The United States Army Corps of Engineers owns and/or manages a large amount of archaeological collections (artifacts and records) that are part of our Nation’s patrimony. Most of these collections were excavated during construction of reservoirs and associated water control programs from 1947 to 1985. Federal law requires that these archaeological collections be stored in a manner to ensure their long-term preservation and to facilitate access for scientific research and public education. Many of these collections require rehousing to meet these standards, and our analysis suggests that there is a 30-year backlog of this work.
The St. Louis Corps District’s MCX-CMAC has developed a training and employment program that provides temporary employment to wounded veterans, teaching them necessary skills to describe, process, and curate Corps archaeological collections while using a variety of standard and specialized equipment.