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Cultural Resources

TVA’s Cultural Resources staff works to protect historic resources, as required by federal law. Staff members are responsible for the identification, evaluation, and protection of significant cultural resources on TVA lands or land affected by TVA actions. This work is a critical component of the management of TVA lands and resources.

image of Wilson Dam

A TVA archaeologist helps a youngster identify artifacts found along the shore of Fort Patrick Henry Reservoir.

TVA currently manages over 9,000 archaeological sites and numerous historic structures, which includes many TVA dams and powerhouses. The Cultural Resources staff includes archaeologists, a historian, and a historic architect. See the following pages for more information on this important work.

Public involvement
TVA appreciates the assistance of the public in the protection of the important archaeological resources of the Tennessee Valley. Learn about participating in our site stewardship project, A Thousand Eyes.

Frequently asked questions
See this page for terminology and information on using metal detectors on TVA land, reporting illegal activity on archaeological sites, and more.

TVA has been involved in cultural resources management since the inception of the agency in 1933. Read about the program’s history and the TVA Historic Photograph Collection.

Read about the laws that govern the work of protecting cultural resources.

Historic Structures and Objects
Many structures and objects in the TVA region are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Read about them here.

Relocated Cemeteries
The work of building TVA dams involved the relocation of many grave sites. This page gives an overview of the process and the historical records related to it.

Native Americans
A number of Native American tribes have an interest in archaeological sites in the Tennessee Valley. Read about cooperative efforts with these tribes.

Related Links
TVA works in concert with various agencies to carry out protection and management of cultural resources. This page gives links to state, federal, and other programs.

For questions or comments about TVA Cultural Resources, send us a message.

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