Excavation at a project site can bring many types of impacts to the construction project. Excavation impacts can be self-caused or caused by factor totally out of your control. Both can impact your project timeline (the construction schedule) and expense. You must be sure all such impacts be recorded in words and photos. Some, though probably not all, are listed below. The following table provides links to papers on the topic of construction excavation:
|A Guide to OSHA Excavation Standard.pdf|
|Excavation in Construction from Construction Knowledge.net.pdf|
|Excavation Safety _ Environmental, Health and Safety Services _ Virginia Tec.pdf|
|Safe Excavation Work Essentials -- Occupational Health & Safety.pdf|
|Safe Practices for Small Contractors.pdf|
If the find is proven to be significant, construction delays could prove to be lenghty.
The first place to check for the appropriate person or institution is your state archaeologist's office. Each state has an official archaeologist and this person or someone on the office staff will be able to help you find your answer. Remember, however, that archaeologists generally need to see an object in its original position in the ground before they can really determine its function. So, when you find an object it is usually better to leave it in place, protect it, and inform local officials. Once an object is removed from its original setting, it often loses much of its informational value.
Evaluating Site Significance
After conducting a survey an archaeologist will have enough information to determine if any significant archaeological resources are located in the study area. If no sites are found, or if the sites are not determined to be “significant” as defined by the law in the National Historic Preservation Act then construction may proceed. The archaeologist will write and file a site report in the State Historic Preservation Office, which describes their research. If significant sites were found, an excavation may be planned. In the next section we will discuss how important data is recovered from archaeological sites through excavation.