Archaeological monitoring includes the observation of construction and geotechnical excavation activities. The purpose of monitoring is to identify, recover, protect, and/or document cultural resources at a known site, or to ensure that a site is identified promptly and treated appropriately if the project is taking place in a high probability area. This will involve a qualified archaeologist on site during construction. The monitor is not in charge of the excavation but does have the authority to halt construction in order to investigate or recover cultural resources. Monitoring plans may be changed in accordance with new construction work or due to inclement weather. Plans for the treatment of artifacts, sample analysis, curation, and preparation of reports will all be established before monitoring begins.

The Process

Project Monitoring can be initiated in multiple ways. Commonly, monitoring is done to meet state or federal agencies’ cultural resource requirements, but may also be done at the request of a Tribe or other stakeholder, or because a known archaeological site will be disturbed by construction.  These include projects in which Cultural Resource Surveys have identified the need for project monitoring. A monitoring plan is developed in conjunction with engineers and involved agencies, including any commenting Tribes, and the client. Meetings are held with contractors where the potential for Cultural Resource discovery and subsequent actions are discussed, and a protocol is developed in the event that cultural resources are unearthed. This includes a plan for curation of materials discovered. Monitoring is then conducted for the project and the established protocol followed for the project duration.


Who Needs This?

Municipalities that are developing infrastructure, Private Property Developers, Projects with high risk for CRM discovery, or project with known archaeological sites


No. We work in tandem with the construction company and engineering firms to ensure adherence to project timelines. Without an archaeologist on site, an inadvertent discovery will delay the project and set the completion timeline back. However, if an archaeologist is present, we can deal with an inadvertent discovery quickly and efficiently and get everybody back to work.

Nope! Our Archaeologists are trained in safe monitoring protocol including proximal distance to trenches and equipment.

The protocols for dealing with any cultural resources found will be established before the start of the monitoring. Monitoring is intended to protect cultural resources not prevent development! If something is found, established protocols for the collection and recordation of any cultural resources will be followed. In the event that human remains are uncovered, work must stop in the area of discovery, but may progress elsewhere in the project area, in accordance with established protocol.

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