Guidelines for Phase I, II, and III archaeological Investigations and Technical Report Preparation Prepared by the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office Written by Patrick Trader Edited by Joanna Wilson Preface

VII. Recordation and Documentation of Archaeological Sites

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VII. Recordation and Documentation of Archaeological Sites
An archaeological site may be defined as a locus of human activity that is manifested by the presence of artifacts. Examples of archaeological sites include isolated finds, petroglyphs, pictographs, rockshelters, village sites, cemeteries, prehistoric earthworks and mounds, historic earthworks and fortifications, farmsteads, industrial sites, foundations, and ephemeral scatters of prehistoric and historic debris.
When an archaeological site is identified, additional steps are necessary to determine its horizontal boundaries. During a pedestrian survey, site boundaries can be defined by reducing survey intervals between observation points (in a plowed field) or by implementing shovel test probes (in wooded or grassy areas). If a previously recorded site is known to be within an area it must be relocated and re-identified.
Proper recordation and documentation of historic or prehistoric archaeological sites requires representative photographs and/or profiles of STPs, and the placement of STPs on the site map. Representative photographs of identified sites must also accompany each site form and technical report.
A West Virginia Archaeological Site Form (see Appendix H) must be prepared for each identified site. A revised archaeological site form must be prepared for each relocated and re-identified site. A West Virginia Isolated Find Site Form (see Appendix I) must be completed for each isolated find, defined as a single artifact find. A West Virginia Cemetery Survey Form (see Appendix J) must be prepared for each identified cemetery. If standing structures are identified within the boundaries of the project area, then a West Virginia Historic Property Form must be completed (see Appendix K).
Completed West Virginia Archaeological Site forms must include the following: a detailed site plan or sketch map (must include location of STPs), a USGS quadrangle map with site location noted, and representative photographs of the site. The USGS map must include a north arrow, scale, quad name, year and contour interval. Site sketch maps must include a north arrow and scale. The form should also include a discussion of artifact densities or percentages noted, as well as a discussion of all diagnostic artifacts recovered. If structural or foundation remnants are identified, a site plan or sketch map of each foundation must be included. Two copies of each site form must be submitted separately, one for the permanent site records and one as an appendix to the technical report. Site forms must be printed on acid-free paper. Incomplete forms will be returned for revision.
Permanent, trinomial site numbers will be assigned upon receipt of the original archaeological site form. Facsimile transmission of site forms is not acceptable. As stated in WVSHPO June 25, 1994 and March 23, 1998 letters, site numbers will not be assigned over the telephone. Archaeological site numbers will be assigned within three working days upon receipt of the form. Site numbers are not necessary for report submission.


If a previously unrecorded site is identified during Phase II investigations, a West Virginia Archaeological Site Form must be prepared. An amended and revised archaeological site form should also be prepared for each site in which Phase II investigations have been completed. The form should include information concerning site size, archaeological components present, diagnostic artifacts recovered, and artifact density. The form should also include a map indicating the location of investigations and site boundaries.


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