The Archaeological Conservancy is a non-profit organization that acquires and preserves archaeological sites in the United States. Every day, prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in the United States are lost forever—along with the precious information they contain. Modern-day looters use backhoes and bulldozers to recover artifacts for the international market. Urban development and agricultural methods such as land leveling and topsoil mining destroy ancient sites. The Conservancy protects these sites by acquiring the land on which they rest, preserving them for posterity.
The Conservancy was established in 1980 and is the only national non-profit organization of its kind, dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation's remaining archaeological sites. Since its beginning nearly 30 years ago, the Conservancy has acquired more than 325 endangered cultural sites in 39 states across America. Examples of Conservancy preserves include California's Borax Lake site, which encompasses 11,000 years of human occupation; the first mission of Father Kino, as well as several important Sinagua and Hohokam ruins in Arizona; important Caddo Indian sites in Texas and Oklahoma; and in Georgia, key cultural locales of the region's first Indians. The organization is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but also operates regional offices in Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio, and California.
Some Conservancy sites have been incorporated into public parks such as Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, Parkin Archeological State Park in Arkansas, and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Ohio. The organization is in the process of acquiring Insley Mound, in Louisiana, Col. Robert Bolling's Kippax Plantation, in Virginia and Fairmont Butte in California.
Major funding for the Conservancy comes from its more than 23,000 members, as well as special individual contributions, corporations, and foundations. Income from a permanent Endowment Fund supplements regular fundraising.