Office of State Archaeology

Who We Are

The Office of State Archaeology (OSA) serves North Carolina’s citizens through programs that identify archaeological resources on land and beneath state waters. OSA archaeologists and staff are specialists with decades of academic training and practical experience, which we apply to gather and share knowledge about the vast time range (more than 12,000 years) of North Carolina’s historic experience.

We protect the state’s legacy of Native American villages, colonial towns, farmsteads, and historic shipwrecks through application of state and federal archaeology laws and regulations, and by maintaining inventories of site data and artifact collections. OSA furnishes professional archaeology services to government agencies, museums, schools and the general public. Appreciation of our state’s cultural heritage enhances the social, educational, cultural and economic future of North Carolina.

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Meet Our Staff

Lecture Series

Newest Lecture

USS Monitor Conservation

Submerged NC: Conservation of USS Monitor - Past, Present, and Future

In 1987, The Mariners' Museum and Park partnered with NOAA to be the official repository of artifacts raised from the nation's first national marine sanctuary. Starting in the late 1990s, archaeologists from NOAA, partnering with the U.S. Navy, began a major effort to recover the most significant components and artifacts from the wreck site of USS Monitor. As the first ironclad commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1862, Monitor fought in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, and just nine months later, sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Objects retrieved from the vessel encompassed nearly the entire engineering section and its iconic revolving gun turret. With the arrival of the Monitor's turret in 2002, the museum held over 210 tons of archaeological material.

Will Hoffman, Director of the USS Monitor Center and Chief Conservator at The Mariners' Museum, will present an overview of the Monitor conservation effort to date, including the establishment of the USS Monitor Center and Batten Conservation Complex. During the lecture, he will also discuss the treatment of several high-profile objects, as well as outlining future conservation steps.

View All Past Submerged NC Lectures

Who's My Archaeologist?

View an interactive map with contact information for State Archaeologists assigned to different regions of North Carolina.

View Interactive Map

Environmental Review

By law, we provide guidance to help the federal, state, and local governments plan projects that account for our state's archaeological heritage. 

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