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Welcome to the archaeology of the United States research guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide direction to federal and state laws, regulations, practices, contact information, and archaeological sites. Please be patient as we continually update this guide with the most current information.
Find Resources in the Library
Franklin: Catalog & Articles+ searches both Franklin: Catalog for materials held by Penn Libraries and Franklin: Articles+ for content in many bibliographic databases and full-text resources.
Because the Franklin Catalog uses standard Library of Congress subject headings in records, searches by Subject Heading Browse or Subject Heading Keyword formulated as follows may be useful:
- [name of site, modern city, country, region, or cultural group] -- Antiquities
- Examples: Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, PA) -- Antiquities; Philadelphia, PA -- Antiquities; Delaware River Valley (N.Y.-Del. and N.J.) -- Antiquities; Hopi Indians -- Antiquities
- Excavations (Archaeology) -- [name of region, country, or state] -- [sometimes additional subdivisions]
- Example: Excavations (Archaeology) -- Pennsylvania -- Valley Forge National Park
American Antiquities: Revisiting the Origins of American Archaeology by Writing the history of American archaeology, especially concerning eighteenth- and nineteenth-century arguments, is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Archaeology's trajectory from an avocation to a semi-profession to a specialized profession, rather than being a linear progression, was an untidy organic process that emerged from the intellectual tradition of antiquarianism. It then closely allied itself with the natural sciences throughout the nineteenth century, especially with geology and the debate about the origins and identity of the indigenous mound-building cultures of the eastern United States. In his reexamination of the eclectic interests and equally varied settings of nascent American archaeology, Terry A. Barnhart exposes several fundamental, deeply embedded historiographical problems within the secondary literature relating to the nineteenth-century debate about "Mound Builders" and "American Indians." Some issues are perceptual, others contextual, and still others are basic errors of fact. Adding to the problem are semantic and contextual considerations arising from the problematic use of the term "race" as a synonym for tribe, nation, and race proper--a concept and construct that does not in all instances translate into current understanding and usage. American Antiquities uses this early discourse on the mounds to reframe perennial anthropological problems relating to human origins and antiquity in North America.
Call Number: Penn Museum Library. CC101.U6 B37 2015
Publication Date: 2015
The Archaeologist's Field Handbook by This comprehensive handbook provides step-by-step instructions on how to do archaeological fieldwork in North America. The wealth of diagrams, photos, maps and checklists clearly illustrate how to design, fund, research, map, record, interpret, photograph, and present archaeological surveys and excavations.
Call Number: CC76 .B87 2009
Publication Date: 2008
Archaeology in Practice by Archaeology in Practice: A Student Guide to Archaeological Analyses offers students in archaeology laboratory courses a detailed and invaluable how-to manual of archaeological methods and provides insight into the breadth of modern archaeology. Written by specialists of material analyses, whose expertise represents a broad geographic range Includes numerous examples of applications of archaeological techniques Organized by material types, such as animal bones, ceramics, stone artifacts, and documentary sources, or by themes, such as dating, ethics, and report writing Written accessibly and amply referenced to provide readers with a guide to further resources on techniques and their applications Enlivened by a range of boxed case studies throughout the main text
Call Number: Penn Museum Library. CC165 .A633 2013
Publication Date: 2014
Archaeology of Native North America by The Archaeology of Native North America presents the ideas, evidence, and debates regarding the initial peopling of the continent by mobile bands of hunters and gatherers and the cultural evolution of their many lines of descent over the ensuing millennia. The emergence of farming, urban centers, and complex political organization paralleled similar developments in other world areas. With the arrival of Europeans to North America and the inevitable clashes of culture, colonizers and colonists were forever changed, which is also represented in the archaeological heritage of the continent. Unlike others, this book includes Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, thus addressing broad regional interactions and the circulation of people, things, and ideas. This edition incorporates results of new archaeological research since the publication of the first edition a decade earlier. Fifty-four new box features highlight selected archaeological sites, which are publicly accessible gateways into the study of North American archaeology. The features were authored by specialists with direct knowledge of the sites and their broad importance. Glossaries are provided at the end of every chapter to clarify specialized terminology. The book is directed to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students taking survey courses in American archaeology, as well as other advanced readers. It is extensively illustrated and includes citations to sources with their own robust bibliographies, leading diligent readers deeper into the professional literature. The Archaeology of Native North America is the ideal text for courses in North American archaeology.
Call Number: Penn Museum Library. E77.9 .S565 2010
Publication Date: 2020
Artifacts of Prehistoric America by
Call Number: Penn Museum Library. E77.9 .B72
Publication Date: 1975
Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology by Archaeology - the study of human cultures through the analysis and interpretation of artefacts and material remains - continues to captivate and engage people on a local and global level. Internationally celebrated heritage sites such as the pyramids--both Egyptian and Mayan--Lascaux caves, and the statues of Easter Island provide insights into our ancestors and their actions and motivation. But there is much more to archaeology than famous sites. Ask any archaeologist about their job and they will touch on archaeological theory, chemistry, geology, history, classical studies, museum studies, ethical practice, and survey methods, along with the analysis and interpretation of artefacts and sites. Archaeology is a much broader subject than its public image and branches into many other fields in the social and physical sciences. This multi-volume work provides a comprehensive and systematic coverage of archaeology that is unprecedented, not only in terms of the use of multi-media, but also in terms of content. It encompasses the breadth of the subject along with key aspects that are tapped from other disciplines. It includes all time periods and regions of the world and all stages of human development. Mostly importantly, this encyclopedia includes the knowledge of leading scholars from around the world. The entries in this encyclopedia range from succinct summaries of specific sites and the scientific aspects of archaeological enquiry to detailed discussions of archaeological concepts, theories and methods, and from investigations into the social, ethical and political dimensions of archaeological practice to biographies of leading archaeologists from throughout the world. The different forms of archaeology are explored, along with the techniques used for each and the challenges, concerns and issues that face archaeologists today. The Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology has two outstanding innovations. The first is that scholars were able to submit entries in their own language. Over 300,000 words have been translated from French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Japanese, Turkish and Russian. Many of these entries are by scholars who are publishing in English for the first time. This compendium is both a print reference and an online reference work. The encyclopedia's second major innovation is that it harnesses the capabilities of an online environment, enhancing both the presentation and dissemination of information. Most particularly, the continuous updating allowed by an online environment should ensure that the Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology is a definitive reference work for archaeology and archaeologists.
Call Number: CC70 .E53 2014
Publication Date: 2014
North American Archaeology by
Call Number: Penn Museum Library. E159.5 .N67 2005
Publication Date: 2004
National Professional Organizations
National Technical Reports Library
this database indexes over 3.0 million records of research sponsored by the United States and select foreign governments dating back to 1964.
The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is an international digital repository for the digital records of archaeological investigations. tDAR’s use, development, and maintenance are governed by Digital Antiquity, an organization dedicated to ensuring the long-term preservation of irreplaceable archaeological data and to broadening the access to these data. It includes a number of documents from federal, state, and local agencies (for example, Bureau of Land Management) as well as publications and records from individual archaeologists and projects.
Artifact Identification Resources:
National Grant Information
A centralized space for more than 1,000 different grant programs across federal grant-making agencies. Learn about the grant process, apply for grants, and post grants.
Find funding opportunities through Candid. Formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar
Historic Preservation Education Fund
provides grants of between $5,000 and $15,000 to projects based in the United States that further HPEF’s mission of providing training opportunities on technical topics associated with preservation technology
Keepers Preservation Education Fund
provides financial support to aspiring or established preservation professionals in the United States to increase or share their professional knowledge or enhance their career potential in historic preservation-related subjects. Awards may be used for tuition, professional meeting attendance, special book or other types of media purchases, domestic and foreign study travel, and other purposes as deemed appropriate
Preserve America Grants
these grants are designed to support a variety of activities related to heritage tourism and innovative approaches to the use of historic properties as educational and economic assets
Save America's Treasures Grants
a competitive grant program to fund bricks and mortar preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and historic structures and sites
Disaster Recovery Grants
grants intended to assist communities following natural disasters with the hope of saving the remaining historic and cultural resources
State Historic Preservation Program
Annual Matching Funds based on an apportionment formula to assist in expanding and accelerating State historic preservation activities.
Museum Library Collections and Outreach Intern, 2019-2020
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