Program staff participating in an outreach event. Hands on activities are encouraged to make learning about archaeology fun and engaging. Using artifacts from Fort Campbell as teaching aids, participants of all ages get to touch a piece of the past.
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Program staff participating in an outreach event. Hands on activities are encouraged to make learning about archaeology fun and engaging. Using artifacts from Fort Campbell as teaching aids, participants of all ages get to touch a piece of the past. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
State Line Marker dating to 1858, demarks the boundary between Tennessee and Kentucky. The 3D model produced by photogrammetry documents it in photorealistic detail. This cutting edge technique allows for the digital curation of the marker and other artifacts for future study.
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – State Line Marker dating to 1858, demarks the boundary between Tennessee and Kentucky. The 3D model produced by photogrammetry documents it in photorealistic detail. This cutting edge technique allows for the digital curation of the marker and other artifacts for future study. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Historic photo of Fort Campbell’s POW camp, early 1940s. Excavation was conducted to allow for the construction of new homes for junior enlisted soldiers and families. Cultural Resource Program facilitated, expedited NHPA compliance to keep construction timeline intact despite late identification of the historic resource.
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Historic photo of Fort Campbell’s POW camp, early 1940s. Excavation was conducted to allow for the construction of new homes for junior enlisted soldiers and families. Cultural Resource Program facilitated, expedited NHPA compliance to keep construction timeline intact despite late identification of the historic resource. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
“Unknown” headstone placed at the grave of an unidentified African/African American woman. Her interment is in the Post Cemetery, in coordination with the Office of Army Cemeteries. Treatment of non-Native American human remains is coming to the forefront of academic archaeology, and Fort Campbell is at the vanguard of ethical treatment of human remains by professional archaeologists.
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – “Unknown” headstone placed at the grave of an unidentified African/African American woman. Her interment is in the Post Cemetery, in coordination with the Office of Army Cemeteries. Treatment of non-Native American human remains is coming to the forefront of academic archaeology, and Fort Campbell is at the vanguard of ethical treatment of human remains by professional archaeologists. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Exterior of Lincoln Elementary School, built in 1952. This is possibly the first integrated school in the south. Successful partnerships have allowed for its adaptive reuse as the future location of Fort Campbell Directorate of Public Works.
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Exterior of Lincoln Elementary School, built in 1952. This is possibly the first integrated school in the south. Successful partnerships have allowed for its adaptive reuse as the future location of Fort Campbell Directorate of Public Works. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Book cover of Before Fort Campbell: History, Landscape, and Communities. Written for a public audience and available as a free e-book. Couples with a Teaching Guide meeting State and DoDEA guidelines for 5th and 11th grades.
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Book cover of Before Fort Campbell: History, Landscape, and Communities. Written for a public audience and available as a free e-book. Couples with a Teaching Guide meeting State and DoDEA guidelines for 5th and 11th grades. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The land that is now Fort Campbell was acquired by the federal government in 1942, but the rich history of the area and the peoples who lived there stretches back centuries.

To preserve and protect this history and honor, repatriate and rebury those whose remains were excavated – many from the 1930s through the 1960s that remained in curation with the Army -- the Fort Campbell team took a comprehensive approach.

The team worked with 12 federally recognized Native American tribes, and as part of that determined the primary affiliation in that area from the past was with citizens of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. Further, the team then partnered with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) who took the lead in the repatriation and reburial processes on behalf of the Cherokee Tribes.

“The majority of the remains and burial items were reburied in accordance with Cherokee ceremony and customs,” said Russell Townsend, Tribal Historic Preservation Office for the EBCI Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO). “We, as a team, have worked hard to use our resources to understand the historical and human significance of these archaeological areas, and to put in place the best ways we can to preserve and protect these assets, while also making sure we, as a team, support our vital training mission at Fort Campbell.”

The team also worked with the EBCI THPO to preserve important historical artifacts, while respecting and honoring tribal customs using innovative technology. For example, some items that are found in graves from the Mississippian period (800-1500 A.D.), such as pendants, small ceremonial pots, beads and hair pins, are not normally photographed due to cultural sensitivities of the tribe. The EBCI granted the team permission to scan a limited amount of these items, using an advanced 3D scanner process in collaboration with Colorado State University. This will allow these images to be printed and used for educational content.

The success of the team’s work has even driven the creation of a book and study guides for schools, using the lessons and work on the installation. The book, Before Fort Campbell: History, Landscape, and Communities is available for public distribution and is specifically written for a general audience, instead of a technical one. Specific teaching guides were prepared to meet Department of Defense Education Activity and state guidelines for 5th and 11th grades, and the book and guide have been distributed to all local schools and libraries.

“To date, this is the most complete history of the Pre-WWII communities and history of the area available,” Ronald Grayson, Fort Campbell Cultural Resources Program Manager said. The book has been accepted into the Library of Congress Call Number: 2020446089. The PDF version is available online at: https://home.army.mil/campbell/application/files/6816/2160/7548/Before_Fort_Campbell_Optimized.pdf

One of the key community outreach efforts at Fort Campbell are tours of the 130 family cemeteries that contain graves of those who lived on the land before the installation was established. Living relatives of those in the cemeteries frequently seek genealogical and other information, as well as requesting to visit the gravesites. The team also created digital programs using table computers and database technology to allow the tracking of any maintenance needs of the cemeteries and archaeological sites on the installation.