Public Archaeology in the National Park Service: A Brief Overview and Case Study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Linda F. Stine, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Roy S. Stine, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Archaeologists are integral in National Park Service (NPS) culture. Some archaeologists “wear the hat” and the authoritative uniform symbolizing the park service, yet non–park service archaeologists can work at the parks with research permits under the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA permits [Neumann et al. 2010]) or with a cultural resource contract award. Both endeavors provide information to help individual parks meet their management and interpretative goals. An added benefit for these archaeologists is working at some of the country's most beautiful, always intriguing, and often endangered archaeological sites. NPS cultural resources range from southwestern pueblos to Revolutionary battlefields, urban historic sites, and coastal lighthouses. Most national parks contain spaces and places with varied, large, and vocal constituencies, including archaeologists. To promote, regulate, conserve, preserve, and certify public enjoyment—these ideas reverberate a century after the park service's founding and are detailed in its national strategies (Everhart 1983; NPS 2011). A brief review of NPS history and of some of its leaders illustrates how archaeologists influenced this often-romanticized public organization. An example of how interdisciplinary archaeological research works at a national park follows that discussion.

Additional Information

American Anthropologist, 116(4), 843-849
Language: English
Date: 2014
Archaeology, National Park Service, Cultural Resources

Email this document to