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Cultural Resource Management and Protection

James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042
Phone: 703-534-3881


Cultural Resource staff is responsible for archaeology countywide, for historic preservation on parkland, and serves as stewards of archaeological and historic collections.

The Cultural Resource Management and Protection Branch’s main offices are housed in the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church. The center is home to two labs that staff and volunteers use to clean, analyze, and catalog Native American and historic artifacts. The center houses more than three million artifacts spanning the last 13,000 years of Fairfax County's history. In addition, the branch’s Museum Collections are housed at the Walney Visitor Center, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

Cultural Resources Staff

Elizabeth Crowell, Branch Manager

Elizabeth CrowellLiz joined the Park Authority in February 2003. She has more than 30 years’ experience as an archaeologist on both historical and prehistoric sites. She has an MA in History/Historical Archaeology from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in Historical Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Park Authority, Liz worked for 20 years as a principal investigator on cultural resource management projects in the eastern US and American southwest. She also has worked with organizations and universities in the Mid-Atlantic region. She is past president of the Council of Virginia Archaeologists and serves on the Board of the Middle Atlantic Archaeology Conference

Karen Lindquist. Karen has worked for the county in museum studies and historic preservation since 1989. Her experience includes preservation projects in Thailand and Japan as well as management of eight historic adaptive reuse properties for the Park Authority. She sits on the boards of several national preservation organizations.

Megan Leining, Museum Collections Manager

Megan LeiningMegan has been with the CRMPB since September 2012. She received her BS in Anthropology / Archaeology from Mercyhurst College in 2003 and her MA in Anthropology / Museum Training from The George Washington University in 2005. She spent seven years with the National Park Service working on historic, archival, and archaeological collections, highlights of which include conserving collections from Historic Jamestowne after Hurricane Isabel and working with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection. She has over 10 years of dedicated experience in the field of Collections Management and specializes in collections storage and database management.

John Rutherford, Archaeologist

John RutherfordJohn has more than 28 years of experience as an archaeologist in the eastern and southwestern United States. His research specialties include Native American stone tool replication and refitting of lithic artifact assemblages. His responsibilities have included the direction, design and implementation of large and small scale archaeological projects in addition to field and laboratory supervision, research, artifact analysis, photography, cartography, report writing and public outreach. John has extensive experience in computerized mapping programs such as Surfer and GIS. Expand Read More

Since joining the Fairfax County Park Authority, he has been involved in building and maintaining GIS databases and maps of all cultural resources in the county, including the Fairfax County Civil War Sites Inventory. He has been the cultural resource representative on many park master plan teams, including large scale projects such as Laurel Hill and Sully Woodlands. He is a major author of the agency’s Cultural Resources Management Plan and subsequent implementation plans. In addition, he has developed and participated in a team to georeference digital historic aerial photographs of the county from 1937, 1943 and 1954 for use in GIS. He has participated in national and regional archaeological conferences. He has been published in national and regional archaeological journals, the GSA News Bulletin, and in the Aperture/Smithsonian book “Photography Changes Everything,” in which he authored an article on the use of historic aerial photography in historical and environmental assessments.

Christopher Sperling, Senior Archaeologist

Christopher SperlingChris obtained his Masters in History from George Mason University in 2006. He has been an archaeologist in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1993 at all levels from field archaeologist through Principal Investigator for all phases of archaeological research. Chris has conducted archaeological investigations ranging from Late Archaic hunter-gatherer sites through late-nineteenth century agricultural, urban, and industrial sites. His research interests include contact period interactions between colonists and Native Americans, the archaeology of slavery during the colonial period, and the archaeology of Chesapeake port towns. He is an adjunct instructor in American History and Archaeology at Stevenson University.

Aimee Wells, Archaeologist/Archaeological Collections Manager

Aimee WellsAimee has been with CRMPB since 2006. She manages archaeological collections, coordinating volunteers and interns, and supervising lab and field projects. Her professional interests include cemetery preservation, archaeological data management, and public archaeology as well as cultural resource policy and practice. She holds an MA in Archaeology and Heritage from the University of Leicester and a BA in Anthropology from George Mason University.

Cultural Resources Staff Projects

County projects that Cultural Resource Management and Protection Branch personnel are a vital part of include:

A tree planting stand at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ECLP)
Wayside Markers and Commemorative Benches at ECLP
The ECLP Archaeology Experience program
A Hidden Pond cooperative project
Huntley Meadows Park and Riverbend Park Summer Archaeology Camps
Archaeological survey and National Register evaluations at Sully Woodlands Collections
American Alliance of Museums Re-Accreditation
The Resident Curator Program
The Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration
County-Wide Development Plan Reviews
Stream Valley Restorations
Park Development Reviews
Park Master Plan Teams
Rezoning Application Reviews
Invasive management review and land assessments
Park Authority Land Acquisition Assessments
Consultations with Interested Parties, VDHR, Tribes
Geocache request assessments
Easement Assessments
Virginia Department of Transportation & Fairfax County Department of Transportation assessments
Bureau of Land Management Assessments
Northern Virginia Regional Park Assessments
Cultural Landscape Reports
Historic Structures Reports and Condition Assessments
Historic Huntley Preservation and Rehabilitation
Colvin Run Mill Miller’s House
Sully Historic Structures Report
Ash Grove Meat House Historic Structures Report
Ash Grove Meat House Archaeology and Stabilization.
Education and Outreach
Grant Administration and Management
Resident Curator Program Studies

Cultural Resources Archaeology Videos

The Colchester Archaeological Research Team (C.A.R.T.), part of the Cultural Resource Management and Protection Branch of the Fairfax County Park Authority conducts ongoing archaeological investigations on the Old Colchester Park and Preserve.


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