Archeological Consultants New to Texas

Cultural resource consultants who are interested in conducting work in Texas should meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards. For surveys on Texas public lands and waterways performed under the Antiquities Code of Texas, professionals must meet the qualifications for a Principal Investigator found in Chapter 26 of the Texas Administrative Code, available in Statutes, Regulations, & Rules.

Requirements

Before beginning work in Texas, prospective consultants will need to submit a current Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the THC; or attach the CV to the first Antiquities Permit Application submitted. For projects being considered on Texas public lands, waterways, or land owned by a political subdivision of the state, an Antiquities Permit must be acquired through the THC before survey can commence. There are no fees for submitting a permit application. In addition, projects for Section 106 review require consideration of visual and other indirect effects on above ground cultural resources. Please see Review of Standings Structures under How the THC Reviews Projects for additional information. To assist with coordination, the THC has developed a SHPO Consultation Form and has provided guidelines under What to Send in For a Project Review.

Separate permits may be required to work on federally owned or managed land in Texas. Consultants should coordinate with the necessary federal agency for their permit requirements. Additionally, right-of-entry to private property is the responsibility of the archeologist or consulting firm and no permit from the THC replaces that responsibility.

Procedures

Prior to initiating field work, consultants should conduct a records review for previously documented cultural resources or historic properties within or adjacent to the proposed project area. Texas maintains a secure, online database that contains maps of known cultural resources, surveys conducted, SHPO determinations, as well as downloadable copies of reports of investigations produced since 2008. Abstracts for most projects are also available. Archeological site location data is confidential under the Antiquities Code of Texas and Texas Government Code (Chapter 442, Sec. 442.007); consultants must apply for Restricted Cultural Resource Information permission in order to obtain a user ID and password. Contact the THC for further information. Online resources available to the public include the THC Historic Sites Atlas, the Texas State Archives, the General Land Office, and The Handbook of Texas Online.

Field work conducted in Texas should meet the criteria in the THC Survey Standards. Sites recorded during field investigations must be reported. Site forms for Texas are available in electronic format and run on an Access program called TexSite. The THC works with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) at the University of Texas-Austin to manage this data. The TexSite Program and information on how to complete and submit the site forms can be found at Recording Sites Through TARL.

Upon completion of field investigations, reports submitted must follow the Council of Texas Archeologists Guidelines for Cultural Resource Management Reports and the requirements detailed in Chapter 26 “Rules Practices and Procedures” and Chapter 28 “Historic Shipwrecks” of the Texas Administrative Code.

Recommendations

Consultants can contact the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) to be added to the Archeological Contractors List. The CTA holds bi-annual meetings that provide a venue for professionals in the region to network, present results of recent investigations, and to be informed of industry updates.