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NPS Archeology Guide

Archeological Permits

All types of archeological fieldwork on parklands requires NPS authorization in the form of a Permit for Archeological Investigations. Such activities include excavation, shovel testing, coring, pedestrian survey (even if not involving artifact removal), underwater archeology, rock art documentation, or other types of reconnaissance.

The NPS does not issue a Permit for Archeological Investigations for activities carried out by NPS archeologists, or to archeologists working on NPS archeological projects under a contract or cooperative agreement. The requirements and standards for investigations by NPS archeologists and Permittees, however, are the same.

This guidance is organized according to the responsibilities of the parties involved: Applicants, NPS Archeologists, and NPS Managers, that is, regional directors, park superintendents, and/or unit managers.