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State & Federal Archaeological Resources

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  • State & Federal Archaeological Resources

    State Archaeologists (NASA)

    The National Association of State Archaeologists website provides a directory of Archaeologists for the United States, indexed by state and possession territories:

    State Archaeologists can answer questions regarding laws, procedures, current research, educational programs, and other aspects of archaeology for each state and possession. Many State Archaeologists can be contacted by email, and some State Archaeologists maintain their own web pages which can be reached through this site. Just click on the states you are interested in.

    Posted by [rmartin]:
    Good advice from Painshill. I don't know the specifics on those states but I do know Public lands are off limits. I have also heard that Oregon has some of the strictest laws in the country.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    Federal Archaeology Program

    "From the Ice Age to the Cold War, the story of North America is written as much in the earth as it is on paper. The first people on the continent, the ancient cultures that thrived for centuries along the Mississippi, the wagon trains west, all left unequaled physical testimony to the reality of other eras.

    But as forest and farm have given way to highway and city, much of this richness has disappeared. Still, an estimated 6 to 7 million sites remain under some legal protection-most on public land-plus artifacts and records from investigations done in advance of development and erosion. Preserving this legacy is the goal of the federal archeology program, an effort involving 40 U.S. agencies and their partners, whose policy arm resides in the office of the NPS Archeology Program" and the NPS Regional Archaeology Centers:
    Rhode Island


    • #3
      Archaeological State Site Number Designations
      & Smithsonian Trinomials
      Originally posted by [gregszybala]; updated and expanded by [painshill]

      Smithsonian trinomials are unique identifiers assigned to archaeological sites for reference purposes in the United States. The Smithsonian Institution originally developed the numbering system for their own convenience in the 1930s and 1940s as a method to keep track of information and artefacts relating to thousands of sites which had been confusingly referred to under different geographic names by different researchers at different times.


      Numbers are now assigned by the Office of the State Archaeologist at state level and each state maintains its own records. There is no public-domain master list of all sites. Smithsonian trinomials have one or two digits representing the state; typically two letters for the county or county-equivalent within the state; and one or more sequential digits representing the sequence in which sites were listed in that county. The national standardisation of site numbers is a matter of good practice rather than an imposed requirement and several states use variations on the Smithsonian system.

      At the time the Smithsonian developed the system, there were 48 states in the union and they were assigned numbers in alphabetical order, with number 1 for Alabama and number 48 for Wyoming. Number 49 was subsequently assigned to Alaska and number 49 to Hawaii.

      There are no Smithsonian trinomial numbers assigned for the District of Columbia or any of the United States territories.

      There’s a fuller explanation in the Wiki entry here:

      Site Eligibility

      Any archaeologist can request such a number, and even a non-archaeologist can do so if the request is subsequently followed up by an initial site report written by an archaeologist. It normally costs around $50-60 dollars for a site to be assigned a trinomial and the only requirement is that human remains, artefacts and/or features of human construction have been found at the site that are typically more than 50 years old (on federal lands) or more than 75 years old (on non-federal public and private lands). As a matter of protocol, after the initial site report has been submitted against the trinomial by an archaeologist, any subsequent revisits should also be recorded and submitted as site-revisit reports.

      Trinomial site registration is not necessarily an indication of the status of the site being archaeologically important, is almost permanent in the database record and would only rarely be withdrawn from the database – almost irrespective of what may or may not be found at the site from subsequent excavations. The validation of the site rests on the archaeological reports that relate to it – not simply the existence of a registered trinomial.

      In fact, since the ring-pull was first licensed for use on beer cans in America in 1963, finding ring-pulls on federal land would, in theory, make the site eligible for a registered trinomial.
      I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.