Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Kelly J. Dixon

Commitee Members

Randall Skelton, Perry Brown


wilderness, wilderness and archaeology, montane archaeology, Federal wilderness policy, Wilderness Act


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology


Cultural resource specialists working with and for Federal land management agencies have voiced their concern about the perception of cultural sites within federally recognized wilderness areas. However, as a whole, professionals working within the discipline of archaeology have remained relatively absent in the debates on wilderness with regards to human occupation in these designated areas. This thesis introduces the concept of wilderness, its history, perceptions, management, laws, and issues relevant to archaeology. It also draws attention to the paucity of archaeological research and the relaxed nature of cultural resource compliance mandates [National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Sections 106 and 110] placed on federally recognized wilderness areas. By recognizing and examining these concepts and issues, this thesis intends to call attention to the importance of developing an archaeological subfield within wilderness studies.



© Copyright 2015 Erika S. Blecha