The following is from the BLM Web Site shown above.
Archaeology is the study of the human past through the excavation and analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.
The vast public lands managed by the BLM feature significant evidence of the 10,000+ years of human prehistory and history in the western United States and Alaska. Sites long abandoned by ancient people offer important insights into the ways in which human activities and the environment have been linked together through time, and how seemingly minor cultural practices can contribute to substantial environmental change. Discovering, studying, and understanding the evidence of past human influences provide us with important lessons about how we should be using our lands today.
The study of archaeology provides the BLM with critical information about land use over time. Archaeologists study cultural resources to gather this information. A cultural resource is physical evidence of past human activity. This can be a site where ancient humans lived, ancient rock art, or more modern evidence of human activity, like a railroad logging camp or a ghost town.
The archaeological study of cultural resources located on BLM-managed lands provides the public and the professional community with opportunities to learn about and help conserve this special, limited resource.