Assessing Archaeological Sensitivity in San Francisco

Author(s): Allison Vanderslice; Randall Dean

Year: 2015


The San Francisco Planning Department archaeological staff reviews hundreds of projects for archaeological sensitivity each year as part of the California Environmental Quality Act review process. To aid this review, the Department has begun a long-term GIS project creating thematic maps and related datasets to inform archeological site identification, to determine interrelationships between archeological sites and historical land uses, and to direct research designs. Over the last 8 years the Department has created maps for Yerba Buena San Francisco, Hispanic Period San Francisco, San Francisco Chinese resources, San Francisco Maritime resources, and Prehistoric Period San Francisco. This paper uses the Department’s Yerba Buena Period San Francisco (1836-1848) project to illustrate how this tool improves identification of archeological site sensitivity and significance evaluation. The paper outlines the research undertaken to create the map, how that data is symbolized, and the problems encountered. The paper ends with a discussion of challenges faced by project-specific review and the need for additional thematic layers and historic-period archeological districts in San Francisco.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Assessing Archaeological Sensitivity in San Francisco. Allison Vanderslice, Randall Dean. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396851)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;