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



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XI. Data Recovery Plan
The data recovery plan must include an overview of previous investigations that were conducted for the archaeological resource(s) in question. The data recovery plan must include a brief description of the Phase II finding and justification for the determination of National Register eligibility. The plan must also discuss the research potential of the archaeological site(s) under study. The investigator must develop a research design that is tailored to the specific site type, and formulated to gain optimum information from the archaeological site. The development of research questions or topics may guide the research design. Research questions may include such topics as placement of the site into regional subsistence and settlement patterns, or development of data regarding raw material procurement and trading networks.
A detailed discussion of field and laboratory methods should follow the introduction and research design. A field methods and technique section should discuss an excavation plan, including the size and number of test units and total square meters to be excavated. This section should indicate whether test units are to be excavated in arbitrary or natural levels, or arbitrary levels within natural or archaeological strata. It should also include unit level depth, in centimeters for prehistoric sites or inches for historic sites. As well, this section should discuss recovery techniques and what size hardware cloth mesh will be used. If large-scale mechanical stripping is to occur, the total area of exposure must be determined and included in this section.
The field methods section should also be concerned with the sampling strategy to be used. Because of the time and funding required, it is not always possible to excavate an entire site. In these instances, the site must be sampled in order to properly mitigate an adverse effect. Phase II investigations should be used to determine areas in which to concentrate data recovery efforts. This section must include the types of samples to be taken (e.g. radiocarbon, flotation, and soil), how they are to be recovered, and sample size. Methods for identification, excavation, and sampling of features must also be discussed.
A laboratory methods section should discuss the types of analysis to be used and how analysis is to be conducted. It should also discuss any special methods that may be used (e.g. residue or use-wear analysis, etc.). The data recovery plan should also contain discussion of the identification and treatment of human skeletal remains. In accordance with 36 CFR 79: “Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archeological Collections”, the data recovery plan must discuss the treatment and disposition of artifactual materials and associated documents.
Finally, the data recovery plan must include information about public access to data generated by the project. This may consist of setting up public displays or providing copies of reports to local public libraries, landmark commissions, historical societies or schools. Other means may include public lectures, videos, web sites, or traveling exhibits. The manner in which public access is provided should be developed in consultation with the sponsor and WVSHPO. Any revisions or amendments to the data recovery plan must be reviewed and approved by the WVSHPO and the ACHP prior to commencement of work.

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