Department of the Interior Views Relative to the Role of Archeology in Federal Historic Preservation Programs

Author(s): Jerry L. Rogers

Year: 1978


This presentation by Jerry L. Rogers, at the time the Chief, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, was made at the at the first meeting of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Task Force on Archeology,on July 17, 1978, in Washington, DC.

Rogers first thanked the committee members and the ACHP for the interest and concern their respective agencies and the ACHP for engaging, as members of the task force in the challenging questions associated with developing a constructive national program for identification, protection, and enhancement of the archeological resources of this nation. He noted that the DoI has long been dismayed at simplistic views taken by many toward archeology and archeological resources. Archeology is a complex and technical subject and when confronted with its intricacies, many people react more with irrational fear than intellectual curiosity. Surrendering to its mysteries rather than probing for understanding, it is often concluded that archeological resources are somehow different from other types of historic properties, In fact, archeological resources are no more difficult to comprehend or to make decisions about than any other kind of historic resource. Indeed, one could argue that archeological concepts are more logical, rigorous, and intellectually definable than many of the subjective concepts commonly employed in other areas of the historic preservation program; for example, integrity, feeling, sense of place, fabric, etc.

This statement introduces the first important point that there is no reasonable basis for concluding that archeological sites are qualitatively different from other kinds of historic resources, The facts that such sites may often be visible only to the trained observer and are often important for the data they contain do not differentiate archeological sites from other types of historic properties. As a class, archeological properties are as site-related as are any other kind of historic property. To search for another approach not only is inconsistent with the several historic preservation and environmental laws, unnecessary from any practical perspective.

Rogers' presentation describes activities underway to integrate the consideration of archeological resources into historic preservation procedures and issues regarding archeology that were being considered at the time.

Cite this Record

Department of the Interior Views Relative to the Role of Archeology in Federal Historic Preservation Programs. Jerry L. Rogers. Presented at Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Task Force on Archeology, Washington, DC. 1978 ( tDAR id: 440547) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8QJ7M3T

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  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
1978-JRogers-DoI-Archaeology---Fed-Hist-Preserv.pdf 160.45kb Jan 19, 2018 Jan 19, 2018 9:40:04 AM Public
Uploaded by FPM from a scanned copy of JLR presentation.