Digging for Dollars: American Archaeology and the New Deal

By Kolb, Charles C. | Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), Fall 1999 | Go to article overview

Digging for Dollars: American Archaeology and the New Deal


Kolb, Charles C., Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)


New Deal. Paul Fagette. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996. $40.00 cloth.

This 255-page volume contributes substantially to our understanding of economic relief in the form of employment during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the parallel need to conduct professional archaeological research. Fagette characterizes federal and state government New Deal projects and American archaeological field research, artifact analysis, and publication; he reviews nineteenth- and twentieth-century scientific institutions, details precursors to the New Deal, considers the interrelationships of archaeology to the federal government and academia, and then examines the practice of state archaeology across a spectrum of state and federal relief programs. The focus is nearly exclusively on personalities, politics, and major relief efforts in the southeastern United States, where there were few major museums or large anthropology departments to provide appropriate research infrastructures.

Using primary archival and secondary source materials and oral history interviews with major archaeologists from this era, Fagette demonstrates how the profession of archaeology was both nurtured and impeded because of federal funding and reporting requirements. He documents the changing roles of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service (NPS) during the 1930s and elucidates the creation of the Society for American Archaeology. Relief work during the 1930s, Fagette contends, had the dual function of data acquisition and public relations-attesting to the importance of archaeology for the retrieval of unique information and to popularize the profession by exposing "countless thousands" to archaeology. Although the relief effort emphasized the employment of unskilled laborers, skilled workers including anthropologists, artists, and engineers, among others, were employed in archaeological research. The decade was critical in the development of modern archaeology and how research is conducted today.

Fagette discusses the "alphabet soup" of the era-- the Civil Works Administration (CWA) which carried out Smithsonian excavations and TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) reservoir salvage archaeology projects fieldwork, which marked a "new age" in American archaeology. He proposes that, beginning with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) in 1934-35, the power of the Smithsonian declined while university, museum, and state agencies' authority was enhanced. Research under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of 1935-1942 (renamed Works Projects Administration in 1939) is also related.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Digging for Dollars: American Archaeology and the New Deal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.