Cultural Resources

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Clarksville Base
The Barrens
The Shawnee
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​Fort Campbell Cultural Resources

In 1941 the Department of Defense, in response to the imminent entrance of the U.S. in to WWII, realized the necessity for more military training areas.  One such area was the 105,000 acres that is now Fort Campbell.  This land was already home to many small communities, farms, and places of business – some dating back to the 1820s.  Up until the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans lived and hunted here continuously as early as 12,000 years ago.  The physical remains of these people are still at Fort Campbell in the form of Archaeological sites and Historic Buildings.

As a federal agency Fort Campbell is responsible for being a good steward of the land – and this includes identifying and protecting the cultural resources located within the boundaries of Fort Campbell.  The Cultural Resources Management Program (CRMP) works to protect these cultural resources.  Broadly, these resources are split into Archaeological Sites and Architectural Resources (buildings and objects). The CRMP also continues to conduct physical archaeological and architectural surveys in order to identify all of cultural resources on the installation.  Fort Campbell prepares reports that assist in the evaluation of the resources and curates the artifacts and records for future research.

More than 1500 known archaeological sites are located at Fort Campbell.  Additionally, there are four historic buildings that pre-date Fort Campbell; as well as World War II, Korean, and Cold War structures.  Fort Campbell has a single historic District, ex-nuclear component storage area, Clarksville Base.  Fort Campbell also has two historic objects.  In addition to all of these resources, there are 131 known historic cemeteries on Fort Campbell. 

The CRMP works to provide training to military members and civilians.  This training includes information about the cultural resources at Fort Campbell and how to work with the office to avoid impacting them.  The office participates in several public outreach events of the course of the year for military members, dependents, civilians, and the general public.  Some of this outreach is in this website and a Documentary video on the Barrens landscape hosted on Kentucky Education Television (KET).

As much as we want the public to be interested in the history and archaeology of Fort Campbell, it is important to remember that there are many federal laws and regulations that protect cultural resources on federally owned property.  The CRMP has an Integrated Cultural Resource Management Plan (ICRMP) that details how the work will be done and guides future projects at Fort Campbell.

It is a crime to sell, purchase, damage, alter or deface an archaeological resource in an attempt to do so.  No one is allowed to collect arrow heads, pot hunt, or use metal detectors anywhere on Fort Campbell property.  It is important to remember that history belongs to all of us and that the removal of artifacts damages the integrity of an archaeological site and may destroy important historical information.



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