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Archaeological monitoring of construction projects can take several forms, depending on the level of sensitivity of the project site.

At its most intense form, archaeological monitors are present during the entire work day, and one monitor is assigned to each excavator, grader, or other earth disturbing equipment. When highly sensitive sites are involved, an excavation team might be kept on “standby” to deal with any discoveries that might be made.

A more standard approach is to have one archaeological monitor on the job site to check excavation as it progresses. As noted in the monitoring procedures, whenever the monitor observes potentially important artifacts or features they stop the equipment, inspect the location, and either continue working or move the equipment and notify others of their discovery.
Occasionally the level of sensitivity for a project is not high, but the potential for discoveries still warrants some level of project monitoring. In these cases “spot check” monitoring can be the appropriate approach. Spot checks can occur at any time during the work day. The monitor arrives on the job site and inspects all excavations that have occurred since the last visit. Attention is paid to spoils piles and trench spoils.

At its lowest level of intensity, the project is self monitored by the job site manager or job foreman. This level of monitoring is reserved for projects where the potential for archaeological discoveries is believed to be low, but where alluvial soils or other factors make the discovery of significant archaeological features possible. In these cases, the project workers participate in a brief (10 to 15 minutes) meeting on the job site on the morning of the first day. After a brief description of what is most likely to be found, if anything, the foreman or job site manager is left with written descriptions and photographic examples of the kinds of artifacts that might be found, and instructions on what to do if they are discovered.

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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