Underwater Archeology in the National Park Service: A Model for the Management of Submerged Cultural Resources
AuthorLenihan, Daniel J.
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The publication has several purposes; they include; 1. Providing a vehicle for communicating the scope and importance of the legal mandates under which the Service operates in regard to submerged cultural remains. 2. Presenting the history and nature of underwater archeological activities in the Park Service. 3. Making available to the rest of the archeological profession the data accumulated from underwater research in the Park Service thus far. 4. Discussing the theoretical and methodological directions which must be considered in regard to the development and intensification of this aspect of archeology in the future. Many members of the archeology profession have stated that they felt the logical place for the burgeoning field of underwater archeology in the New World to receive guidance and direction in its growth would be in the National Park Service. The National Park Service, in both Southeast and Southwest Regions, has working in coordination with various university and state archeologists on standards for developing a systematic problem-oriented approach to shipwreck studies, submerged prehistoric sites surveys and general inundation studies. This program of systematizing and refining approaches to underwater archeological research is still, however, in a nascent stage. It is hoped that this publication will help increase awareness of the great potential of underwater sites in the United States, and underline the leadership role that the Park Service could and should take in developing this resource.