Monday, June 2, 2014

Accomplishments of the National Youth Administration (part 6 of 10): Archaeology

(Image courtesy of

According to Dr. Bernard K. Means of Virginia Commonwealth University, editor and contributor of Shovel Ready: Archaeology and Roosevelt's New Deal for America,

"The National Youth Administration (NYA) sponsored archaeological projects across the nation, albeit on a smaller scale than the WPA or CCC.  In the west, the Sacramento Junior College directed surveys and excavations in the Sacramento region of central California; the Durango Public Library supported excavations of Puebloan sites in the Durango, Colorado, area--usually one step ahead of construction financed by other work relief agencies; some of the archaeological work at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, was conduced by NYA crews; and, prior to the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam on the Colombia River in eastern Washington state, NYA crews moved quickly to document and excavate sites before they were covered by rising flood waters--often living in remote camps."

"In the east, some of the NYA projects include investigations at the Daniel Boone Homestead in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where Daniel Boone was born; a survey around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and, excavations at Town Creek Mound in North Carolina" (email correspondence with Dr. Means, 5-31-2014).

(A National Youth Administration worker performing lab work. Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.)

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