Guidelines for Public Archeology in Wisconsin

Executive Summary

In 1980, the Wisconsin Archeological Survey wrote and distributed Guidelines for Conservation Archeology in Wisconsin. This document provided basic guidelines for archeologists conducting investigations under federal preservation laws. The State Historic Preservation Office has used this document to review archeological work undertaken in Wisconsin for the past 16 years.

Since 1980, there have been substantial changes in state and federal law as well as advances within the discipline of archeology itself. The WAS considers these combined changes significant enough to warrant rewriting the Guidelines.

The new Guidelines explain the processes of state and federal compliance archeology and detail the steps necessary to identify, evaluate, and mitigate archeological sites. In addition, this document also provides new guidelines for work on specific site types (burials, rock art, shipwrecks, and terrestrial historic sites) as well as for geoarcheological investigations.

The entire guidelines document is available as a PDF file and can be obtained by downloading this file:
Guidelines for Public Archeology in Wisconsin. (PDF 1.3 MB)

Table of Contents
All files are in PDF format

List of Guidelines . . . . . iii
Executive Summary . . . . . v

1. Preservation Planning
2. Federal and State Historic Preservation Legislation
5. Establishing Historic Contexts and a Research Design
5. Introduction
6. Developing Historic Contexts
8. Historic Contexts in Wisconsin
10. Bibliography of Historic Contexts

Archival Research
17. Introduction
18. Land Use History
19. Archival Resources
21. Serial Files and Map Collections
23. Journals/Serial Publications/Published Sources
25. Standard Physiographic References
25. Checklists for Archival Research

Phase I: Identification Surveys
29. Introduction
30. Definitions and Objectives
32. Field Investigations
36. Documentation of an Archeological Site
37. Reporting Results of Identification Surveys

Phase II: Evaluation According to National Introduction
41. Determinations of Eligibility under Section 106
41. Evaluations under State Historic Preservation Legislation
44. Nominating Sites to the National Register
45. Conducting a Phase II Evaluation

Phase III: Data Recovery and Mitigation
51. Introduction
51. Developing a Data Recovery Plan
52. Methods and Techniques of Data Recovery
53. Reporting the Results of Data Recovery Projects
56. Interested Parties
39. Register Criteria
56. Public Benefit


I. Technical Report Guidelines
58. Introduction
59. Report Guidelines
65. Distribution of Reports

II. Curation Guidelines
68. Introduction
69. Federal Guidelines
70. State Guidelines
70. Removal of Artifacts from Private Property
72. Guidelines for Curation Facilities

III. Recording and Evaluating Historic Archeological Properties
74. Introduction
74. Phase I: Identification
75. Phase II: Evaluation

IV. Excavation and Analysis of Human Remains
80. Introduction
80. Burial Site Identification
82. Cataloguing Burial Sites
84. Excavation of Human Remains
86. Documentation Forms

V. Geomorphological and Geoarcheological Investigations
103. Support of Archaelogical Investigations
104. Introduction
105. Phase I Reconnaissance Survey
111. Phase II Evaluations
111. Report Preparations
113. Qualifications
113. Systematic Procedures for Landscape Evaluation
114. References Cited

VI. Underwater Archeological Investigations
118. Introduction
118. General Requirements
119. Literature and Records Research
120. Phase I: Minimum Technical Specifications
122. Special Reporting Requirements
123. Special Curation Requirements
123. References Cited

VII. Recording Rock Art Sites
126. Introduction
126. Defi
127. Survey Methodology
128. Recording Rock Art Sites
131. Mapping Rock Art Sites
131. Recording Rock Art Figures
133. Site Interpretation
133. Report Preparation
133. Rock Art Site Preservation
134. References Cited