Policy Statement

Department of Anthropology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

General Policy Statement
Updated September 1, 2010

The Georgia Archaeological Site File exists for the use of individuals, government agencies, and organizations that are engaged in legitimate research and cultural resource management activities. The File is located in the ground floor of Riverbend Research Laboratory on the southeastern edge of the University of Georgia campus in association with the Laboratory of Archaeology of the Department of Anthropology. Included are over 51,000 site forms, a complete set of USGS 1:24,000 maps for Georgia with all sites mapped, over 5500 CRM reports, and over 1000 additional manuscripts. The Site File is open from 8 AM until 5 PM Monday through Friday. The voice telephone number is 706-542-8737, and the FAX number is 706-542-8920. Copying is available at 10 cents per page. No maps or reports may be borrowed or removed for any purpose from the facility.

Site File searches may be conducted in three ways: (1) Site File personnel will conduct the search for users for a fee of $9.00 per hour. (2) The user's own staff may conduct the research. If staff other than site file personnel conducts the research, they must meet minimum professional standards for an archaeologist, or be working under the supervision of an archaeologist that meets professional standards. (3) Site file searches may conducted or requested by non-archaeological professionals in engineering firms if all the following conditions are met:

1. The project proposal for which the research is being conducted is in the early stages of planning.
2. Compliance with Cultural Resource Management laws is not foreseeable.
3. The representative of the engineering firm attests, as a professional in his or her field, that information obtained from the Georgia Archaeological Site File will not be divulged to any party other than the client for whom the engineering firm is conducting the research.
4. The representative of the engineering firm accepts a paragraph outlining the limitations of Site File research (see Appendix A), which the Georgia Archaeological Site File strongly recommends be placed in the firm's report to their client.

A fee of $225 per project will be charged for funded projects by CRM firms and agencies for access to the Site File. This fee, due within 30 days, is necessary to cover the cost of the operation and management of the Site File. Any number of visits to and uses of the Site File may be made for any single project through the payment of a single fee. Use of the Site File data by qualified individuals or firms for unfunded research not involving Section 106 compliance is free.

Official State Site Numbers are assigned only by Site File personnel. Every attempt will be made to assign numbers within 48 hours of receiving properly filled out Site Forms. To the extent possible a published site number will be retained as the official site number. Site forms must be submitted on acid-free paper and must be double-sided, single page forms. If these requirements are not met the site forms will be returned. Site forms produced on computer should closely resemble the Official State Site Form. Official State Site Numbers will be changed only under the most extreme circumstances.

The Site File personnel will make no CRM contractor recommendations, nor explain the CRM system to agencies or organizations that require CRM guidance other that referring them to the Georgia Historic Preservation Division and providing the HPD letter dated February 22, 1995.

Please also see the Computer Database Policies. For any further questions, please contact Dr. Mark Williams, Director of the Georgia Archaeological Site File at jmw@uga.edu.

Paragraph of Disclaimer
Georgia Archaeological Site File

Although research conducted at the Georgia Archaeological Site File is useful for gaining a preliminary understanding of the distribution of archaeological resources in a given area, there are important limits to this data that must be understood to evaluate the data properly. First, the presence of a few sites in the area of interest does not by any means imply that the location of all sites in the area are known. In most cases the data are quite spotty. Second, archaeological salvage and mitigation work on known sites may ultimately turn out to be less expensive than the mitigation of unknown sites discovered later in a project. Human settlement has traditionally been centered upon well-drained soils on level ground with a nearby fresh water supply. While areas meeting these obvious criteria are certainly more likely locations for archaeological sites than other locations within a project area, there may be sites located anywhere within an area. In light of these factors, it is often prudent to seek the consultation of a professional archaeologist to assess the possible impact of a proposed project on its cultural resources.

In addition to our policy, Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia DNR has issued a memorandum, briefly mentioned above, to which contract archaeologists should pay special attention. If you cannot view this letter in Adobe Acrobat it is available in text only format.

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