Thinking Outside the Excavation Unit: Lessons Learned from an Alternative Mitigation Project on the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico
Author(s): Sean Dolan
Excavation is often the way to mitigate for the loss of cultural resources to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. However, excavation is not always the most practical solution. A case study is presented to demonstrate how alternative mitigations advance the research value of cultural resources, and increase flexibility in land-use decisions by agencies while satisfying the mutual interests of stakeholders. In 2012, four prehispanic Ancestral Puebloan fieldhouses were impacted at Los Alamos National Laboratory due to tree thinning activities. The State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, and Pueblo de San Ildefonso were notified, and a damage assessment report was written. A Memorandum of Agreement between Department of Energy and the SHPO was signed in 2016, and it stipulated that a fieldhouse context document be written in lieu of excavation. The document resulted in the acquisition of new research that advances northern New Mexico archaeology. Also, funds went towards the creation of a free public book to achieve wider public awareness about the local archaeology and cultural preservation. I identify lessons learned during this project and offer recommendations for future application of alternative mitigations.
Cite this Record
Thinking Outside the Excavation Unit: Lessons Learned from an Alternative Mitigation Project on the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico. Sean Dolan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442714)
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min long: -123.97; min lat: 37.996 ; max long: -101.997; max lat: 46.134 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20267