Thursday, December 07, 2006

Age of archaeology turns 100
From the Grand Canyon to Governors Island, ancient Alaskan villages to Virgin Island reefs, American archaeology is quietly celebrating a centennial.

At two national parks — El Morro (N.M.) and Montezuma Castle (Ariz.) national monuments — simple commemorations Friday will mark 100 years since the federal Antiquities Act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt.

"The Antiquities Act absolutely was a major step for professional archaeology," says archaeologist Jane Waldbaum, head of the Archaeological Institute of America. "The act raised up the public image of archaeology to a highly responsible one," she says, particularly after Congress chartered her organization two months after the signing of the law June 8, 1906.