Created in 1923, the Southwestern National Monuments (SWNM) group was an administrative arm of the National Park Service, dedicated to enhancing protection of significant archeological sites in the American Southwest. Recognizing the contribution of such sites to America’s prehistoric past, Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906. Unlike parks, which were designated by Congress, the act specifically allowed the president of the United States to declare an area or a site a national monument. Ten years later, in 1916, the NPS was created under of the Department of the Interior to oversee lands designated as national parks and national monuments.