Demystifying the Process

The archaeological process is an investigation whereupon each stage builds upon the results of the preceding stage. In other words, before an archaeologist puts a shovel in the ground, he or she must complete a sensitivity assessment, in order to have an idea whether archaeological resources are present or suspected to be present. Archaeological resources encompass the entire range of human occupation in Northern New England from the Native American cultural periods to the more recent Euroamerican habitation of the area. Archaeological resources may range from Paleoindian fluted points more than 11,000 years old, to farmsteads, gas stations, and drive-in theaters a half century old.

Archaeology in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, the archaeological process has four main stages:

    Laws governing archaeological survey in New Hampshire:
  • Federal Law Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (36 CFR 800)
  • New Hampshire State Law (RSA), Title 19: Public Recreation/Chapter 227C: Historic Preservation/Section 227-C (also includes provisions to protect unmarked burials)
  • RSA 635:6 – protects known burial sites

Archaeology in Maine

In the state of Maine, professional archaeologists are certified according to emphasis of study.  More specifically, an archaeologist will be certified either as a prehistoric archaeologist or an historic archaeologist. In rare instances, one may be certified in both subdisciplines, but for the most part, the two fields of study are distinct enough from one another that one must have specialized training to be competent in prehistoric or historic archaeology.

The archaeological process in Maine has three main stages:

Laws and regulations governing archaeological survey in Maine:

  • Federal Law: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (36 CFR 800)
  • Code of Maine Rules (CMR) 94-089 Chapter 100: Rules For Implementing an Act to Preserve Maine’s Archaeological Heritage
  • Code Of Maine Rules (CMR) 94-089 Chapter 812: State Historic Preservation Officer’s Standards for Archaeological Work in Maine