What is an archaeological park?
An archaeological park is an archaeological site that has been preserved and opened to the public. Commonly, they preserve archaeological sites with above-ground remains, such as the large and impressive mound complexes of the Southeast and Midwest or the ancient pueblos of the Southwest.
Archaeological parks are usually managed by state or federal governments, as part of parks systems, historical societies, museums, and universities. There is a great deal of diversity among archaeological parks in their areas of development, management, and programming, although many of them offer interpretive exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
For more information about archaeological parks, see Archaeological Parks: Integrating Preservation, Interpretation, and Recreation, edited by Mary L. Kwas, Tennessee Department of Conservation, Division of Parks and Recreation, 1986. (For information on purchasing copies of this publication, contact the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation).
Purpose of this web site
Internet information on individual archaeological parks is often hidden within the web sites of managing agencies and therefore sometimes is difficult to find. This web site provides links to archaeological parks in the United States, in order to expedite finding them. We are not responsible, however, for the content of those pages. The archaeological parks are listed by the states in which they are located.
Criteria for selection
Only archaeological parks that have web sites were included. The geographic area is limited to the United States. The parks predominately represent Native American sites, mainly prehistoric or early historic, although some contact-period sites are included. In the eastern United States, most of the archaeological parks are mound sites; in the west, they are often pueblo sites.
No strictly Euro-American archaeological parks were included. These kinds of archaeological parks may include such sites as Civil War battlefields, early towns, and plantations. Among the reasons for not including these sites is that such sites tend to be more readily identified as historic sites/museums, suggesting a somewhat different focus, development, and support network from prehistoric Native American archaeological parks.
Please let us know if we have missed any archaeological parks that you feel should be included. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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