Guidelines & Forms

Archaeological Site Forms

The North Carolina Office of State Archaeology currently distributes three (3) types of archaeological site recording forms:

1. North Carolina Archaeological Site Form VIII is the most comprehensive reporting form and must be used to report sites recorded during any compliance-related projects or projects funded under state grants or contracts in North Carolina. The site form handbook is available in PDF format.

2. The Amateur Site Form is a much abbreviated reporting form provided for non-professional or avocational use.

3. The Cemetery Site Form is specific to recording and reporting cemeteries. Please visit our Cemetery Page, for more information about cemeteries, 

Completed forms should be sent to:

Site Registrar
Susan G. Myers
Office of State Archaeology
4619 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4619

Once the site location is checked against the OSA maps, a Permanent State Site Number will be assigned by the Site Registrar and sent back to you. If you have any questions about filling out or filing site forms and acquiring site numbers contact the OSA Site Registrar at (919) 807-6556 or Fax (919) 715-2671.


The Process for Acquiring a Permit

Under the Archaeological Resource Protection Act (ARPA), permits are required for any archaeological work conducted on state lands. According to the state's administrative code, the Office of State Archaeology issues ARPA permits to qualified archaeologists.

There are two types of permits: a specific permit is issued to the principal investigator for a specific project is the most common; a general permit is issued to the principal investigator (PI) on staff at a State land managing agency. General permits cover any and all archaeological investigations conducted by the PI (or his/her designee) on land managed by that agency. General permits are good for 5 years while specific permits cannot exceed 3 years. Please contact us for a the required documents needed to obtain a permit.

Once the permit request is recieved, you will recieve the appropriate application form, a fingerprint card, a release form and an instruction form. The applicant, in addition to completing the permit application, should get their fingerprints taken by law enforcement, sign the release form and return both to OSA with a check (made out to the Office of State Archaeology) for $38.00.  The finger prints will be sent to the State Bureau of Investigation who will perform a criminal background check. (Criminal background checks are good for one year. If another permit is needed within that time period, another criminal background check is not needed.) The applicant will be notified when the background check is completed.

The current rules on ARPA Permitted Projects are being revised

Information on Underwater Permits


Survey Report Guidelines

The Guidelines for Preparation of Archaeological Survey Reports in North Carolina is a checklist of items to be addressed in all reports of archaeological surveys submitted for review in accordance with cultural resource preservation and protection legislation. Omission of items may result in delays in the review process.

Read the Report Guidelines


Curation Guidelines

The OSA Research Center strives to ensure the availability of archaeological collections and records for researchers and the public, with guidelines on how artifacts should be retrieved, processed, stored and handled in ways that will contribute to their long-term preservation. The OSA, in consultation with other agencies and professionals, has developed guidelines to achieve system compatibility for newly acquired collections, and to ensure collections meet professional standards.

Read the Curation Guidelines