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- The standards presented in the following sections represent minimum standards for field survey, testing, excavation and report writing. They are developed primarily for Section 106 projects; their application to other archaeological projects in the state is discussed in a subsequent section. These standards are not intended to constrain or limit research efforts to these standards; investigators are encouraged to develop projects and reports that exceed these standards, explore new technological approaches, and examine Louisiana’s cultural history in new and creative ways. These standards went into effect Sept. 1, 2009. Previous standards will be available as a pdf soon.
- Currently the Division does not have standards for underwater archaeological surveys. Investigators should contact the Division for information concerning these projects.
- Check out the What's New? page. It highlights some of the changes to the standards.
- The Division has also developed a Checklist for reports. Report reviewers will be using this checklist during the review process. We encourage contractors to utilize this checklist when producing reports.
A Brief Overview of the Review Process
- Individuals and firms developing proposals for archaeological investigations are encouraged to consult with the Division concerning methods and strategies prior to beginning fieldwork.
- Upon completion of a field project, the draft site forms (for both newly reported and previously reported sites) are submitted to the Division. The Division will issue site numbers for all new sites within 5 days. Batches of 20 or more site forms may take longer to receive site numbers. The state site numbers are required for the discussion of all sites within a project area in management summaries, draft reports and final reports. Written comments on the draft site forms will be provided within 45 days of submission. Visit the Site Forms page for more information.
- The draft report is submitted to the Division for review. The Division will provide written comments within 30 days.
- After addressing comments from the federal agency and the Division, the final report is submitted. The Division does not accept a report as final until all new and updated site forms have been accepted as final. The report is considered final when a letter accepting the report is issued to the federal agency and contractor.
- The project is not considered final until the collection is curated at an appropriate facility.
The Process for Terminated Projects
- Section 106 review, including assessments of historic and archaeological resources, typically begins at a project’s planning stage. On occasion, the project is cancelled before these reviews are completed, leaving the documentation of the archaeological work in limbo and the materials not analyzed or curated. Section 112(a)(2) of the National Historic Preservation Act requires the federal agency to ensure that all collections and associated records (including site forms and the project report) for any Section 106 project to be curated. This section and the accompanying 36CFR800 regulations obligate the agency/company contracting the archaeological investigation to provide sufficient funding to complete the report and curation for the investigations conducted to date. It does not obligate the agency/company to undertake any further proposed and/or planned archaeological investigations within the project area beyond those completed at the time the project is cancelled. The Division expects the individual or firm contracting the archaeological work to ensure their contract provides for the results of any archaeological work undertaken up to the time the project is cancelled will be reported on and curated. This must include completion of all new and updated site forms, preparation of a report describing the work undertaken, and curation of all collected materials and associated records.