Effective starting June 30, 2023:

The NCOSA will use Citrix ShareFile for archaeological consultants submitting digital archaeological report and site files for Environmental Review. Citrix ShareFile is a secure online file sharing and transfer service that will take the place of CDs and USBs. Effective June 30, 2023, all digital ER archaeological survey files (i.e., reports, site forms, GIS data, etc.) must be submitted by archaeological consultants through ShareFile. We will no longer accept CDs or USBs. To request a ShareFile account for your organization, please review our ShareFile User Guidelines and fill out a ShareFile User Access Form. Return forms to Kim Urban.

The OSA has changed our Environmental Review report and site form submission requirements. Please see the How To Submit Environmental Review Section for more details.


Laws and regulations have been passed at both the federal and state level in order to identify and protect significant archaeological resources. A "significant site" is defined under the laws as one which is either listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), a listing of local, state and nationally important historic and archaeological sites. Under the federal and state laws related to cultural resources, one of the most important tasks of the State Historic Preservation Officer (the SHPO), and therefore the Office of State Archaeology (OSA), is the review of projects funded, licensed, or permitted by the federal or state governments. Generally referred to as the Environmental Review Process, it is the means by which archaeological and historic sites are considered in the planning stages of at least some of the many thousands of projects undertaken each year in North Carolina.

When a proposed project falls into one of the categories covered by the laws, the SHPO is given the opportunity to review and comment on its potential for affecting significant sites. If an area is determined to have the potential for significant sites, the OSA may recommend that archaeological investigations be conducted on the property prior to ground-disturbing activities. If a project is considered likely to damage an important site, some form of impact mitigation may be undertaken, either through project avoidance and site preservation or, if necessary, total or partial data recovery ("salvage" excavation).

The review process, as it pertains to archaeology, involves an evaluation of (1) the type and location of the project proposed (good maps are essential), (2) the presence or absence of known sites in the project area, and (3) the potential for significant sites in the area.

Project Background Research

As archaeological site information is protected by both state and federal law, site information at the NC OSA is available for Secretary of the Interior-qualified archaeologists to gather in person at our Raleigh and Asheville offices. At this time, we do not have our site information online. If you would like to have an archaeological consultant come to our Raleigh or Asheville office to review the project area and/or acquire background information about the general area, please follow the link below to set up an appointment.

Site File Research Scheduling Form

How to Submit Environmental Review

The OSA has changed our Environmental Review report and site form submission requirements.

Starting June 30, 2023, we will now require:

One (1) digital copy of the archaeological survey report, to be sent through Sharefile.
One (1) digital copy of each NC Site Form(s) with site map(s) for each site that was recorded as part of the archaeological investigation, to be sent through Sharefile. Please submit each site form as separate documents.

Hard copies of reports will be requested by the OSA once we determine that no further changes to the report are needed. Concurrence letters will not be sent until after we receive the hard copy of the final archaeological survey report.

We request that you do not:

Submit hard copies of site forms.
Attach site forms to reports.
Submit hard copies of reports until prompted to do so by OSA staff. 
Combine historic structures survey reports (HSSRs) with archaeological survey reports. These are two separate reports and review processes.

Submitting request to review reports:

You must still submit a transmittal letter, preferably by email, to the Environmental Review Branch to begin the report review process. The transmittal letter must include the name of the ShareFile folder where the report and site forms to be reviewed are located and the date the documents were uploaded. OSA will not begin review of any documents submitted to ShareFile until the Environmental Review Branch receives a transmittal letter. Hard copies of the final archaeological survey report must still be submitted to the Environmental Review Branch using the following addresses:

By US Postal Service: By FedEx, UPS, or courier:
Renee Gledhill-Earley
State Historic Preservation Office
4617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4617
Renee Gledhill-Earley
State Historic Preservation Office
109 East Jones Street, Room 258
Raleigh, NC 27601

For more information on how to submit an Environmental Review project, click the link below:

How to Submit Environmental Review Projects

Archaeological Consultants

OSA maintains a list of firms and individuals who have previously conducted archaeological work or expressed an interest to do work in North Carolina. You can find the list of consultants by following the link below.

Archaeology Consultant List

Laws Affecting Archaeological Resources

For a summary of state and federal laws that concern archaeological resources, follow the link below.

Laws Affecting Archaeological Resources