Since the spring members meeting, your President and members of the Board have been busy with Council business. Probably the most important event of the summer was the completion of Bob Genheimer's book containing the proceedings of our 1994 conference on the Late Prehistoric. Entitled Cultures Before Contact: The Late Prehistory of Ohio and Surrounding Regions, it contains 13 chapters including regional overviews, reports on site investigations, and a commentary on the state of the art in the study of the archaeology of this period. Much of the data in this book has not been published previously. Thus, as with the first two volumes in this publication series, we have accomplished our goal of making archaeological knowledge of Ohio prehistory more widely available. Additionally, it is an attractive, durable book that will hold its form even with repeated use. Thanks to Bob for sticking with this project and making it a first rate product.
Equally important is the successful completion of the first Ohio Archaeology Week. This was the product of cooperation between the Council and Sunwatch Indian Village. Among the organizations who participated were The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Marietta Natural History Society, Fort Ancient State Memorial, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Sunwatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Heidelberg College, and the University of Toledo Laboratory of Archaeology. Plans are under way to repeat this event next year and to increase participation and support. Thanks to Sandy Yee for spearheading the project and to Dave Bush for serving as the Council liaison.
On another front, Al Tonetti and I attended a series of meetings beginning in mid-August concerning the Moundbuilders Country Club's proposal to demolish its existing clubhouse and build a new facility. In addition to writing the Director of the Ohio Historical Society to express our concerns about the potential destruction of archaeological remains as a result of the rebuilding, a nomination of the Octagon State Memorial to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the "Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places" in the United States was submitted on behalf of the Council. Initiated by a group of concerned educators in the Newark area, the weekly meetings came to include American Indians, members of the Licking County Archaeological and Landmarks Society, and local citizens, along with representatives of the Club, the National Park Service, the Ohio Historical Society, and the State Historical Preservation Office. Amos Loveday, the State Preservation Officer, assigned several members of his staff to facilitate the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding in an attempt to reach a consensus regarding the conduct of an archaeological survey on the targeted property, formulation of a policy on public access, and long-term plans for preservation. The process is ongoing. Thanks to Al for agreeing to get involved and lend his considerable knowledge of public archaeology to the issue.
Other accomplishments include the formulation of an amendment to the by-laws to streamline membership nomination approval, a hard look at the reality of constructing a high quality web site, monitoring of hearings on proposed industrial minerals legislation, and input into the planning process for Voyageur Media Group's Ohio Archaeology Video Series. I should not forget to include President-Elect Brian Redmond's suggestion to invite members to prepare short presentations on recent fieldwork at the fall meeting. This suggestion was unanimously embraced by the Board as a way for members to become more aware of what's going on around the state.
Members have been notified of the membership amendment and will be asked to discuss and vote on it at the fall meeting. The Board and I believe it is a positive step toward increasing membership and urge serious consideration of its provisions. In order not to over-extend my contribution to this issue of the Newsletter, I will end on this note. I hope I have said enough to make everyone want to attend the fall meeting to hear more about the above matters, as well as become better informed about recent archaeological activities around the state.
I hope those of you who were lucky enough to be in the field this summer had a successful season and are getting on to the cleaning, cataloging, and analysis. I also hope to read about your activities in upcoming OAC Newsletters or hear about them at future OAC meetings.
I have some good news to report. Bob Genheimer has told the Board that the Late Prehistoric publication should be going to the printer by the first of the year. We are all looking forward to getting back on a regular publication schedule.
Please note on your calendars, if you haven't already, the annual meeting of the Eastern States Archeological Federation on November 18-21. As Ohio's representative to this organization, the OAC is the official host for the meetings. They will be held at the Kings Island Convention Center and Resort, Kings Island, Ohio, about 25 miles northeast of Cincinnati along I-71. A full program and registration form will be sent to OAC members along with the election ballot, which you should receive soon. Bill Dancey has organized an interesting workshop for OAC members on Friday morning, November 19 at Fort Ancient State Memorial, and a symposium on Friday afternoon at the Kings Island Convention Center that should be of interest to both OAC and ESAF members. By the way, you can join ESAF as an individual, which includes a copy of the annual publication Archaeology of Eastern North America. Recent issues have included articles by Brian Redmond, Ken Tankersley, Brad Lepper, and David Stothers, among others. Membership information is available at http://www.siftings.com (further information on the ESAF annual meeting is at http://www.quad50.com).
By the time of our fall meeting, we should have the OAC website on line (or at least very close to being on line). Like the Newsletter, the website will be an important communication link to our members, to potential members, and to people who are interested in or have questions about archaeology in Ohio. Also, like the Newsletter, the website provides an opportunity for all OAC members to write articles, announce fieldwork opportunities, etc. These two outlets are ideal for communicating, perhaps in abstracts or executive summary form, the results of the contract archaeology projects underway in the state.
OAC elections are fast approaching. Thanks to all the candidates for running. As the end of my term as your president approaches, I want to express my thanks to the other officers, trustees, and committee chairs for all their efforts during the past two years. I am confident that the next two years with Bill Dancey at the helm will see the Council expand its membership and continue to make a significant contribution to Ohio archaeology.
Chair's note: It is important that OAC members understand state (and federal) laws affecting archaeology and related matters, such as vandalism, desecration, and cemeteries. This is particularly important now because some members of the Indian artifact collector community in Ohio may seek to modify Ohio laws that they perceive as a threat to collecting Indian artifacts. Also, some Native Americans who worked to get recent revisions to Ohio's vandalism and desecration laws passed may attempt to revise these laws again as they find that these laws are not effective in prohibiting the excavation of Native American (and other) human remains and associated grave goods during archaeological investigations or when the excavator has the permission of, or is, the property owner, and do not affect the curation of such remains and grave goods at non-federally funded institutions. Please prepare to address these matters by educating yourself about Ohio's laws dealing with archaeology.
S.B. 51. Increases penalties for the desecration of a place of worship or an object of reverence or sacred devotion
Despite what you may have heard from some individuals in the Indian artifact collector community, this bill (now law) does not increase the level of offense for desecrating an "Indian mound or earthwork, cemetery, thing, or site of great historical or archaeological interest" [ORC Section 2927.11(A)(3)] from a second degree misdemeanor to a felony. The intent of this law is to increase the level of offense for desecrating churches, temples, and similar places of worship, not archaeological and historical sites or cemeteries as defined in the existing desecration statute. The law increases the penalty for desecrating a "place of worship, its furnishings, or religious artifacts or sacred texts within the place of worship [ORC Section 2927.11(A)(4)], or any other object of reverence or sacred devotion [ORC Section 2927.11(A)(6)]," and specifically references that it does not apply to the section of the existing desecration law prohibiting desecration of archaeological and historical sites and American Indian cemeteries.
Based on the amount of physical harm to such property, the law increases the level of offense from a second degree misdemeanor to a fifth, fourth, or third degree felony. The law also permits the recovery of compensatory, punitive, and exemplary damages, court costs, attorney's fees, and other reasonable expenses in convictions for all forms of desecration (Ohio Revised Code [ORC] Section 2927.11) and vandalism (ORC Section 2909.05) from the offender by the person suffering injury or loss pursuant to ORC Section 2307.70.
This bill was signed into law by Governor Taft on June 17,1999. It became effective September 20, 1999.
The full text of this and all other bills and laws, and the Ohio Legislative Service Commission's analysis of this and all other bills, can be acquired from your State Representative or from the Ohio General Assembly's Web site at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us. Copies of existing Ohio laws, including the vandalism and desecration laws referred to above, can also be accessed on the Internet at http://www.avv.com/orc.
Revisions to 36 CFR Part 800, "Protection of Historic Properties," Approved by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation On February 12, 1999, following six years of review, comment, and study, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) formally adopted revised regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). These regulations were prepared pursuant to the 1992 amendments to the NHPA. The NHPA requires that Federal agencies take into account the affects of their actions on historic properties and provide the ACHP an opportunity to comment on such actions. The version adopted is based on the May 1998 draft of the proposed regulations. The final regulations were published in the Federal Register on May 18th and took effect June 17th.
The revised regulations emphasize the responsibilities of Federal agencies and permits more direct involvement from State, local, and Tribal governments, and the public, in the Section 106 process. The revised regulations also reduces the ACHP's role in routine Federal undertakings, thus permitting the ACHP to focus its involvement on complex and controversial Federal undertakings and overseeing the implementation of the Section 106 process.
Draft Guidance on Archaeological Data Recovery Projects Issued by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
The ACHP has issued a draft Federal Register notice and guidance on consultation for projects involving archaeological data recovery. Basically, the ACHP has developed a recommended approach for consulting on the recovery of significant information from archaeological sites. The guidance is intended to 1) simplify the process of reaching agreement in these situations, 2) clarify expectations for archaeological data recovery plans, 3) clarify expectations for consultation with affected parties, 4) ensure that archaeological data recovery is used only when appropriate, and 5) make clear that if Federal agencies and other consulting parties follow this guidance, the ACHP is unlikely to get involved in consultation or raise objections to resulting agreements unless there is an unusual or controversial situation. This guidance took effect on the effective date of the revised Section 106 regulations, June 17, 1999. Written comments concerning this guidance should be directed to the Executive Director, ACHP, Old Post Office Building, 100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., #809, Washington D.C. 20004; FAX (202) 606-8647; email .
The guidance identifies 10 basic principles concerning the treatment of archaeological sites when archaeological data recovery is being considered, and 12 principles concerning resolving adverse effects through the recovery of significant information from archaeological sites. A model format for a Memorandum of Agreement concerning archaeological data recovery projects is also included in the guidance.
Current information about the revised 36 CFR Part 800 regulations and the draft guidance on archaeological data recovery projects can be obtained from the ACHP's Web site http://www.achp.gov.
Draft Principles of Agreement Regarding the Disposition of Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains Issued by the National Park Service
At its June 25-27, 1999 meeting, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Review Committee approved draft principles of agreement regarding the disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains pursuant to Section 8 (c)(5) of NAGPRA. Written comments received by September 3, 1999 were to be considered by the Review Committee at their next scheduled meeting. The draft principles were published in the Federal Register on July 29, 1999 (Vol. 64, No. 145, pp. 41135-41136). The Federal Register notice notes that the Review Committee "wishes to underscore the preliminary nature of the principles and their placement as a beginning point for consideration of this topic." Comments should be addressed to, and copies of the notice can also be obtained from, the NAGPRA Review Committee c/o Departmental Consulting Archeologist, National Park Service (2275) 1849 C. St., NW. (NC340), Washington, DC 20240. Electronic comments are unacceptable. For additional information contact Dr. C. Timothy McKeown at the National Park Service at (202) 343-4101.
Revisions to 36 CFR Part 61, "Procedures for State, Tribal, and Local Government Historic Preservation Programs," Approved by U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
On March 9, 1999, following nearly two and half years of review, comment, and study, the National Park Service published the final rule revising requirements for State, tribal, and local historic preservation programs carrying out actions under the NHPA. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight U.S. territories participate in such programs on lands under their jurisdiction, as do more than 1,100 certified local governments and 17 tribal governments. These regulations were prepared pursuant to the 1992 amendments to the NHPA. The rule took effect June 9, 1999.
The revisions to 36 CFR Part 61 do not address the Indian tribe sections of the regulations, 36 CFR Part 61.8 and 61.9. These sections are currently under development by NPS in consultation with federally recognized tribes and other interested parties. When a draft of these sections is completed it will be issued for review and comment in the Federal Register. Given the increased role of federally-recognized tribes, and for that matter state and local governments in the NHPA as a result of the 1992 amendments, Sections 61.8 and 61.9 may result in further revisions to 36 CFR Part 61.
Senate Bill 548, to Establish the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historical Site in the State of Ohio
On March 4, 1999, Ohio Senator Michael DeWine introduced Senate Bill 548 designating the Lucas County, Ohio sites of Fallen Timbers Battlefield (1794) and Fort Miamis (1794-1813) as national historic sites. These two sites are associated with the U.S. military history and Native American culture between 1794-1813. In May, the bill was recommended for approval by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and is now before the U.S. Senate. The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide technical assistance to the State of Ohio, local governments, and to nonprofit organizations in order to implement a stewardship plan and develop programs to preserve and interpret the historical, cultural, natural, recreational, and scenic resources of these two sites.
December 1, 2005
John M. Fowler
Archaeology Task Force
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 809
Washington, D.C. 20004
Re: Working Principles for Revising the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation's "Policy Statement Regarding Treatment of Human Remains and Grave Goods" (Federal Register Vol. 70, No. 169, September 1, 2005)
The Ohio Archaeological Council (OAC) wishes to offer comments on the above Working Principles developed by the Archaeology Task Force. The Ohio Archaeological Council is a private, non-profit corporation registered with the State of Ohio in 1975 as a charitable scientific and educational organization promoting the advancement of archaeology in Ohio. The Ohio Archaeological Council consists of professional archaeologists, avocational archaeologists, and interested students of Ohio archaeology.