RESOURCES: No Digging Required

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Science  20 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5627, pp. 1855
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5627.1855e

This revamped site from the U.S. National Park Service's Archeology and Ethnography program holds a trove of useful reports, guidelines, how-tos, and other sources of information for archaeologists, anthropologists, and curators. For example, the Professional Tools section allows you to check up on laws and regulations that cover work at federal sites, including rules for excavating battlefields and shipwrecks and for working with Native American remains and artifacts. A set of online publications explains everything from protecting sites through revegetation to using volunteers on digs.

Follow links to reach databases such as the National Archeological Database, which lists nearly 240,000 reports—many of them unpublished “gray literature”—on archaeological digs and surveys from around the country. Reading the feature on managing cultural collections might help you avoid disasters such as rodents setting up house inside valuable artifacts. The site also holds a cache of government documents on the controversial Kennewick Man. The 9000-year-old skeleton, discovered in 1996 in Washington state, sparked a custody battle among scientists, Native Americans, and local officials.

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