Jump to Navigation

Archeology Survey Report (Phase II)

The SHPO recommends archeological surveys for many projects funded, licensed, or assisted by federal agencies.  The need for a survey is determined by several factors, including the amount and kind of survey work previously done in the project area, the archeological potential of the project area, and the need to assess the project’s impact on recorded sites. Many parts of the state have not been systematically surveyed, and a lack of survey information is the rule rather than the exception.  In a similar vein, very few sites have been tested to adequately assess their research potential, and many survey reports have little information beyond the site’s location and a brief list of artifacts found there.  Many of these sites were recorded prior to the passage of current preservation legislation and the information gathered does not meet the present standard necessary for federal compliance purposes.

Surveys requested by the SHPO are intended to provide information regarding the nature of the archeological resources located in the project area, whether or not the project will affect them, and what that effect will be.  The Survey Report (in Kansas called a Phase II survey report) is intended to document archeological sites within the Area of Potential Effects (APE).  Prior to initiation of any archeological survey, the federal agency and SHPO should have identified the APE for the undertaking.  The archeological contractor should ensure that s/he has designed the survey to take into account archeological sites that may be present within the entire APE, which may extend beyond the actual footprint of a project.

Over the years, a number of institutions, agencies, consultants, and private firms have submitted survey and assessment reports to the SHPO for review.  These reports have been authored by persons with varying degrees of archeological experience and expertise in Kansas archeology.  To insure that future reports are acceptable and useful for determining project compliance, the SHPO has prepared this guide to indicate the minimum amount and kind of information needed for different reports.  The basic guideline for the preparation of any archeological report should be a combination of professional judgment, competence, and ethics.

The outline presented below contains the minimum information that should be included in a survey report.  Authors may also supply additional detailed information to a specific project report as they feel is appropriate.  The survey report should be prepared following this outline and the Style Guide for American Antiquity, which is available from the Society for American Archaeology.

All survey reports received by the SHPO will be considered final and therefore should be thorough and complete.  Survey reports that greatly deviate from the format outlined below and the American Antiquity style guidelines will be returned to the author for revision and will not be reviewed until the necessary changes are made.  Additionally, reports that document previously unrecorded archeological sites or revisits to known archeological sites will not be accepted unless Kansas State Historical Society Archeological Site Forms, with a permanent trinomial designation, have been completed and included in an appendix of the report.

In an effort to streamline the report preparation and view processes, the Kansas SHPO has determined that it is not necessary to include a discussion of the project environment in any negative archeological report (any report that does not record the presence of archeological sites with the project APE).  Additionally, it is only necessary to provide a brief discussion (approximately 3-5 paragraphs) of the culture history of the project areas in any negative project report.  If, however, archeological sites are recorded within the project APE, the environmental history of the area should be discussed and the culture history section should be expanded to provide a detailed discussion of those time periods relevant to the discovered sites.  For assistance in completing the project report please refer to the Kansas Prehistoric Archeological Preservation Plan  (Brown and Simmons 1987),The Archeological of Kansas: A Research Guide  (Logan 1996), and the Kansas Preservation Plan: Section on Historical Archeology (Lees 1989) and Kansas Archaeology (Hoard and Banks 2006), which are available from the SHPO.  These documents contain information regarding culture history, environment, previous research, significant sites, and regional research questions which should be incorporated into project reports.

Finally, as archeological surveys often focus on the recordation of prehistoric archeological sites to the exclusion of historic sites and standing structure, a method for the identification of these types of resources should be incorporated into the project design.  If structural remains over 50 years in age are encountered within the project area, they should be recorded as an archeological site in the same way prehistoric sites are recorded.  Additionally, if standing structures are observed within the project area that are 50 years of age or older, they should be photographed and documented in the project report.

The Archeological Survey Report
(Kansas Phase II Report)

I. Title Page

A. Type of Investigation (intensive, reconnaissance, pedestrian survey, shovel testing, etc.)
B. Project Name
C. Location

1. County designation
2.  Political name and/or geographical location

D. Author’s name
E.  Author’s affiliation
F.  Name of company or agency funding or sponsoring the investigation
G. Date of Report (month and year)

II.  Abstract

A. State the purpose of the investigation
B. State the name of the federal agency, permit, funding, licensing, etc., requiring compliance
C. State the total acreage surveyed during the study (provide one total that includes all project areas)
D. List site numbers for all archeological sites within the APE and provide a summary of their significance.
E. If appropriate, provide a recommendation of eligibility for each site based on NRHP criteria
F. Describe the expected impacts to sites found within the project area

III.  Table of Contents

A. Table of Contents
B. List of Tables
C. List of Figures
D. List of Plates
E. Appendices

IV.   Introduction

A. State the purpose of the report
B. Provide a statement of consultation with SHPO and attach a copy of the SHPO letter requesting the survey (in an appendix)
C. Provide a list of project personnel, their qualifications, and responsibilities
D. Describe the scope of work performed and cite the appropriate legislation or regulations with which the work has complied (NHPA, NEPA, NPDES, etc.)
E. Identify the project Area of Potential Effects (APE) as established by the federal agency and SHPO
F. Provide a description of the proposed project

1.  Indicate the type of project
2.  Describe the depth and extent of the proposed construction impacts

G. Provide a project area map (or maps) based on a USGS 7.5 minute    topographic map (do not show site locations)

1. Indicate the proposed project boundaries
2. Indicate the APE if different from the project boundaries
3. Indicate the boundaries of the present survey area

V. Environment (not required in negative reports documenting no archeological sites)

A. Identify the physiographic region of the project area based on the Physiographic Map of Kansas
B. Give a brief description of the topography and environment of the region

1. Describe any prominent physical or cultural features found in the region

C. Describe the environmental history of the region and project area

VI. Culture History

A. Provide a brief cultural/historical summary for the project area and physiographic region
B. Provide a detailed culture history for the time period relevant to the archeological sites recorded

1. Identify significant sites in the region                   

VII. Previous Archeological Investigations

A. Provide a summary of previous archeological work obtained from a literature search and records review

1. The summary should include, at a minimum, all work within a one-mile radius from the maximum extent of the project APE
2. Identify previous surveys and previously recorded sites (do not indicate exact site locations)
3. Provide documentation of a records check with the Kansas State Historical Society

a. This should be a copy of the GIS map provided by the Kansas State Historical Society, Archeology Office

B. Describe information obtained from other sources
C. Provide the names and addresses of any informants

VIII. Current Archeological Investigation

A. Describe the survey methodology and procedures utilized

1.  Methodology is expected to adhere to that stated above
2.  Provide clear justification for the survey method(s) if they differ from the minimum recommendations outlined above
3.  Describe any remote sensing techniques used

B. Provide a description of the survey area(s), indicating the size of the area(s) measured in acres

1. Define the boundaries of the survey area(s) and indicate them on a map (do not show site locations)
2. Provide a statement of survey and field conditions

a. Indicate areas of differing ground cover and present-day land use (indicating them on the map)
b.   Identify any limiting conditions that affected the survey (adverse weather, landowner hostility, steep terrain, etc.)

                        3. Describe the soil types found within survey area(s)

a.  Provide a graphic or text description of the soil profiles illustrating changes with depth and the locations of cultural materials, if any

IX. Results of the Archeological Investigation

A. Complete a Kansas State Historical Society Archeological Site Form (Site Form) for every newly recorded site and include forms in a report appendix

1. Do not include site location information (section, township, range) in the body of the report.  Refer to archeological sites by their permanent trinomials and/or name only
2. Confine all site location information and site location maps to an appendix of the report

B. Complete a Site Form revision for every previously recorded site within or adjacent to the project area(s) and include them in a report appendix

1. Provide information regarding the current status of each site
2. Indicate how each site has changed since the last site record was completed

C. Provide a description of each site recorded or visited, include the nature (surface, buried) and cultural affiliation of the site, artifacts observed and collected, site type, density of artifacts, integrity, etc.
D. Provide a scaled site sketch map for every site within or adjacent to the project area(s).  Evaluate and justify the accuracy of the site boundaries and relate them to topographic or cultural landmarks and the project area boundary.
E. Describe any subsurface tests excavated and indicate their locations on individual site sketch maps or a project map as appropriate.  Clearly distinguish between positive and negative tests.
F. Provide drawings and/or clear color photographs of cultural features
G. Provide artifact summaries and artifact tables, if warranted, to illustrate the cultural assemblage of each site recorded
H. Describe areas where evidence of archeological sites was absent and indicate their locations on a project map
I.  Provide any additional information, figures, and graphics, necessary to illustrate the survey methodology, level of effort, and nature of archeological sites recorded

X.  Laboratory Analysis and Curation

A. Describe the cleaning, processing, and cataloguing methodology utilized in the lab

1. Describe any special analyses performed
2. Lithic artifacts should be segregated and analyzed by tool and debitage classes.
3. Ceramic artifacts should be segregated into body and rim categories and analyzed by temper and surface treatments
4. Faunal artifacts should be separated into classes based on species and genus, and identified by element as possible

B. Provide the name and location of the permanent curation facility for artifacts and records collected during the survey.

XI. Project Impact

A. Describe the expected impact to each archeological site if the project is completed as planned
B. If possible, make an assessment of the potential loss of information about Kansas archeology if sites are destroyed

XII. Proposals to Avoid, Minimize, Test, or Mitigate

A. Provide a recommendation of how the project can avoid or minimize disturbance to archeological sites through project redesign

1. If possible, describe an alternative project design that would avoid archeological sites.  For example, an alternate route for a water line that would bypass a site.

B. Provide a recommendation of additional work necessary to test or mitigate archeological sites if the project cannot be resigned

1. Describe testing needed for further assessment, if applicable
2. Describe methods other than excavation appropriate for mitigation; such as making a photographic record of a petroglyph site

XIII. References Cited

A. List publications used
B. List published maps used
C. List personal communications

XIV. Appendices Containing Confidential Information

A. Supply one overview map illustrating the boundaries of the proposed project

1. A USGS 7.5’ topographic map or copy(ies) is preferred
2. Indicate on the map the boundaries of the survey area(s) and APE (if different)
3. Indicate the locations of all sites recorded and visited
4. Indicate areas of differing ground cover, indicate percentage of ground surface visibility, indicate the type of survey techniques utilized in each area

B. Supply one completed Kansas State Historical Society Archeological Site Form for each site recorded or visited during the survey

1. The Site Form must contain an official trinomial designation assigned by the Kansas State Historical  Society
2. Include a USGS 7.5’ topographic map indicating the site location
3. Include a scaled site map indicating the boundaries of the site    and any excavation units

a. Distinguish between positive and negative excavation units
b. Illustrate the locations of all surface artifacts observed and collected, and artifact concentrations
c. Indicate the locations of any prominent topographic or cultural features
d. Indicate the location of the site datum, if applicable
e. Indicate any overlap with the proposed project APE

C. Supply the following information on every map in this report

1. Source of map, north arrow, scale, legend, caption, key

D. Supply the credentials and/or vita of the author(s) and Principal Investigator, if this information has not been previously made available to the SHPO.

1. The author of the report must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards for the appropriate resources under investigation (i.e., historic or prehistoric sites)

The Kansas SHPO requests that either a PDF be attached to the Review & Compliance project entry. If PDF is not an option, the report should be emailed (kshs.shpo@ks.gov) or an unbound copy should be mailed for review.  Reports should be sent to the address below:

SHPO Archeologist
Kansas State Historical Society
6425 SW 6th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66615-1099

For the most part, the archeological survey report (Kansas Phase II report) is only designed to determine the presence or absence of archeological sites within or adjacent to the proposed project area.  If archeological sites are identified, it is then necessary to determine the proposed project impact to each of the sites, and to provide recommendations regarding avoidance or testing of each site.  Normally, it is not possible to provide a recommendation of eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) based on survey work alone.  If, however, a substantial amount of subsurface testing is incorporated into the survey methodology and documented in the report it may be possible to provide a recommendation of “not eligible” for an archeological site.  In order for the site to be recommended as not eligible, it will be necessary to show through substantial subsurface testing that the site is either, 1) confined to a disturbed plow zone, or 2) ephemeral in nature.  If it cannot be clearly illustrated that the site has been adequately investigated, the report author should provide a recommendation for further work at the site in the form of Phase III eligibility testing.

Report authors, unless they are direct representatives or employees of federal agencies, should not make “determinations of eligibility” regarding archeological sites.  It is only the representative of the federal agency who provides the determination of eligibility to the SHPO.  All eligibility evaluations provided by contractors should take the form of “recommendations of eligibility.”

Go to Phase III