Surveillance image of an individual looting an archaeological site in Colorado. Credit: NPS

Surveillance image of an individual looting an archaeological site in Colorado. Credit: NPS

The NCPTT’s Archaeology & Collections program is currently undertaking research to evaluate technologies applicable to the surveillance of archaeological sites. The research emphasizes technology that can aid in the apprehension and prosecution of those who vandalize and loot archaeological resources. Entities like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS) have limited funding and manpower, despite the extensive landholdings and numerous resources they are tasked to protect. In response to the strain on resources, surveillance technology is employed to assist in the protection of archaeological sites. Land managers and law enforcement have used game and trail cameras, complex multisensory systems, and aerial surveillance to address issues of looting and vandalism, with varying degrees of success.

However, there is no central source in which managers and law enforcement can share evaluations of the technology they are using. Sharing of this information is generally discouraged due to security concerns. Much of the technology that is currently in place is outdated or incompatible with the environment. Anyone seeking to update or acquire surveillance tech has no reference for what is available to meet their needs. This is where NCPTT comes in. The larger project aims to provide a resource for land managers and law enforcement aiming to use surveillance technology to protect archaeological sites.

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119