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Seeking Comments on Archaeological Reporting Guidance Documents - Deadline Extended

The Archaeological Resources Committee (ARC) of the State Historical Resources Commission welcomes your comments on draft guidance that updates and complements the existing Archaeological Resource Management Reports (ARMR) guidance.
The ARC has created three documents, which together reflect growth in best practices and legislative changes over the past 25 years:

 Background, which explains the overall approach;
 Survey Guidance, which lists the information that, at minimum, should be in an archaeological identification report; and
 Evaluation Guidance, which does the same for reports that evaluate the significance of archaeological sites in a regulatory framework.

The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to December 4, 2015.
Submit comments via email to; please include "Archaeological Reporting Guidance Review" in the subject line.
Comments also may be submitted in writing to:
Attn: Archaeological Reporting Guidance Review
Office of Historic Preservation
1725 23rd Street, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA  95816


Archaeological and Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) locations are generally considered confidential and public access to such information is restricted by laws including

  • Section 304 of the National Historic Preservation Act;
  • Section 9(a) of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act;
  • Executive Order 13007;
  • Section 6254.10 of the California State Government Code.

Strategies for Protecting Archaeological Sites on Private Lands

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Archaeological Conservancy, the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and two National Park Service Cultural Resource offices (Heritage Preservation Services and the Archeology Program) have collaborated to develop a website to address questions on how to protect archaeological sites on private lands.

STRATEGIES for PROTECTING ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES ON PRIVATE LANDS is a popular guide to the wide variety of tools available for protecting archeological sites on private lands. The site contains information on strategies currently being used throughout the U.S., case studies, keys to success, contact information, and links to other sources of useful information. Key strategies include -- Land Ownership, Financial Strategies, Development Regulation, Laws Specific to Archeology, Voluntary Strategies, and Site Management.

SHRC Archaeological Resources Committee

The purpose of the Archaeological Resources Committee (ARC) of the State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC) is to increase awareness of archaeology and improve the quality of professional archaeological practice in California. The work of the ARC is consistent with the powers and duties of the SHRC, as spelled out in Public Resources Code 5020.5 (a), which reads:  The Commission shall develop criteria and methods for determining the significance of  archaeological sites, for selecting the most important archaeological sites, and for determining whether the most significant archaeological sites should be preserved intact or excavated and interpreted.

The agendas and minutes for past and upcoming SHRC Archaeological Resources Committee meetings are available here.

The ARC is working to establish best practices standards for professional archaeological investigations in California, particularly investigations undertaken as part of state and federal regulatory compliance work. The ARC has drafted white papers which were adopted by the State Historical Resources Commission on July 30, 2010. These Archaeological White Papers address five policy areas:

  • Conservation
  • Curation
  • Interpretation
  • Preservation
  • Standards and Guidelines

SCA Professional Qualification Standards

In March 2013, the Executive Board of the Society for California Archaeology (SCA) voted to accept a set of professional qualifications for the position of Principal Investigator of archaeological projects. The qualifications were brought to the Board by representatives of the Archaeological Resources Committee (ARC) of the State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC), and were developed as a result of the Standards and Guidelines White Paper adopted by the SHRC on July 30, 2010. The purpose of these Professional Qualifications is to improve the quality and public benefit of archaeology by setting forth the education and experience required for individuals to practice professional archaeology as a Prinicpal Investigator in California.

The following link to the standards is provided for advisory and informational purposes only:
Society for California Archaeology Professional Qualifications for Principal Investigator