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RECOMMENDED MONITORING AND
SPOT CHECK PROCEDURES FOR
CONSTRUCTION AND EXCAVATION

In order to insure a smooth flow of operations, the following procedures are recommended in the event that potentially significant cultural deposits or human burials are found during the development:

  • Monitoring will consist of directly watching the major excavation process. Monitoring will occur during the entire work day, and will continue on a daily basis until a depth of excavation has been reached at which resources could not occur. This depth is estimated as usually about five feet below grade at the beginning of the project, but may require modification in specific cases, and will be determined by the monitoring archaeologist based on observed soil conditions.
  • Spot checks will consist of partial monitoring of the progress of excavation over the course of the project. During spot checks all spoils material, open excavations, recently grubbed areas, and other soil disturbances will be inspected. The frequency and duration of spot checks will be based on the relative sensitivity of the exposed soils and active work areas. The monitoring archaeologist will determine the relative sensitivity of the parcel.
  • If prehistoric human interments (human burials) are encountered within the native soils of the parcel, all work should be halted in the immediate vicinity of the find. The County Coroner, project superintendent, and the Agency Liaison should be contacted immediately. The procedures to be followed at this point are prescribed by law.
  • If significant cultural deposits other than human burials are encountered, the project should be modified to allow the artifacts or features to be left in place, or the archaeological consultant should undertake the recovery of the deposit or feature. Significant cultural deposits are defined as archaeological features or artifacts that associate with the prehistoric period, the historic era Mission and Pueblo Periods and the American era up to about 1900.
  • Whenever the monitoring archaeologist suspects that potentially significant cultural remains or human burials have been encountered, the piece of equipment that encounters the suspected deposit will be stopped, and the excavation inspected by the monitoring archaeologist. If the suspected remains prove to be non significant or non cultural in origin, work will recommence immediately. If the suspected remains prove to be part of a significant deposit, all work should be halted in that location until removal has been accomplished. If human remains (burials) are found, the County Coroner must be contacted so that they (or a designated representative) can evaluate the discovered remains and implement proper contacts with pertinent Native American representatives.
  • Equipment stoppages will only involve those pieces of equipment that have actually encountered significant or potentially significant deposits, and should not be construed to mean a stoppage of all equipment on the site unless the cultural deposit covers the entire building site.

During temporary equipment stoppages brought about to examine suspected remains, the archaeologist should accomplish the necessary tasks with all due speed.

If you have questions about whether your project needs monitoring or spot checking, please contact us.

Archaeological Resource Service
613 Martin Avenue, Suite 101 Rohnert Park, California 94928
Phone: (707) 586-2577 Fax: (707) 586-2580
Email: info@digsmart.com

Copyright 2003-2017 Archaeological Resource Service
The information provided herein is for general background purposes only and is not intended as a definitive statement of either the presence or absence of archaeological deposits on any particular property or the handling thereof.  It is not a substitute for professional investigation and advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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