Archaeology and Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg has its own team of archaeologists and historians who work in the Cultural Resources Management Program at the Directorate of Public Works. Together they work to insure that the mission of the base is carried out successfully and to protect archaeological sites important to the heritage of our region, state, and nation. Their job is to identify, evaluate, and protect our nation’s heritage. Here is how they do it.
- Identify cultural resources.
Fort Bragg conducts archaeological surveys of their lands to find and record archaeological resources on the base. As of 2011, archaeologists have surveyed nearly 121,000 acres of Fort Bragg. They have found over 5,000 archaeological sites at Fort Bragg.
- Evaluate cultural resources.
Each archaeological site found at Fort Bragg is evaluated to determine if it is important enough (eligible) for the National Register of Historic Places. The register is a listing of all important cultural resources in the United States and is maintained by the Department of the Interior through the National Park Service. A resource is eligible if it is at least 50 years old and it meets one or more of these criteria:
It is associated with an important historical event.
It is associated with an important person.
It has a unique or rare style or was built by a famous architect.
It can tell us new information about the past.
Sites at Fort Bragg that are eligible for the National Register are usually nominated because they contain important information about the past. Occasionally they are nominated because they are associated with an important event such as Monroe’s Crossroads Battlefield.
- Protect and manage important cultural resources.
Fort Bragg must protect all archaeological sites on the base if they are on or could be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today they manage over 450 important archaeological sites. If a project on the base cannot avoid one of these sites, work is done to recover the site’s valuable information.
Cultural resources managers at Fort Bragg work diligently to preserve all important archaeological sites on the base without affecting the base mission. This is not always possible. Archaeologists have conducted extensive excavations to recovered important information at five important archeological sites. Go to the Important Archaeological Sites section to read about their work at 31HT435, a 5,000 year old campsite; 31HK1624, a historic farm; and Monroe’s Crossroads Battlefield.