Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history, from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology is distinct from palaeontology, the study of fossil remains, it is important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time.
The discipline involves surveying and analysis of data collected to learn more about the past. In broad scope, archaeology relies on cross-disciplinary research, it draws upon anthropology, art history, ethnology, geology, literary history, semiology, textual criticism, information sciences, statistics, paleography, paleontology and paleobotany. Archaeology developed out of antiquarianism in Europe during the 19th century, has since become a discipline practiced across the world. Archaeology has been used by nation-states to create particular visions of the past. Since its early development, various specific sub-disciplines of archaeology have developed, including maritime archaeology, feminist archaeology and archaeoastronomy, numerous different scientific techniques have been developed to aid archaeological investigation. Nonetheless, archaeologists face many problems, such as dealing with pseudoarchaeology, the looting of artifacts, a lack of public interest, opposition to the excavation of human remains.
The science of archaeology grew out of the older multi-disciplinary study known as antiquarianism. Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Antiquarianism focused on the empirical evidence that existed for the understanding of the past, encapsulated in the motto of the 18th-century antiquary, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts not theory". Tentative steps towards the systematization of archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment era in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Europe, philosophical interest in the remains of Greco-Roman civilization and the rediscovery of classical culture began in the late Middle Age. Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian, created a systematic guide to the ruins and topography of ancient Rome in the early 15th century, for which he has been called an early founder of archaeology. Antiquarians of the 16th century, including John Leland and William Camden, conducted surveys of the English countryside, drawing and interpreting the monuments that they encountered.
One of the first sites to undergo archaeological excavation was Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments in England. John Aubrey was a pioneer archaeologist who recorded numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, he was ahead of his time in the analysis of his findings. He attempted to chart the chronological stylistic evolution of handwriting, medieval architecture and shield-shapes. Excavations were carried out by the Spanish military engineer Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre in the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both of, covered by ash during the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79; these excavations began in 1748 in Pompeii, while in Herculaneum they began in 1738. The discovery of entire towns, complete with utensils and human shapes, as well the unearthing of frescos, had a big impact throughout Europe. However, prior to the development of modern techniques, excavations tended to be haphazard; the father of archaeological excavation was William Cunnington. He undertook excavations in Wiltshire from around 1798.
Cunnington made meticulous recordings of Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows, the terms he used to categorize and describe them are still used by archaeologists today. One of the major achievements of 19th-century archaeology was the development of stratigraphy; the idea of overlapping strata tracing back to successive periods was borrowed from the new geological and paleontological work of scholars like William Smith, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. The application of stratigraphy to archaeology first took place with the excavations of prehistorical and Bronze Age sites. In the third and fourth decades of the 19th-century, archaeologists like Jacques Boucher de Perthes and Christian Jürgensen Thomsen began to put the artifacts they had found in chronological order. A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologist, Augustus Pitt Rivers, who began excavations on his land in England in the 1880s, his approach was methodical by the standards of the time, he is regarded as the first scientific archaeologist.
He arranged his artifacts by type or "typologically, within types by date or "chronologically"
In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings within this discipline are debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, parenthood, siblingship etc." Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic and religious groups. Kinship can refer both to the patterns of social relationships themselves, or it can refer to the study of the patterns of social relationships in one or more human cultures. Over its history, anthropology has developed a number of related concepts and terms in the study of kinship, such as descent, descent group, affinity/affine, consanguinity/cognate and fictive kinship.
Further within these two broad usages of the term, there are different theoretical approaches. Broadly, kinship patterns may be considered to include people related by both descent – i.e. social relations during development – and by marriage. Human kinship relations through marriage are called "affinity" in contrast to the relationships that arise in one's group of origin, which may be called one's descent group. In some cultures, kinship relationships may be considered to extend out to people an individual has economic or political relationships with, or other forms of social connections. Within a culture, some descent groups may be considered to lead back to gods or animal ancestors; this may be conceived of on a less literal basis. Kinship can refer to a principle by which individuals or groups of individuals are organized into social groups, roles and genealogy by means of kinship terminologies. Family relations can be represented abstractly by degrees of relationship. A relationship may reflect an absolute.
Degrees of relationship are not identical to legal succession. Many codes of ethics consider the bond of kinship as creating obligations between the related persons stronger than those between strangers, as in Confucian filial piety. In a more general sense, kinship may refer to a similarity or affinity between entities on the basis of some or all of their characteristics that are under focus; this may be due to a shared ontological origin, a shared historical or cultural connection, or some other perceived shared features that connect the two entities. For example, a person studying the ontological roots of human languages might ask whether there is kinship between the English word seven and the German word sieben, it can be used in a more diffuse sense as in, for example, the news headline "Madonna feels kinship with vilified Wallis Simpson", to imply a felt similarity or empathy between two or more entities. In biology, "kinship" refers to the degree of genetic relatedness or coefficient of relationship between individual members of a species.
It may be used in this specific sense when applied to human relationships, in which case its meaning is closer to consanguinity or genealogy. Family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence/shared consumption. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children; as the basic unit for raising children, Anthropologists most classify family organization as matrifocal. However, producing children is not the only function of the family. Different societies classify kinship relations differently and therefore use different systems of kinship terminology – for example some languages distinguish between affinal and consanguine uncles, whereas others have only one word to refer to both a father and his brothers. Kinship terminologies include the terms of address used in different languages or communities for different relatives and the terms of reference used to identify the relationship of these relatives to ego or to each other. Kin terminologies can be either classificatory.
When a descriptive terminology is used, a term refers to only one specific type of relationship, while a classificatory terminology groups many different types of relationships under one term. For example, the word brother in English-speaking societies indicates a son of one's same parent. In many other classificatory kinship terminologies, in contrast, a person's male first cousin may be referred to as brothers; the major patterns of kinship systems that are known which Lewis Henry Morgan identified through kinship terminology in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family are: Iroquois kinship Crow kinship (an expansion of b
Economic anthropology is a field that attempts to explain human economic behavior in its widest historic and cultural scope. It is practiced by anthropologists and has a complex relationship with the discipline of economics, of which it is critical, its origins as a sub-field of anthropology began with work by the Polish founder of anthropology Bronislaw Malinowski and the French Marcel Mauss on the nature of reciprocity as an alternative to market exchange. For the most part, studies in economic anthropology focus on exchange. In contrast, the Marxian school known as "political economy" focuses on production. Post-World War II, economic anthropology was influenced by the work of economic historian Karl Polanyi. Polanyi drew on anthropological studies to argue that true market exchange was limited to a restricted number of western, industrial societies. Applying formal economic theory to non-industrial societies was mistaken, he argued. In non-industrial societies, exchange was "embedded" in such non-market institutions as kinship and politics.
He labelled this approach Substantivism. The formalist–substantivist debate was influential and defined an era; as globalization became a reality, the division between market and non-market economies – between "the West and the Rest" – became untenable, anthropologists began to look at the relationship between a variety of types of exchange within market societies. Neo-substantivists examine the ways in which so-called pure market exchange in market societies fails to fit market ideology. Economic anthropologists have abandoned the primitivist niche they were relegated to by economists, they now study the operations of corporations and the global financial system from an anthropological perspective. Bronislaw Malinowski's path-breaking work, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, addressed the question, "why would men risk life and limb to travel across huge expanses of dangerous ocean to give away what appear to be worthless trinkets?". Malinowski traced the network of exchanges of bracelets and necklaces across the Trobriand Islands, established that they were part of a system of exchange.
He stated that this exchange system was linked to political authority. In the 1920s and Malinowski's study became the subject of debate with the French anthropologist, Marcel Mauss, author of The Gift. Malinowski emphasised the exchange of goods between individuals, their non-altruistic motives for giving: they expected a return of equal or greater value. In other words, reciprocity is an implicit part of gifting. Mauss, in contrast, has emphasized that the gifts were not between individuals, but between representatives of larger collectivities; these gifts were, he argued, a "total prestation." They were not simple, alienable commodities to be bought and sold, like the "Crown jewels", embodied the reputation and sense of identity of a "corporate kin group," such as a line of kings. Given the stakes, Mauss asked "why anyone would give them away?" His answer was an enigmatic concept, hau, "the spirit of the gift." A good part of the confusion was due to a bad translation. Mauss appeared to be arguing that a return gift is given to keep the relationship between givers alive.
Based on an improved translation, Jonathan Parry has demonstrated that Mauss was arguing that the concept of a "pure gift" given altruistically only emerges in societies with a well-developed market ideology. Mauss' concept of "total prestations" has been developed in the 20th century by Annette Weiner, who revisited Malinowski's fieldsite in the Trobriand Islands, her 1992 critique was twofold: she noted first that Trobriand Island society has a matrilineal kinship system, that women hold a great deal of economic and political power, as inheritance is passed through the female lines. Malinowski missed this and ignored women's exchanges in his study. Secondly, Weiner has developed Mauss' argument about reciprocity and the "spirit of the gift" in terms of "inalienable possessions: the paradox of keeping while giving." Weiner contrasts "moveable goods," which can be exchanged, with "immoveable goods," which serve to draw the gifts back. She argues that the specific goods given, such as Crown Jewels, are so identified with particular groups that when given, they are not alienated.
Not all societies, have these kinds of goods, which depend upon the existence of particular kinds of kinship groups. French anthropologist Maurice Godelier pushed the analysis further in The Enigma of the Gift. Albert Schrauwers has argued that the kinds of societies used as examples by Weiner and Godelier are all characterized by ranked aristocratic kin groups that fit with Claude Lévi-Strauss' model of "House Societies". Total prestations are given, he argues, to preserve landed estates identified with particular kin groups and maintain their place in a ranked society; the misunderstanding about what Mauss meant by "the spirit of the gift" led some anthropologists to contrast "gift economies" with "market economies," presenting them as polar opposites and imply
History of anthropology
History of anthropology in this article refers to the 18th- and 19th-century precursors of modern anthropology. The term anthropology itself, innovated as a New Latin scientific word during the Renaissance, has always meant "the study of man"; the topics to be included and the terminology have varied historically. At present they are more elaborate. For a presentation of modern social and cultural anthropology as they have developed in Britain and North America since 1900, see the relevant sections under Anthropology; the term anthropology ostensibly is a produced compound of Greek ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human being", a supposed -λογία -logia, "study". The compound, however, is unknown in Latin, whether classical or mediaeval, it first appears sporadically in the scholarly Latin anthropologia of Renaissance France, where it spawns the French word anthropologie, transferred into English as anthropology. It does belong to a class of words produced with the -logy suffix, such as archeo-logy, bio-logy, etc. "the study of".
The mixed character of Greek anthropos and Latin -logia marks it as New Latin. There is no independent noun, however, of that meaning in classical Greek; the word λόγος has that meaning. James Hunt attempted to rescue the etymology in his first address to the Anthropological Society of London as president and founder, 1863, he did find an anthropologos from Aristotle in the standard ancient Greek Lexicon, which he says defines the word as "speaking or treating of man". This view is wishful thinking, as Liddell and Scott go on to explain the meaning: "i.e. fond of personal conversation". If Aristotle, the philosopher of the logos, could produce such a word without serious intent, there was at that time no anthropology identifiable under that name; the lack of any ancient denotation of anthropology, however, is not an etymological problem. Liddell and Scott list 170 Greek compounds ending in –logia, enough to justify its use as a productive suffix; the ancient Greeks used suffixes in forming compounds that had no independent variant.
The etymological dictionaries are united in attributing –logia to logos, from legein, "to collect". The thing collected is ideas in speech; the American Heritage Dictionary says: " derivatives independently built to logos." Its morphological type is that of an abstract noun: log-os > log-ia The Renaissance origin of the name of anthropology does not exclude the possibility that ancient authors presented anthropogical material under another name. Such an identification is speculative, depending on the theorist's view of anthropology. Marvin Harris, a historian of anthropology, begins The Rise of Anthropological Theory with the statement that anthropology is "the science of history", he is not suggesting that history be renamed to anthropology, or that there is no distinction between history and prehistory, or that anthropology excludes current social practices, as the general meaning of history, which it has in "history of anthropology", would seem to imply. He is using "history" in a special sense, as the founders of cultural anthropology used it: "the natural history of society", in the words of Herbert Spencer, or the "universal history of mankind", the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment objective.
Just as natural history comprises the characteristics of organisms past and present, so cultural or social history comprises the characteristics of society past and present. It includes both documented history and prehistory, but its slant is toward institutional development rather than particular non-repeatable historical events. According to Harris, the 19th-century anthropologists were theorizing under the presumption that the development of society followed some sort of laws, he decries the loss of that view in the 20th century by the denial that any laws are discernable or that current institutions have any bearing on ancient. He coins the term ideographic for them; the 19th-century views, on the other hand, are nomothetic. He intends "to reassert the methodological priority of the search for the laws of history in the science of man", he is looking for "a general theory of history". His perception of the laws: "I believe that the analogue of the Darwinian strategy in the realm of sociocultural phenomena is the principle of techno-environmental and techno-economic determinism", he calls cultural materialism, which he details in Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture.
Elsewhere he refers to "my theories of historical determinism", defining the latter: "By a deterministic relationship among cultural phenomena, I mean that similar variables under similar conditions tend to give rise to similar consequences." The use of "tends to" implies some degree of freedom to happen or not happen, but in strict determinism, given certain causes, the result and only that result must occur. Different philosophers, use determinism in different senses; the deterministic element that Harris sees is lack of human social engineering: "free will and moral choice have had no significant effect upon the direction taken thus far by evolving systems of social life."Harris agrees with the 19th-century view that laws are abstractions from empirical evidence: "...sociocultural entities are constructed from the direct or indirect observation of the behavior and thought of specific individuals...." Institutions are not a physica
Political economy in anthropology
Political Economy in anthropology is the application of the theories and methods of historical materialism to the traditional concerns of anthropology, but not limited to, non-capitalist societies. Political Economy introduced questions of history and colonialism to ahistorical anthropological theories of social structure and culture. Most anthropologists moved away from modes of production analysis typical of structural Marxism, focused instead on the complex historical relations of class and hegemony in regions undergoing complex colonial and capitalist transitions in the emerging world system. Political Economy was introduced in American anthropology through the support of Julian Steward, a student of Kroeber. Steward’s research interests centered on “subsistence” — the dynamic interaction of man, technology, social structure, the organization of work; this emphasis on subsistence and production - as opposed to exchange - is what distinguishes the Political Economy approach. Steward's most theoretically productive years were from 1946-1953, while teaching at Columbia University.
At this time, Columbia saw an influx of World War II veterans who were attending school thanks to the GI Bill. Steward developed a coterie of students who would go on to develop Political Economy as a distinct approach in anthropology, including Sidney Mintz, Eric Wolf, Eleanor Leacock, Roy Rappaport, Stanley Diamond, Robert Manners, Morton Fried, Robert F. Murphy, influenced other scholars such as Elman Service, Marvin Harris and June Nash. Many of these students participated in the Puerto Rico Project, a large-scale group research study that focused on modernization in Puerto Rico. Three main areas of interest developed; the first of these areas was concerned with the "pre-capitalist" societies that were subject to evolutionary "tribal" stereotypes. Sahlins' work on hunter-gatherers as the "original affluent society" did much to dissipate that image; the second area was concerned with the vast majority of the world's population at the time, the peasantry, many of whom were involved in complex revolutionary wars such as in Vietnam.
The third area was on colonialism and the creation of the capitalist world-system. More these political economists have more directly addressed issues of industrial capitalism around the world. Cultural materialism is a research orientation introduced by Marvin Harris in 1968, as a theoretical paradigm and research strategy. Indeed, it is said to be the most enduring achievement of that work. Harris subsequently developed a defense of the paradigm in his 1979 book Cultural Materialism. To Harris, cultural materialism "is based on the simple premise that human social life is a response to the practical problems of earthly existence". Harris' approach distinct from Marx. Harris' method was to demonstrate. Economic behavior has a cultural side which indicates that the works of anthropologists is relevant to economics; the Motivation behind cultural materialism is to show that cultures adapt to the environment they're produced in. Structural Marxism was an approach to Marxist philosophy based on structuralism associated with the work of the French philosopher Louis Althusser and his students.
It was influential in France during the 1960s and 1970s, came to influence philosophers, political theorists and anthropologists outside France during the 1970s. French structuralist Marxism melded Marxist political economy with Levi-Strauss's structural methodology, eliminating the human subject, dialectical reason and history in the process. Structural Marxists introduced two major concepts, mode of production and social formation, that allowed for a more prolonged and uneven transition to capitalism than either dependency or World systems theory allowed for. A mode of production consisting of producers, non-producers and means of production, combined in a variety of ways, formed the deep structure of a "social formation." A social formation combined several modes of production, only one of, dominant or determinant. Primary anthropological theorists of this school included Maurice Godelier, Claude Meillassoux, Emmanuel Terray and Pierre-Philippe Rey. Structural Marxism arose in opposition to the humanistic Marxism that dominated many western universities during the 1970s.
In contrast to Humanistic Marxism, Althusser stressed that Marxism was a science that examined objective structures. Critical influences on Structural Marxism from the British Marxist historical tradition, included E. P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm and Raymond Williams, they criticized the functionalist emphasis in Structural Marxism, that neglected individuals in favour of the structural elements of their model. The British school was more interested in class and politics, placed human subjects at the centre of analysis. Where mode of production analysis was abstract, they focused on people. Where world-systems theory had little to say about the local, the Cultural Materialists began and ended there. Others connected with this school of thought concentrated on issues such as ethnic formation, labor migration, household formation, food production and the processes of colonialism; as anthropologists embraced "mode of production" analysis in the 1950s, they struggled to adapt its evolutionary model to the groups that they had traditionally worked with.
While Marxist analysis was developed to account for capitalist society and its class dynamics, it had little to say about "pre-capitalist" so
Paleoethnobotany or Archaeobotany is the archaeological sub-field that studies plant remains from archaeological sites. Basing on the recovery and identification of plant remains and the ecological and cultural information available for modern plants, the major research themes are the use of wild plants, the origins of agriculture and domestication, the co-evolution of human-plant interactions. Plant macrofossils are preserved through four main modes of preservation at archaeological sites. First, plant remains cereal grains, chaff and charcoal are reduced to elemental carbon when they are heated in a reducing atmosphere; these are referred to as'charred' or'carbonised' plant remains. This mode of preservation is biased towards plant remains that come into contact with fire, through cooking or fuel use, those that are less fragile, such as cereal grains and nutshell. Second, plant remains deposited in permanently waterlogged anoxic conditions are preserved as the absence of oxygen prohibits microbial activity.
This mode of preservation occurs in deep archaeological features such as wells, in urban settlements where organic refuse is deposited, at settlements adjacent to lakes or rivers. A wide range of plant remains are preserved, including seeds, fruit stones, leaves and other vegetative material. Third, calcium-phosphate mineralisation of plant remains occurs in latrine pits and in middens, as plant remains are replaced by calcium-phosphate. In latrine pits, plant remains consumed by humans are the most common items, such as seeds of flavourings, fruit pips and fruit stones. Plant remains are preserved by desiccation in arid environments, where the absence of water limits decomposition. Delicate vegetative plant remains are preserved, such as onion skin and artichoke bracts, alongside fruit stones, cereal chaff and seeds of wild plants. Paleoethnobotanists use a variety of methods to identify plant remains. Charred plant remains are recovered by flotation; the matrix is added to agitated water. The soil and other heavy material, known as heavy fraction, sink to the bottom.
Less dense organic material, such as charred seeds and charcoal tend to float to the surface. The material that floats to the top, called light fraction, is poured into a sieve; the light fraction is dried and examined under a low power microscope. Samples of the heavy fraction are gathered for analysis. Flotation can be undertaken manually with buckets, or by machine-assisted flotation where water is circulated through a series of tanks by a pump. Waterlogged plant remains are separated from the matrix by a combination of wet-sieving and/or small-scale flotation in a laboratory. Desiccated plant remains are recovered by dry-sieving, using a stack of different sieves to separate larger items such as cereal straw and fruit stones from smaller items such as weed seeds. Identification of macroremains is usually carried out under a stereomicroscope, using morphological features such as shape and surface features in the case of seeds, or microanatomy in the case of wood or charcoal. Identification literature as well as a comparative collection of modern plant materials are crucial for reliable results.
Depending on the type of material, its condition other methods such as thin sections or SEM are applied. Plant macroremains are quantified on the basis of a sample, using either quantitative, semi-quantitive, or presence/absence scores. Paleoethnobotanists recover and analyze microremains and animal excrements, or plant impressions in ceramic sherds and clay. Palynology is a mature and distinct scientific discipline that studies pollen in the context of reconstructing past environments. Dendrochronology, the study of growth rings on trees relating to study of past environments, is another scientific discipline useful to paleoethnobotanical study; the work done in paleoethnobotany can be divided into field work, collections management, systematic description of species, theories into the origins of human and plant interaction. Some examples of this analysis: A paleoethnobotanist may find discrete concentrations of burned or dried remnants of seeds in an area of discolored soil. If analyses indicates that the remnants were of only mature wild seeds of a type of plant that grows locally, it could be inferred that the site was only visited seasonally.
Such an inference could be supported by a lack of other features that would suggest that no permanent shelters were built at the site. Alternatively, a paleoethnobotanist may find that a fire pit feature contains concentrated remnants of a wide variety of edible wild plants that mature throughout the year. An archaeologist may find features at the site; the middens may have concentrations of animal remains, identified by a zooarchaeologist as those of wild game, with a variety of species-specific maturity levels. In that case, a more permanent settlement may be inferred to the level of a village; such an analysis of the archaeological features could suggest a society of hunter-gatherers who inhabited the site on a more-or-less year-round basis. A paleoethnobotanist may find concentrated remains of plants that are only grown through active cultivation. At the same site, an archaeologist might identify features such as stone walls surrounding enclosures arrayed in a pattern, deep, layered middens with
Aviation archaeology is a recognized sub-discipline within archaeology and underwater archaeology as a whole. It is an activity practiced by both enthusiasts and academics in pursuit of finding, documenting and preserving sites important in aviation history. For the most part, these sites are aircraft wrecks and crash sites, but include structures and facilities related to aviation, it is known in some circles and depending on the perspective of those involved as aircraft archaeology or aerospace archaeology and has been described variously as crash hunting, underwater aircraft recovery, wreck chasing, or wreckology. The activity dates to post-World War II Europe when, after the conflict, numerous aircraft wrecks studded the countryside. Many times, memorials to those involved in the crashes were put together by individuals, landholders, or communities. Crash sites vary in content. Other sites, like in civilian/commercial crashes, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will have all of the aircraft and debris removed.
Remains of military aircraft crash sites may be removed by various aircraft restoration groups if the aircraft was found intact. In general, most recent-day aircraft crashes are removed due to environmental regulations, leaving little to indicate the existence of a wreck. For example, military crashes in Arizona originate from numerous air bases and present; because of the warm and sunny weather, much of the U. S. Army Air Forces flight training was located in the state, both during and after WWII. Numerous air bases dotted the states - creating conditions for numerous training accidents. Old abandoned US Army Air Corp auxiliary fields and those converted to city municipal airports provide archaeological sites to be researched and investigated. Keeping a record of a crash site, such as photographs, journals and all terrain and weather recordings are essential, i.e. the Glenwood Springs, Colorado, B-17 crash site or the Tells Peak, CA, B-17 crash site. The internet is an ideal media for sharing, recording and promoting aviation archaeology as a hobby, as well as research projects for local and state aviation historical groups.
For identifying aircraft type and manufacturer by part numbers and manufacturing inspection stamps can be analysed. From detailed GPS data & maps, to researching accident reports information, numerous resources help create a complete picture of the historic event. Accident reports, such as the official US Air Force Accident Report Form 14 becomes the foundation of archaeology research. From there, newspaper articles, county clerk records, sheriff & coroner reports, library records all aid an aviation archaeologist in their research. Legal protection of aircraft wreck sites is variable. In terms of protection by aircraft ownership, the U. S. Navy retains indefinite ownership of all Naval aircraft, including terrestrial or submerged wreck sites; the U. S. Air Force has no policies regarding disturbance of vintage aircraft wreck sites, unless human remains or weaponry remain unrecovered at the site. For vintage aircraft, including vintage military aircraft, that are considered abandoned when wrecked, the wreck site and all associated contents are subject to the protection laws of the land upon which it rests.
The language of cultural heritage protection laws are not aviation specific, so all protection laws pertaining to aviation sites are based on interpretation. Most federal and state laws are, explicit in describing cultural resources as either ‘objects, sites, or otherwise, of historic value’ or ‘military or social history’ and deem the time limit as over fifty years old. If an aircraft wreck is over fifty years old, which includes all aviation wreck sites from WWII, crashed on what is federal lands, the sites are automatically protected under National Park Service Law 36CFR2.1 against disturbance of any kind without a permit. Aviation sites, for example, a vintage hangar on an airport or a wreck site on the path of a proposed highway, are immediately subject to Section 106 review if they are to be disturbed by a project that either requires a federal permit or uses federal funds. In most cases, the State Historic Preservation Officer will determine whether or not an aviation site is eligible for the register.
The National Register deems aviation wreck sites as “any aircraft, crashed, damaged, stranded, or abandoned”. It designates the protection terms for aviation history sites as well, including abandoned airfields or facilities sites, testing or experimental sites, land or water air terminals, or airway beacons and navigational aids. State lands protection laws vary across the nation but the language describing a historical resource is the same as federal laws. Therefore, aviation properties and aircraft wrecks on State lands can be protected under various environmental, public resource, historical property laws as outlined per state for the protection of archaeological and historic resources. Any archaeological survey, excavation, or activity that disturbs wither wreck or aviation property remains can, in some cases, be permitted on federal and state lands under a permitting process through the regulating entity. If an aircraft wreck, or the remains of any aviation property, is located on private land it is not automatically protected by any federal, state, or local law and any survey or excavation work must be permitted by the land owner.
Under the'Sunken Military Craft Act’ of 2004, it is illegal to disturb, remove, or injure the wreck sites or as