately determining UTMs, such as GPS, are also acceptable. Many state historic preservation offices will assist applicants in completing this item. Appendix VIII of How to Complete the National Register Registration Form and Using the UTM Grid System to Record Historic Sites (only available on the National Register Web site at: http://www.nps.gov/nr/publications) provides instructions on how to determine UTMS. The following are general guidelines that apply to all kinds of properties:
VERBAL BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION
The verbal boundary description is a textual description of the boundary of the property as shown on the maps accompanying the nomination. It usually takes one of the following forms:
A map drawn to a scale of at least 1" = 200' may be used in place of a verbal description. When using a map for this purpose, note under the heading "Verbal Boundary Description" that the boundaries are indicated on the accompanying base map. For example, "The boundary of the property is shown as the dashed line on the accompanying Willow Creek County parcel map #14." The map must have a scale and a north arrow and clearly show the relationship between the archeological property, its boundaries, and the surrounding natural and cultural features. The primary disadvantage of simply referring to a map for the property boundary is a pragmatic one-if the map is misplaced, then the location cannot be accurately determined.
If the boundaries of a large property are exactly the same as the UTM polygon, then the boundaries marked on the USGS map may be used in place of a verbal boundary description. For example, the boundary of the Anywhere Archeological District is delineated by the polygon whose vertices correspond to the following points: A 18 213600 4136270; B 18 322770 4125960; and C 18 314040 4166790. If the UTM polygon is the same as the property's boundaries, then the boundaries of the property may be recreated even if the map is misplaced.
The boundary justification explains the reasons for selecting the boundaries of the property. The reasons should follow from the description and significance discussions. For archeological properties more than one reason may apply. All the reasons should be given and linked to the boundaries as they are drawn on the map. For example, "The property's western and southern boundaries correspond to the historic boundary of the property; the northern boundary follows the shoreline of the bay, which has not changed since the time period of the property's significance; and the eastern boundary corresponds to the eastern extent of intact archeological deposits. These boundaries encompass all of the archeological deposits and above-ground features and structures associated with the property."
For discontiguous districts, explain how the property meets the condition for a discontiguous district and how the boundaries were selected for each area. If the boundary justification is the same for all the areas of the district, simply present the justification and explain that this applies to each of the areas and list them.
|National Register Home | Publications Home | Previous Page | Next Page|