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This is Tom King's user page. Tom King is TIGHAR's senior archaeologist and a member of the board of directors. He can be contacted at


Tom has a PhD from the University of California, Riverside. Off and on from the late 1950s until the early 1970s, he worked in California archaeology, and was one of the founders of the Society for California Archaeology. He carried out major fieldwork projects in northwestern California and the Sierra Nevada foothills. In the 70s he worked for the New York Archaeological Council, the National Park Service, and as Consultant in Archaeology and Historic Preservation to the High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; in the last role he helped organize historic preservation programs in what are now the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. From 1979 until 1989 he was a senior official in the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in Washington DC; the Council advises the president and congress of the United States on historic preservation matters and -- most critically -- oversees how federal agencies deal with the effects of their plans and programs on historic properties under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. In 1989 he left government after policy disputes with the administration, and went into private practice. Since then he has worked extensively with the U.S. General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, a large number of Indian tribes, and many other public and private sector clients. He has also written extensively, and blogs at His major publications include:

Books and Monographs

  • Our Unprotected Heritage: Whitewashing Destruction of Our Cultural and Natural Environment. Left Coast Press, 2009.
  • Cultural Resource Laws and Practice: An Introductory Guide (Third edition) AltaMira Press 2008 (First edition 1998; second edition 2004)
  • Saving Places that Matter: A Citizens Guide to the National Historic Preservation Act. Left Coast Press 2007.
  • The Archaeological Survey Manual. With Greg White. Left Coast Press 2006.
  • Doing Archaeology: a Cultural Resource Management Perspective. Left Coast Press 2005.
  • Amelia Earhart’s Shoes. With R. Jacobson, K. Burns, and K. Spading. AltaMira Press, 2004 (First edition 2001).
  • Places that Count: Traditional Cultural Properties in Cultural Resource Management. AltaMira Press 2003
  • Thinking About Cultural Resource Management: Essays From the Edge. AltaMira Press 2002.
  • Federal Projects and Historic Places: the Section 106 Process. AltaMira Press, 2000
  • Piseken Nóómw Nóón Tonaachaw: Archeology in the Tonaachaw Historic District, Moen Island, Truk. With P.L. Parker, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and Micronesian Archeological Survey, Saipan 1984.


  • Review of Archaeological Theory and the Politics of Cultural Heritage, Laurajane Smith, Australian Archaeology 66:77-8. June 2008.
  • Entries on archaeological ethics, archaeology in environmental impact analysis, and deep-ocean archaeology in The Encyclopedia of Archaeology, Deborah M. Pearsall, ed. in chief, Elsevier, New York, 2007.
  • Review of Yearbook of Cultural Property Law: 2006, Sherry Hutt et al, eds., The Public Historian 29:2:109-113, 2007
  • Review of Ethnographies of Archaeological Practice: Cultural Encounters, Material Transformations, Matt Edgeworth, ed.; The Applied Anthropologist 27:2:186-8, 2007
  • "Creatures and Culture: Some Implications of Dugong v. Rumsfeld.” International Journal of Cultural Property 2006
  • "How Micronesia Changed the U.S. Historic Preservation Program, and the Importance of Keeping It From Changing Back." Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 5:1, 2006 (online journal, ).
  • "TIGHAR and the TBD in Jaluit: An Example of the Complexities to be Considered in Planning Submerged Historic Aircraft Recovery." Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 5:1, 2006 (online journal, )
  • "Cultural Heritage Preservation and the Legal System with Specific Reference to Landscapes." Chapter 13 in Landscapes Under Pressure: Theory and Practice of Cultural Heritage Research and Preservation, Ludomir R. Lozny, ed., Springer, New York, 2006.
  • "What Are Traditional Cultural Properties?" The Applied Anthropologist 25:2:125-130, 2005.
  • "Household Archeology on Nikumaroro, Republic of Kiribati: A Prospectus."


Tom King's YouTube videos:

Taken on Niku IIII in 2001 by Mark Smith.


Personal details

Tom lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, cultural anthropologist and National Park Service Indian Tribal Liaison Patricia Parker. He has four children and six grandchildren.