Aztec Ruins
Administrative History
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Outline of the Agreement


The following agreement with Mr. H.D. Abrams for the acquisition of the Aztec Ruin is made in conformity to the following policy. Continuation of mass excavation of Aztec seems inadvisable since the final solution of the problem involved necessitates minute archaeological analysis such as can only be carried on slowly and deliberately and chiefly at the hands of the investigator. Further, such work cannot be continuous, but must be alternated with long periods of museum study and formulation of such new phases of the problem as from time to time arise. We estimate that a minimum period of ten years will be required to bring this work to a satisfactory conclusion. Since the ruin is in private hands and the donor wishes it to become a permanent public exhibit, it seems best for us to acquire the property and hold the same during the period of investigation, and at the end of that time to transfer it to such organization or institution as promises to carry out the original obligations placed upon us by the former owner.

The following agreements are to be entered into between Mr. Abrams and the Museum.

1. Mr. Abrams is to transfer and deed to the Museum a tract of land (as described) of approximately twenty-five acres, upon which are situated the ruins comprising the main group of prehistoric remains of which the so-called Aztec Ruin is the nucleus, together with water rights in the ditch (as described) with which to irrigate the land. He shall also transfer with the property all rights to the ruins and all prehistoric objects whatsoever.

2. The following restrictions are placed upon the property by Mr. Abrams. The transfer is made with the understanding that the property can be used only for educational and scientific purposes and that it shall be maintained as a public exhibit and that there shall be properly housed and exhibited on the tract as above stated, an exhibit of duplicate specimens from the ruin showing the culture of its prehistoric inhabitants. Further, that the transfer of this property by the Museum to any other corporation or individuals shall not to any degree waive this obligation.

3. For the transfer of the property (as described) Mr. Abrams is to receive from the Museum $6500. He is also to retain possession of the barn and stock sheds now upon the property with permission to use them free of charge for three years, at the end of which time he has permission to remove all such buildings. As to payments, Mr. Abrams is to receive $3000 in cash and the remainder in two annual payments.

4. The Museum pledges itself to repair all of the walls uncovered in the same manner as heretofore and to exercise due care in the preservation and protection of the ruin. The Museum also agrees to the best of its ability to complete the excavations now under way.

Finally, when it proves desirable and expedient, the Museum is to have the privilege of transferring this property to a group of individuals representing an institution or corporation already in existence or one specifically encorporated for this purpose, who will trustee a fund which shall be sufficient to carry out the tenets of this contract in every respect and said individuals or board of trustees, as the case may be, acting in lieu of the Museum shall be bound to observe each and every promise of this contract. In such event, Mr. Abrams, because of his interest and service in the proper protection of the aboriginal remains upon the tract above specified and because of his special fitness so to act, shall be an active member of such board or group of individuals throughout his lifetime.

5. In order that the Museum may fulfill the obligations of this agreement, Mr. Abrams is to donate the collections so far removed the Aztec Ruin; in return, he is to be recognized in the usual manner.

[Retyped from xerox of original document]

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006