Archaeological work at FS/HAAF is divided into three phases.
- Phase I - Survey
- A Phase I survey is an investigation that involves digging small holes, or shovel tests, at uniform intervals. This process helps locate sites, determine their size, and define "cultural association" (i.e. Is the site a prehistoric Native American hunting camp or a nineteenth century farm?).
- Phase II - Evaluation
- A Phase II evaluation occurs when a Phase I survey determines that a site warrants further investigation. Archaeologists excavate larger test units to record the exact location and depth of discovered artifacts, the shape and appearance of any features, and the amount of ground disturbance within the site.
- Phase III - Excavation
- Phase III excavations are more intensive, with more (and usually larger) test units excavated across the site. Excavations are typically conducted only if an important site is threatened with ground disturbance (such as timber harvesting or new construction).
LAWS & REGULATIONS
The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) gives the Department of Defense the responsibility to survey for, evaluate, manage, and protect significant archaeological sites, historic buildings, cemeteries, and other cultural resources on agency property. The NHPA also established the National Register of Historic Places to identify resources of historic significance.
Another important law related to cultural resources is the Archaeological Resource Protection Act, which specifies penalties for looting or damaging archaeological sites on federal property.
Protecting cultural resources and archaeological sites on the Installation is everyone’s responsibility. Here are some ways you can help:
- Call before digging. Digging, excavation, or any other ground disturbance must be coordinated with Range Control (912-435-8154) and the Environmental Division (912-767-2010).
- NEVER disturb artifacts or remove artifacts from their location. You will be in violation of federal law and will be subject to fines and/or jail time.
- If you find artifacts on the Installation, please notify Range Control at (912) 435-8154 so that they may contact the Environmental Division. If possible, mark the site and/or take GPS coordinates.