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Home arrowArchaeology Task Force arrowUpdate March 2006


March 2007

Develop Guidance On Archaeology In Section 106 Review
Promote Archaeology In Heritage Tourism And Public Education


At this time development of the the first four archaeology guidance topics are nearing completion and should be on the ACHP’s website by early Summer 2007:

  • Making Section 106 archaeology consultation more effective;
  • What constitutes a “reasonable and good faith” effort to identify archaeological properties;
  • Applying the National Register criteria to archaeological properties in the Section 106 process; and
  • Opportunities for alternative approaches to resolving adverse effects to archaeological sites

This guidance is organized in question and answer format, with these topics seamlessly blended together to mirror the steps in the Section 106 process.  The remaining three topics are now starting to be addressed (anticipated completion in mid-Summer 2007):

  • Responsibilities of Federal agencies for undertakings on private lands;
  • Curation of archaeological collections and permanent recordation of archaeological properties;
  • Ensuring quality work and completion of reporting requirements in Section 106 archaeology.

This guidance will be presented in a series of questions and answers in an interactive, web-based format.  It is designed to be a dialogue with Section 106 users, with numerous opportunities for the user to provide feedback and examples from which other Section 106 participants may benefit.  User examples of successful Section 106 outcomes will be especially welcome here.


The Task Force’s focus under this issue is to expand the President’s Preserve America initiative by ensuring public enjoyment of our nation’s heritage through greater knowledge and appreciation of archaeological properties.  There is general agreement that the potential of archaeological resources to contribute to heritage tourism and education is underutilized and should be improved, and one way is to consider more effective ways to encourage outcomes reached under Section 106 that better use archaeological resources to promote heritage tourism.

The ACHP presented a forum entitled “Tourism and Archaeology—Challenges and Opportunities” at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology in Jamestown, Virginia, and will host a second, similar, forum at the 2007 meeting of Society for American Archaeology in Austin, Texas.  These forums look at some of the public and private challenges of promoting archeological tourism as a part of historic preservation.  Panelists discuss their experiences and perspectives from the Federal, tribal, state, and local levels.  Topics being explored include:

  • The resource—what are the physical manifestations of the archaeological resource or resources, and how do these lend themselves to being viewed and understood by members of the public?
  • What are the ascribed values associated with archaeological resources?
  • What implications do site location and ownership have on tourism potential?
  • What are the general and particular management needs and potential for the archaeological resource, and what are the optimal solutions for providing such management?
  • What is the potential market and audience for tourism use of this archaeological resource?
  • How to consider the economic value of historic properties and tourism potential?

It is anticipated that the outcome of this will be a set of Federal, State, and private “best practices” on archaeological heritage tourism and education, and direction to the ACHP staff to consider ways to encourage outcomes reached under Section 106 that, where practical and feasible, will use archaeological resources to promote heritage tourism.

The Task Force will form a subcommittee to work closely with the ACHP’s Office of Preservation Initiatives to examine the role of archeology, as practiced under Section 106, in heritage tourism and public education efforts.


Posted March 27, 2007

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