HMAC - Hudson Mohawk Archaeological Consultants, LLC


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Snaffle bit

Iroquois collared rim

Soda water bottle

Buff bodied slip decorated Staffordshire

Chert projectile point & scrapers

Duck, chicken, grouse & turkey crania
All photos by
Jason Fenton


What is CRM?

Cultural Resource Management (CRM) is the application of management skills to preserve important parts of our cultural heritage both historic and prehistoric, for the benefit of the public.  Although it is sometimes called contract, salvage, rescue, or emergency archaeology, the main function of CRM is protection and management.  The emergence of the concept of CRM in the 1970's resulted from concern about the loss of these resources and the implementation of legislation particularly the NHPA and NEPA to stem that loss.

bulletNational Historic Preservation Act (NHPA):

This act required the federal government to implement a nationwide system for identifying, protecting, and rehabilitating "historic places."  The National Register of Historic Places was established, which protects prehistoric sites as well as historic properties.  The NHPA required that each state develop its own historic preservation program headed by a state historic preservation officer (SHPO).  The NHPA also requires the head of each federal agency to take into account the effect of the agencies actions on sites and properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  The process involves consultation with the SHPO and with the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).  Implementation of Executive Order 11593 in 1971 made it mandatory for that surveys be conducted and that comprehensive information be prepared and maintained.  Federal agencies were ordered to take the lead in historic preservation and to locate properties that might qualify for the National Register.  Amendments to the NHPA in 1980 made Executive Order 11593 law, provided for pass-through funds to certify local authorities and recognize that Indian tribes should have preservation programs and relationships with the National Park Service and the SHPO.  Section 106 of the NHPA requires the head of each federal agency to take into the account the effect of its actions on National Register and National Register - Eligible Properties.  This process begins with a determination with effect review and involves providing the SHPO an opportunity to comment on the effect, or potential effect of the proposed undertaking on significant archaeological or historic sites and properties.  If an effect or potential effect is identified, the agency must enter in to consultation with the SHPO and the ACHP on measures considered to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects.  (B.A. Purdy, 1996)

bulletNational Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):

This act laid down a comprehensive policy for government land use planning and resource management.  It requires federal agencies to weigh environmental, historical, and cultural values whenever federally owned land is modified or private land is modified with federal funds.  An inventory of archaeological resources would presumably affect future land use planning.  NEPA obligates federal agencies to consider the environmental effects of projects under their jurisdiction as part of the planning process.  The first step in the process results in an environmental assessment (EA).  If effects are identified, then a more detailed report - an environmental impact statement (EIS) - is prepared.  The historic presentation procedures adopted for EIS documents are those of the NHPA and its implementing regulation 36 CFR 800.  (B.A. Purdy, 1996)

bulletArchaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA):

This act amended the Antiquities Act of 1906 and was passed in response to increasing looting of cultural resources to feed a growing antiquities market.  The ARPA made it a felony to remove archaeological materials from federal land without a permit.  In recent years amendments to the ARPA have tightened definitions of what constitutes archaeological resources and have legislated more severe penalties.  ARPA gives no protection to archaeological resources on privately owned land.  (B.A. Purdy, 1996)

bulletNative American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA):

This act signed in 1990 gives lineal descendents and members of Indian tribes the right to certain Native American human remains and to cultural items with which the human remains are affiliated.  It controls or prohibits the inadvertent discovery or intentional excavation of Native American human remains or cultural items on federal or tribal lands.  It requires that each federal agency or museum receiving federal funds that possesses human remains or funerary objects of Native American cultural patrimony provide an inventory or summary of the collections to the lineal descendents who may wish to request repatriation of such objects. There could be severe penalties the provisions of NAGPRA.  (B.A. Purdy, 1996)

bullet Section 14.09 of NYS Parks, Rec. & Historic Preservation Law (1980)

The purpose of the State Historic Preservation Act is to continue and advance the State's historic preservation programs and activities, to continue the responsibility for the coordination of such programs and activities with the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, to foster consistency of State activities with historic preservation policy, to encourage and assist local governments in local preservation programs and activities, and to encourage and assist private agencies and individuals undertaking preservation by private means.  (

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