Phase III Archaeological Mitigation

Phase III archaeological data recovery is the most common means to mitigate the adverse effects of a project to a known National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)-listed or eligible archaeological site. Data recovery usually involves large-scale excavations, multidisciplinary specialists, detailed laboratory analysis, curation of project materials, production of archaeological findings reports, and public outreach. The goal of data recovery is to record, recover, and preserve the data associated with the archaeological site that makes the site significant or eligible for listing in the NRHP.

Since the type and quantity of data present at each archaeological site vary, data recovery research designs and methods are inherently resource- and project-specific. Mitigation plans must be appropriate to the size and scale of the project and the nature of the project's effects. All data recovery research designs are developed through coordination and consultation with the project sponsor, appropriate regulatory agencies (e.g., State Historic Preservation Office, lead federal agency), and any other responsible government, tribal, or consulting parties. Data recovery plans are usually formalized in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which stipulates mitigation measures and an implementation plan.

Alternative mitigation measures may be preferred to data recovery when excavations would pose safety issues or when the portion of the site to be excavated is too small to be effectively excavated. Examples of alternative mitigation measures include funding alternative archaeological excavations, developing educational curricula, developing museum exhibits, presentations at public meetings and professional conferences, and compiling regional or resource type databases.


Agreement Documents
Background Research and Context Development
Effect Evaluations
HABS HAER Recordations
Historic Structures Survey
National Register Evaluations
Open End Contracts
Phase I Archaeological Survey
Phase II Archaeological Testing
Phase III Archaeological Mitigation
Predictive Modeling
Public Outreach and Education


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