Archaeology Month 2022

NC Office of State Archaeology. Archaeological Stewardship. Putting the Past Forward

Archaeological Site Stewardship: Putting the Past Forward

October is Archaeology Month in North Carolina! Our theme for October 2022 is site stewardship. Archaeological sites have the potential to tell us important information about our past. These sites are non-renewable resources; if a site is destroyed, it cannot be replaced. That is why archaeological stewardship – the responsible management of archaeological resources – is so important. Site stewardship protects North Carolina's cultural heritage for everyone to learn from and appreciate.

North Carolina has a rich archaeological heritage spanning at least 14,000 years. Recording sites without disturbing them helps to protect that cultural heritage for the future. Join us throughout October 2022 as we celebrate site stewardship!

Archaeological work at Freedom Park behind the OSA office building.

Become a Citizen Archaeologist

There are several easy ways that everyone can help protect archaeological sites. If you see an artifact, don’t touch it! Context is critical in archaeology. Taking an artifact out of its context makes it harder to learn that site’s story. Follow National Park Service guidance: “Take only pictures, leave only footsteps!”

If you encounter an archaeological site, fill out a Citizen Archaeologist Site Form! If you know the location of a cemetery, you can fill out a Citizen Cemetery Form. You can report any sites you find to the Office of State Archaeology. This information is accessible to researchers, descendant communities, and agencies seeking compliance with state and federal preservation laws, but the specific locations will remain protected and not publicly shared. Recording sites and cemeteries may help prevent them from being damaged or destroyed.