Cultural Resources Program Area
Archaeological Resources Protection
Fort Lee’s Cultural Resources Program (CRP) embraces four main components: History, Archaeology, Preservation, and Outreach. The primary mission focuses on compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which requires all federal agencies to take into account the effects of their activities on historic properties and afford the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (via the State Historic Preservation Officer) an opportunity to comment prior to the approval of the expenditure of any Federal funds on the activity or the issuance of any license. The program provides support for Fort Lee’s mission while protecting and managing historic properties and ensures integration of cultural resources with mission activities.
Resources on the Installation are protected. If you find a resource call the Cultural Resources Mgr (CRM) or Staff Archaeologist. In accordance with Fort Lee Policy No. 03-12 enacted on April 6, 2012 it is illegal to metal detect on Fort Lee. It is important to understand that the CRP program relies on the general public to help them in their mission. Remember, it is illegal to remove or damage artifacts or sites on Federal property and if you see something you think may be a historical resource do not hesitate to contact the CRP staff.
CRP Staff Contacts:
Cultural Resources Manager 804-734-4434
Staff Archeeologist 804-765-7026
Cultural Resources Program
Long before Fort Lee began as Camp Lee in 1917 to provide logistical support for World War I, the land on which it is located was lived on and farmed by Native Americans. Over 8000 years ago, small mobile bands would gather resources over large areas, establishing temporary camps near locations such as rivers and stone quarries. Over time, populations adapted to changing environments and resource availability by foraging a wider range of resources and later establishing larger camps from which concentrated resources, such as aquatic food sources, could be acquired. Prior to European contact, this gradually shifted into a greater reliance on growing fruits and vegetables to support an increasing population and protection using palisaded villages. Initial European contact was followed by European settlers who continued to farm the land through the Civil War up until it was leased, purchased or ultimately confiscated by the War Department for use during World War I. Now buried below ground, the remains of Native American habitation and agricultural areas provide a glimpse into past lifeways and are generally referred to as cultural resources, as are those left behind by later settlers.
Every federal agency is required to manage and maintain cultural resources under its control in a sustainable manner through a comprehensive program that considers the preservation of historic, archaeological, architectural, and cultural values; is mission supporting; and results in sound and responsible stewardship. Further, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to assess and account for impacts to any cultural resource which is, or has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. By definition, any activity involving ground altering disturbance has the potential to cause effects to historic properties because we cannot see what is below ground. This is true even for areas which have already been disturbed or even completely developed, where individual artifacts and portions of once intact sites are often found today during construction.
Fort Lee’s cultural resources, which include both archaeological and architectural sites, are managed by the Directorate of Public Works, Environmental Management Division by the Regional Archaeological Curation Facility (RACF) in Building 5222, which has several responsibilities.
First and foremost, RACF staff is responsible for reviewing all proposed work on the installation to determine whether it has a potential to affect historic properties and if so, coordinating the review of the project with other cultural resource stakeholders such as the Virginia Historic Resources Division, representatives of Native American tribes which although no longer present in Virginia, retain a cultural connection to the area, as well as the public.
Second, the Regional Archaeological Curation Facility is responsible for curating all of the artifacts found on Fort Lee in accordance with federal guidelines. The RACF also curates artifacts found by other federal agencies, which are required to inventory and house them according to museum standards. The facility currently has more than a half-million artifacts collected from federal property throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Those interested in depositing artifact collections with the RACF should contact the Cultural Resource Manager at 804-734-4434. The facility meets 36 CFR 79 standards and offers 24 hour military police and emergency monitoring, artifact processing and over 3,000 cubic feet of storage space. Items accepted for curation must meet collections standards and agencies must also sign a Memorandum of Agreement for curation services (see below). The FY 2016 curation fee is $350.00 per cubic foot (standard record-size storage box measuring 15” x 12.5” x 10”).
RACF staff is also responsible for identifying, evaluating and protecting all cultural resources on Fort Lee. If you find a possible cultural resource, leave it in place and call the Cultural Resource Manager (734-4434) or Staff Archaeologist (765-7026). In accordance with Fort Lee Policy No. 03-12, enacted April 6 2012, it is illegal to metal detect on Fort Lee. It is important to understand the cultural resources program relies on the general public to help meet its mission. It is illegal to remove or damage artifacts or archaeological sites on federal property. If you see something which may be historic, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Fort Lee Regional Archaeological Curation Facility features a variety of outreach programs designed to teach students, individuals or groups about the exciting field of archaeology. If you are interested in participating please contact the Cultural Resources Manager or Curator for more information. The public exhibit room showcases over 700 artifacts recovered from right here on Fort Lee. The facility also has a demonstration area where students can experience first-hand the skills and techniques involved in archaeological excavation.
The RACF also has an exhibit room (existing photo) with over 500 artifacts on display, which is open to the public Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. Visitors are always welcome.
Lastly, RACF staff also participates in community outreach activities designed to teach students, individuals or groups about the exciting profession of archaeology.
Building 5222 is located at the corner of Shop Road and 22nd Street, behind the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum and the U.S. Army Women’s Museum. behind the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum and U.S. Army Women’s Museum. It is open to the public Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30 or by appointment. Call any of the CRP Staff Contacts for more information.
For more information feel free to call the CRM or email firstname.lastname@example.org