National Park Service


Date of this Version



U.S. Department of Interior, Archeological Assistance Program Technical Brief No. 8, September 1990.



This Technical Brief is the third in a series that addresses the issues of archeological site stabilization and protection. Each Technical Brief in the series describes a potentially useful technique for maintaining the integrity of an archeological deposit. This series, and the complementary Technical Notes assembled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in its Archeological Sites Protection and Preservation Notebook, are designed to provide baseline data for the initiation of site stabilization projects. The use of vegetation always should be considered a viable means of site protection when developing a set of stabilization alternatives.

Revegetation History

Archeological sites throughout much of the United States have been covered with some form of vegetation since they were abandoned by their original inhabitants. Carefully planned revegetation of such a site will not constitute a previously unknown intrusion into the cultural deposit. Such major earthworks as those at Cahokia, Emerald, the Pharr Mounds on the Natchez Trace, and the Great Serpent Mound have been maintained through the use of floral cover. More recently, the Albany Mound group in Illinois has been stabilized through a program of vegetation removal and replacement, and the Petersburg National Battlefield is being protected with a carefully devised landscape management plan.

Revegetation History

Revegetation Benefits

Revegetation Limitations And Liabilities

Project Planning

Installation Costs

References Cited

Annotated Bibliography