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 for Archaeologists

Currently, California state law does not identify any qualifications to practice archaeology in the state. In an effort to address this gap, in March 2013, the Society for California Archaeology (SCA) adopted a set of professional qualifications for the postion of Principal Investigator for archaeological projects. 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 SCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, understanding, interpretation, and conservation of the heritage of California.

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