OVERLOOKED HERITAGE IN A NATIONAL PARK
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Type of WorkText
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
RightsTo view a complete copy of this thesis please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 337-6075.
SubjectsHistoric preservation -- Theses
Excavations -- Antiquities.
Fort McHenry (Baltimore, Md.)
Federal laws and National Park Service policies, standards and guidelines regarding the preservation and protection of archeological resources have been in place in the United States since the tum of the century. This thesis demonstrates how archeological resources have not been consistently well managed or protected at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, despite the existence of agency policy statements. The National Park Service guidelines were first formulated as early as 1938, frequently revised, then officially published in the Cultural Resource Management Guideline (NPS-28) in 1980. At this National Park Service site, externalities outside the context of historic preservation often have affected management decisions regarding the stewardship of archeological resources. External factors such as needs of public visitation, economic trends, wars and even presidential and celebrity events often adversely impacted park management procedures regarding archeological resources. Examples from archeological investigations between 1958 and 1998 document how these external influences impact resource management at Fort McHenry. These examples further show that archeological investigations are not always carried out in a systematic way. While construction projects and installation of utility lines are planned, archeological investigations often occur in order to be in compliance with federal laws rather than to perform resource-based research for decision-making. This thesis is organized in seven chapters. The first chapter presents an overview of federal archeology legislation, programs, policies and guidelines. The second chapter presents an overview of major events and the historical context of the site. The third through sixth chapters cite examples of archeological investigations undertaken at the park from 1958 to 1995. The seventh chapter summarizes the recurring findings of the professional archeologists and the pattern in the management of these archeological resources that has been repeated for nearly forty years at Fort McHenry, with suggestions for future management strategies. The conclusion of this thesis is that important information and documentation in the excavation reports as well as the preservation of the actual archeological resources have not been a top priority and consequently have been overlooked, left uncompleted or not fully utilized.