Our historians undertake documentary research for a variety of purposes related to cultural resource management (CRM). Primary documents such as deeds and probate records, local histories, historical maps, and old photographs and drawings are all valuable sources of information for predicting the location of archaeological resources (the site of an early house that has been demolished, for example). Primary documents also are used to develop historical contexts for archaeological and above-ground cultural resources. Historical contexts establish overarching socioeconomic, political, and cultural themes that help with the assessment of cultural resources and their significance.
Our historical research also forms the basis for National Register, National Historic Landmark, and State Register documentation and nominations. It is an integral component of the CRM planning process.
In addition to the standard historical documentary sources, AHS also researches ethnographic and ethnohistoric sources, which are particularly important in assessing the presence of Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs). Interviews with knowledgeable individuals and institutions are also part of the historic research process; oral history can reinforce documentary data or add historic information not available in written form.
Public history and education is an AHS mission that we share with our affiliate nonprofit company Public Archaeology Survey Team, Inc. (PAST). Whether our work is funded by a grant or is required as CRM mitigation, we welcome the opportunity to undertake research and share our findings with the public in the form of public presentations, publications for popular audiences, museum exhibits, and websites.