Prehistoric archaeological sites provide information on Native American occupation prior to European contact. Much of what we know about this era is the result of cultural resource management projects conducted under the auspices of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Section 106 of the NHPA requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their projects on archaeological resources. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) also requires consideration of archaeological resources in project planning. Projects that will disturb previously undisturbed ground have the potential to affect archaeological resources. AECOM Burlington maintains a staff of archaeologists with extensive experience in field excavations, laboratory and data analysis, and report preparation.
Archaeological studies are conducted in stages to identify and evaluate sites, and to mitigate the effects of project construction on those sites that have significant information on the prehistory of the region. Predictive models for prehistoric site locations, developed using AECOM Burlington's GIS capabilities, are often used for large project areas and can play an important role in designing projects so as to avoid archaeologically sensitive areas. Whereas identification-level surveys are conducted throughout the project area, evaluation studies focus on the specific sites that have been identified. Evaluation of a prehistoric archaeological site is designed to determine whether it contains information that can be used to interpret when and how the site was used by its Native American occupants. When a site contains significant information, a plan for mitigating the effects of construction is developed and implemented.
AECOM Burlington has conducted numerous archaeological projects involving prehistoric archaeological sites. The work has been conducted in upland settings, as well as on stratified floodplains requiring deep excavations using OSHA-compliant safety measures. We have completed site evaluation and data recovery projects in many states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois, in accordance with their state-specific guidelines. Large-scale investigations have been conducted for highway improvement, dam construction, and pipeline construction projects.