Does your construction project require a cultural resource survey?

The State Historic Preservation Office may require a Phase I Survey at the onset of your construction project if your plans have the potential to impact important cultural resources.  A Phase I survey includes a search of relevant historic documents and a field survey of the actual construction site.  If remains of past human occupations are located, they will be evaluated according to criteria established under federal legislation. Upon the recovery of "significant" remains, the SHPO may require that the site either be avoided by construction, or be tested at the Phase II level.  If no remains are located, or the discovered remains are deemed "insignificant," a report is filed, the needs of the SHPO are satisfied, and construction may proceed.

A Phase II Testing involves the excavation of a small portion of a site to determine its subsurface integrity.  In other words; are buried remains present and do they meet the criteria for significance?  If the answer is no, a report is filed, the SHPO is satisfied, and construction may proceed.

Occasionally, sites with highly significant buried remains are discovered.  If such a site cannot be avoided during construction, a Phase III Data Recovery Investigation (mitigation) may be required. During data recovery operations, the portions of the site that will be impacted by construction will be excavated and recorded.  In this way, the information present in the site will be thoroughly documented for future generations, and construction activities can continue as planned.


Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis, Inc.
Specializing in Cultural Resource Management Surveys of Historic and Prehistoric Resources

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