Evaluating Archaeological Sites on Private Property
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In the United States archaeological sites located on private property generally have no protection at all. The concept of private property gives landowners the right to control sites they own largely as they see fit, and unfortunately irreplaceable elements of America’s heritage are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Once an archaeological site has been disturbed or destroyed, the context of the site can never be reconstructed and valuable information on America’s cultural heritage is lost forever. This study is an examination of a set of archaeological sites in Maryland located on private property. It is hoped that data complied on these sites can provide a general guide as to what is happening to sites located on private property in Maryland and possibly a larger geographic region. This study is also designed to reveal if any of the sites researched are good candidates for protection strategies such as the use of preservation easements. The final element of this study is an attempt to gauge landowner interest in protecting sties. It is hoped that knowledge gained through this study will help illuminate the status of archaeological sites located on private property and increase public awareness and appreciation of sites in Maryland and the region.
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