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Survey intervals and the world of Section 106: Eligible site size as a factor in survey design

Author(s): Brandon Gabler

Year: 2017

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Summary

Cultural resources management companies are routinely caught between a proverbial rock and a hard place in NHPA Section 106 compliance projects. On one hand, SHPOs prefer to evaluate a project based on the results of 100-percent survey at their preferred survey interval, often requiring shovel testing at 15-meter intervals or closer (especially in the eastern US, where surface visibility is typically low), in order to identify all archaeological sites, whether they end up eligible for the NRHP or not. On the other hand, clients prefer lowest cost, fastest schedule proposals, whether realistic or not. Somewhere in the middle, the federal requirement simply states that the lead agency makes a reasonable and good faith effort to take into account the potential effects on NRHP-eligible/listed historic properties. In this discussion, the author explains that the ideal survey interval and strategy should take into account the likelihood of identifying sites that are eligible for listing on the NRHP, through the use of variables that have been considered in the past—survey transect interval, testing grid pattern, shovel test diameter—in addition to variables that must be considered on their own merit, namely the typical dimensions of sites that are eligible for listing on the NRHP.


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Survey intervals and the world of Section 106: Eligible site size as a factor in survey design. Brandon Gabler. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430088)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15810

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America