An archaeology program has existed in North Carolina in various forms since 1939, when the Archaeology Society of North Carolina, State Museum, State Parks, and UNC-Chapel Hill came together to develop a “statewide comprehensive archaeological project” with funding from the Works Progress Administration. The current Office of State Archaeology evolved from the Archaeology Section created by House Bill 1045 in 1973, which established a state archaeological program under the NC Department of Cultural Resources.
The OSA was based in the Heartt House for almost 30 years, a historic home on Blount Street in downtown Raleigh, having moved there from a location on West Street. The Heartt House served as offices and curation space for artifacts and site files. After outgrowing the house, the artifacts were relocated to the new OSA Research Center in 1997 and the offices moved to their current home in the basement of the Archives and History building in 2007.
The OSA Raleigh Office is responsible for the identification and protection of archaeological resources across North Carolina. Our staff facilitate the environmental review process, which helps ensure that important archaeological sites are considered prior to construction projects; prepare and support National Register of Historic Places nominations for eligible archaeological sites; record and preserve historic cemeteries; and maintain of a vast record of site reports, data, and GIS information. We also provide educational programs, consultation, and artifact identification!