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Cultural Resource Management sample essay

1. (2pts each) Utilizing the lecture notes from the first day of class, define the following terms:

Cultural Resources – Are the sources of culture such as art, heritage, artifacts, and architecture

Cultural Resource Management – The main form of archaeology in the USA. It is used mostly by archaeologists to refer to management of historic places based on their archaeological, architectural, and historical interests in compliance with the environmental and historic preservation laws. Mostly salvage or rescue archaeology is conducted.

Historic Preservation – A way of preserving historic places, landmarks, and artifacts to protect them from destruction or any other means that may harm them.

Historic Properties – Places of historic significance that are protected under the historic preservation act. These can include architecture, such as the Mount Vernon Estate, as well as specific pieces of land themselves, such as Gettysburg.

Archeological Resources – Sources that can provide significant amounts of archaeological data such as artifacts and features. It is also something that may provided pertinent information to the archaeological record.

2. (2 pts) What is the function of cultural resource management, and what are the values of cultural resources? The function of cultural resource management (CRM) is to protect historic places based on their archaeological, architectural, and historic interests. A majority of the work done in CRM is salvage archaeology. To put it in better terms they try to salvage as much from a site as possible before construction or other forms of land development destroy it. Cultural resources provide a link to the significant knowledge that can be ascertained from archaeological and significant historical sites.

3. (5pts) The late 19th century witnessed a transformation in the way our nation viewed cultural resources. Provide an overview of private attempts at preservation during the late 19th century. There were many attempts at preservation during the late 19th century. A few that come to mind are that of Independence Hall, Gettysburg and the Mount Vernon Estate. The Mount Vernon Estate was bought by a group of people known as the Mount Vernon Ladies Association for preservation. They fully restored the Estate to its formal glory.

A group of concerned citizens established the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association whose purpose was to preserve portions of the battlefield as a memorial to the Union Army that fought here. They eventually transferred their land holdings to the Federal government in 1895, which designated Gettysburg as a National Military Park. In 1872 the city of Philadelphia set aside Independence hall and forever declared it a significant landmark, which in turn led to its restoration.

4. The late 19th century witnessed a transformation in the way our nation viewed cultural resources, and this resulted in the 20th century with the passage of major state and federal legislation directed toward promoting cultural resource preservation. For each of the following provide the following information:

Antiquities Act of 1906 (9pts)

a. This was the first law passed by the United States government that attempted to protect cultural resources and antiquities, allow the president to decide which resources he deemed worthy of protection, and for excavations to be conducted only with authorized permits.

b. This legislation was intended to deal with the protection of significant historic lands and sites, as well as establish rules to limit the destruction and looting of said sites and lands. It allowed the president to decide on the significance of a particular site so that he may allow for its protection through federal means. It allowed excavations to be conducted only by means of obtaining a permit. This was to prevent private excavations and looting. It also made anything that was found on the site to be turned into museum hands for the publics benefit.

c. The central theme is the protection and procuration of historic landmarks and antiquities through legal means.

Historic Sites Act of 1935 (9pts)

a. This act was the first assertion of historic preservation as a governmental duty and helped establish rules and organization for the national parks, monuments and historic sites.

b. It gives a wide range of powers and responsibilities to the National Park Service and the Secretary of Interior including: codification and institutionalization of Historic American Buildings Survey, authorization to note significant sites and buildings, and to actually be able to carry out and perform preservation work. It also established the National Park System Advisory Board to assist the Secretary of the Interior with administration.

c. The central theme to this act was to formulate a means of organization and rules for the preservation and maintenance of historic sites.

Missouri Basin Project (9pts)

a. This project was conducted as a means of emergency or salvage archaeology at water resource development projects within the vast Missouri River Basin.

b. The issue that the legislation faced here was the destruction of potential archaeological sites along the Missouri River Basin.

c. The central theme is the ideal behind salvage archaeology and how it can benefit the archaeological record before it is destroyed by some form of major construction or other land development.

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 (9pts)

a. Before the interstate could be put in this law allowed for an archaeological survey and potential excavation to be conducted.

b. This law was passed to help preserve archaeological data that might be damaged or destroyed by the construction of the interstate.

c. The theme for this law is to allow archaeologists to salvage as much information as possible from potential sites before construction of the interstate could begin.

Reservoir Salvage Act of 1960 (9pts)

a. Provides a means for the recovery and preservation of historical and archaeological data that might be lost or destroyed in the construction of dams and reservoirs.

b. With all the big damns and large-scale construction being done at this time, this law provided a means for archaeologists to excavate and salvage as much data as possible before the construction was to begin.

c. The theme for this law is to provide a way of preserving as much data as possible from a site before construction or completion of a damn or reservoir destroys it.

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (9pts)

a. This act was created to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America and created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices.

b. This legislation provided a means to not only protect significant historic places but also a means to help govern how to run them and how to decide which ones even make the cut to be placed on the list.

c. The theme for this law is to provide a means of deciding which landmarks, architecture and significant sites should be included in federal protection as well as how to actually keep up with their restoration.

5. (5pts) Briefly summary the strengths and weaknesses of Works Progress Administration (WPA) Archaeology as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs?

This type of archaeology offered many new jobs for people to fill. It also provided a means of excavating sites that were potentially unreachable due to their location and how deep they were actually buried. It created a long lasting impression on archaeology and anthropology as well. It created museums and anthropology departments at universities across the nation. It also created many vast collections of artifacts. The bad with this type of archaeology was that people had to work all year round and often in terrible conditions. Since many of the workers were untrained they had potential to damage artifacts and sites that they came across.

6. (5pts) Provide an overview of the significance of Section 101 of the HPA? It formed the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). SHPO’s responsibilities include surveying and recognizing historic properties, reviewing properties to be placed on the National Register for Historic Places, reviewing undertakings for the impact of these properties and finally supporting federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector. States are responsible for setting up their own SHPO and thus each one varies in its rules and regulations.

7. (5pts) What is the National Register of Historic Places? What makes an historic property eligible for the National Register? Discuss the “Criteria of Significance” and the “Criteria of Integrity), etc… The national register of historic places is a register that was invented to protect historic properties of significant value to the history of the United States. To be eligible for admission to the register a property must be go through a list called the Criteria of Significance.

It has to have one of the following to be able to be on the list. A property must be associated with events that made a significant contribution to our nations history, be associated with a significant historical person of our nations history, have the ability to provide significant information about history or prehistory, and lastly embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction.

8. (5pts) Provide an overview of Section 106 process of National Historic Preservation Act. Include the steps (that I talked about in class) of the Section 106 “Consultation” process. Discuss assessment and mitigation of adverse effect in your answer. Section 106 mandates federal agencies undergo a review process for all federally funded and permitted projects that will impact sites listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places. The steps for Consultation process include 1 – Initiation of the Section 106 Review; 2 – Identification of Historic Properties; 3 – Assessment of Adverse Effects; and 4 – Resolution of Adverse Effects.

If an adverse effect is expected, the agency is required to work with the local State Historic Preservation Office to ensure that all interested parties are given an opportunity to review the proposed work and provide feedback. This allows for steps to be found avoiding having an adverse effect on historic properties. A Memorandum of Agreement is then reached between all consulting parties outlining agreed to mitigation or avoidance of historic properties. Without said process, historic sites or properties would lose out on significant protection. It provides a process to help decide different approaches or solutions to a project but does not mean that it prevents site destruction or alteration.

9. (6pts) Provide a one word definition for each of the follow (2pts each):
Phase I- Identification
Phase II- Evaluation
Phase III- Mitigation

10. (5pts) YOUR OPINION…IS IT a duty of our society and as a community to protect and preserve our heritage? Are communities doing enough to protect their heritage, or are they doing too much, imposing their will too aggressively and infringing the property of others?

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