Archaeological Monitoring and Cultural Resource Inventory Data Management National Park Service/Washington University Cooperative Agreement Subcontract

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

Mammoth Cave has a long and rich history of exploration and tourism. Based on radiocarbon dates, prehistoric people entered the cave almost 4,000 years ago to explore and mine cave minerals. 'The cave was first recorded by Euro-Americans in the late 18th Century and was mined for Saltpetre during the War of 1812. Guided tours began in 1816, and until 1926, when legislation to establish Mammoth Cave National Park was passed, the cave was operated as a tourist attractionby a successionof private owners. Between 1926 and 1941 sufficient land was acquired for the park and in 1941 Mammoth Cave became our nation's 26th National Park. In 1981 the park was designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site and in 1990 as an International Biosphere Reserve. In 1991, sections of the toured portions of the cave were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cultural resources marking the long association between people and Mammoth Cave are evident along tour routes. Approximately twelve miles of cave passageways have been identified as an archeological site with both prehistoric and historic components. This site is viewed from several different tours on a daily basis by over 500,000 visitors annually. Historic structures, prehistoric features, "in situ" artifacts (prehistoric and historic), and possibly human burials are located immediately adjacent to and within easy reach of people walking on the cave tour trails. Historic fabric is, in some cases, used as hand railing and trail defining elements. Prior to 1993, this area had never been systematically inventoried using archeological methods to identify cultural resources. This project has two goals: 1} development of a database of cuItural resources within the toured portions of Mammoth Cave (approximately 12 miles) which can be utilized and manipulated by the park's Geographic Information System; and 2} to monitor potential impacts ta archeological resources from public tour trail construction in the Historic Entrance area of Mammoth Cave. The database called for in Goal #1 will be derived from the data collected by the "Cultural Resource Inventory of Mammoth Cave" . project, which is being carried out in cooperation with Earthwatch.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date6/1/029/1/04

Funding

  • Washington University in St. Louis: $29,230.00

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