Language Translation
  Close Menu

Archaeology Review Guidance

Construction of steps

Archaeology staff coordinate reviews with the historic structures reviewers within the Environmental Review section of DHPA and occasionally conduct site inspection and consultations with archaeologists on projects under these laws, rules, and regulations. Under state law, archaeology staff reviews surface and underground coal mining projects in Indiana (IC 14-34-3-10; 312 IAC 25), permit areas for the divisions of Water and Oil and Gas, and plans for projects that will disturb the ground within 100 feet of a cemetery or burial ground for the purpose of excavating or covering over the ground or erecting, altering, or repairing any structure (IC 14-21-1-26.5).

When asked to undertake an archaeological project, please make sure that you have the documentation that authorizes that work. If the project is conducted under Section 106, the client or lead federal agency should be able to provide you with a copy of documentation that the work is required. If the project is on state property, you must have documentation that an approved plan (under Indiana Code 14-21-1) for the work has been issued. If the activity is on private property and isn’t conducted under Section 106, an approved plan under IC 14-21-1 is required if any level of work beyond surface survey is planned. Always make sure to have landowner permission and that curation issues are addressed. It is also best to carry the relevant documentation with you in the field in case you are questioned by law enforcement officials. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our office at 317-232-1646. Appendix B of the archaeology Guidebook also provides additional information.

For projects conducted under IC-14-21-1, be aware of the requirements of 312 IAC 21-3-8(d) regarding an abbreviated project completion report and 312 IAC 21-3-8(e) regarding an archaeological records check or literature search.

Most archaeological sites in the State are located on private property. State statute and rules address issues such as artifact collecting, buying, and selling of artifacts, and archaeological discoveries.

Archaeology Submission Guidance

  • Conducting a Records Check/Research

    Qualified professionals may contact our office about getting access to our online database (SHAARD) and the corresponding GIS map. There is an annual fee associated with database and map access: $1,000 for the first user at a firm or university; $500 for each additional account. Accounts cannot be shared, and the account user is responsible for assuring that the login information is not shared.

    Qualified professionals not wanting to pay this annual fee may request project area maps to be pulled from the GIS map at the availability of DHPA staff for a fee of $70.00 per hour. Temporary SHAARD access is granted during this time to conduct the remainder of the records check.

    Please contact to purchase an annual subscription or to make a request for a DHPA staff map search.

  • Recording Archaeological Sites & Cemeteries

    The DHPA distributes the archaeological site numbers in Indiana. Upon discovery of a site, email us at or call our office at 317-232-1646 to request an archaeological site number.

    Each recording of, survey of, or re-survey of an archaeological site needs to be recorded in SHAARD. For more information on using SHAARD, please read the Archaeology SHAARD User Guide.

    If an archaeologist conducts a field investigation at a cemetery, an archaeological site number will be assigned to the cemetery.  The archaeologist should also contact the Cemetery Registry coordinator to determine if any new information regarding the cemetery should be added to the cemetery registry.

  • Completing the Archaeological Short Form

    DHPA staff, with the assistance of the INDOT Cultural Resources Office archaeological staff, developed an Archaeological Short Report format that may be used for archaeological records checks and Phase Ia Reconnaissance regardless of acreage, provided that no new sites are found. The Archaeological Short Report may be used to report the results of the following:

    • Archaeological Records Check ONLY
    • Records Check and Phase Ia Archaeological Reconnaissance which DID NOT locate any artifacts and/or features. This includes:
      • Project areas which included no previously recorded sites prior to the survey
      • Project areas which included previously recorded sites

    Although strongly encouraged, the use of the Archaeological Short Report format is not mandatory, and you may choose to complete a full written report. The short report should be submitted the same way one would submit an archaeological records check or Phase Ia Reconnaissance report in SHAARD. Please note that all of the fields must be filled in digitally and that handwritten forms will not be accepted. Incomplete or inaccurate forms will be returned to the submitter without comment. Additionally, upon review, the form may also be returned to the submitter with the request that a full written report be provided. Review the instructions for the Archaeological Short Form.

  • Completing a Full Archaeology Report

    When an archaeological site, which includes isolated finds, is encountered, a full written report following guidance provided in the current Guidebook for Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory – Archaeological Sites will need to be submitted. INDOT/FHWA project reports also need to adhere to the guidance in the Indiana Cultural Resources Manual. For projects conducted under IC 14-21-1, be aware of the requirements of 312 IAC 21-3-8(d) requiring an abbreviated project completion report and 312 IAC 21-3-8(e) regarding an archaeological records check or literature search.

  • Submitting Archaeology Reports & Site Forms to SHAARD

    If an archaeological investigation has been conducted for the project, the resulting archaeological reports and site forms (if applicable) must be submitted in SHAARD by the qualified archaeologist. DO NOT send the archaeology report with the remainder of the environmental review submission to the DHPA review email; however, list the SHAARD report number (i.e., AR-xx-xxxxx) on the Review Request Submittal Form. Do not submit hard copies of archaeological reports.

 Upcoming Events

More Events

 Top FAQs