It is exciting to announce the launch of my first site, Protecting Our Past: Cultural Heritage Policy and Law. Since September, I have coded and gathered information to create this site which contains reference material about cultural heritage preservation laws. Currently, it contains the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. In the future, I plan to add other preservation laws as well as some interactive mitigation activities and sample MOA’s.
The majority of the information available in this site can be found on sites across the internet but I have compiled them here, along with their links and easy to find definitions that are often hidden within the laws themselves. Throughout my career as an archaeologist, I have often found it difficult to obtain pieces of information I needed when trying to mitigate an inadvertent discovery. The exact definition of what constitutes an ‘undertaking’ in federal compliance terms frequently alludes the local governments who are required to comply. These were some of my motivations for creating this website.
The site is simply laid out, with a landing page and then a page for each policy discussed which include summaries of the policies and then links to their governmental homepages. This site is currently hosted on GitHub (but that may change in the future) and was created using a BootStrap template. This culmination of my introduction to website creation and coding went far better than I ever hoped for. When I started in September, the idea of coding my own website scared me to death. Now that it is live, I cannot wait to continue to improve it and add to it.
I hope this serves as a reference guide for anyone new to preservation policy and law.