The Antiquities Act: The First Hundred Years of a Landmark Law

Part of the Antiquities Act project

Author(s): David Harmon; Francis McManamon; Dwight T. Pitcaithley

Year: 2006


The history of American archaeology, conservation, and historic preservation often is told in terms of legal milestones, and rightly so. An environmental activist working to expand a nearby park, a historic preservationist trying to save a cherished old building, a volunteer working on a national wilderness campaign, an archaeologist investigating an ancient village site in advance of reservoir construction—all are working from a solid foundation of statutory authorities that, law by law, have expanded protections for archaeological resources, historic structures, and natural areas. There are many laws that mark critical junctures in our national conservation policy, yet what is arguably one of the most important of them all remains little known outside of specialist circles. That law is the Antiquities Act of 1906. No other law has had such a wide-ranging influence on the preservation of our nation's cultural and natural heritage.

Adapted from The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation,

and Nature Conservation, David Harmon, Francis P. McManamon, and Dwight T. Pitcaithley, editors. Reprinted by permission of the University of Arizona Press.

Cite this Record

The Antiquities Act: The First Hundred Years of a Landmark Law. David Harmon, Francis McManamon, Dwight T. Pitcaithley. The George Wright Forum. 23 (1). 2006 ( tDAR id: 376925) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8TB168K

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