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Archaeology Professionals

Becoming a Qualified Professional in Indiana

Archaeologists who wish to work in Indiana or conduct records checks must meet certain qualifications. See our website on Qualified Professionals (QP) for more information on becoming a QP in Indiana. Questions regarding these qualifications, should be directed to the DHPA at 317-232-1646 or

When asked to undertake an archaeological project, please make sure that you have documentation that authorizes that work. If the project is being conducted under Section 106, the client or lead federal agency should be able to provide you with a copy of documentation that the work is being required. If the project is being conducted on state property, you must have documentation that an approved plan (under Indiana Code [IC] 14-21-1) for the work has been issued. In addition, if the activity is to be conducted on private property, and isn’t conducted under Section 106, an approved plan under IC 14-21-1 is also required if any level of work beyond surface survey will be conducted. Always make sure that landowner permission has been obtained, and that curation issues have been addressed as well. It is also best if you carry the documentation requiring the investigation with you in the field in case you are questioned by law enforcement officials. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office at 317-232-1646.

  • Conducting a Records Check/Research

    Once you have been listed on our qualified professional list, you may contact our office about getting access to our online database, SHAARD, and the corresponding GIS map. There is an annual fee associated with database and map access. Cost is $1,000 for first user account at firm or university; $500 for each additional account. Accounts cannot be shared and the account user is responsible for assuring that the log-in information is not shared.

    Those individuals not wanting to pay this annual fee may request project area maps to be pulled from the DHPA Archaeology Map at the availability Records Check Coordinator for a fee of $70.00 per hour. They will also be awarded temporary SHAARD database accounts (at no charge) during this time so they can perform records checks remotely. Please contact the DHPA ( to make a request or to learn about this option.

    Recording archaeological sites in our state:

    • The DHPA distributes the archaeological site numbers in Indiana. Once a professional archaeologist has discovered a site(s), call our office at 317-234-5254 to request archaeological site number.
    • Each recording of, survey of, or re-survey of an archaeological site needs to be recorded in SHAARD, electronically.
    • For more information on using SHAARD, please read the Archaeology SHAARD User Guide.
    • Completing a cemetery registry survey form - For archaeologists who discover or investigate a cemetery in Indiana, a reminder that we encourage you to fill out the Cemetery Registry survey form and submit it to our office in addition to the archaeological site form.
    • Contact the Cemetery and Burial Ground Registry coordinator for more information on this at 317-232-1646 or
  • Conducting Fieldwork

    The location, identification, evaluation, protection, and preservation of archaeological sites is an integral part of the state preservation process. There is a longstanding federal, state, and public concern with the protection of these non-renewable resources, and Indiana state laws and rules strongly reflect these concerns as well.  Authorized by 312 IAC 21, this guidebook includes guidelines for archaeological projects to ensure that the products of compliance-related archaeological investigations will lead to the location, identification, evaluation, and protection of archaeological sites.

    These guidelines have been developed to update and clarify standards for archaeological investigations in Indiana. They have also been developed to assist the archaeologist in identifying the nature and extent of archaeological sites in Indiana and to define the expectations for the location, identification, and evaluation of archaeological sites. Included are guidelines for records checks/literature reviews; field methodologies for Phase Ia, Phase Ib, and Phase Ic reconnaissance projects; Phase II and Phase III investigations; analyses; and report format.

  • Archaeology Guidebook
  • Archaeological Short Form

    Archaeological Short Form
    Instructions for the Archaeological Short Form

    The Short Report may be used to report the results of the following:
    1. An archaeological records check only.
    2. A records check and Phase Ia archaeological reconnaissance which DID NOT locate any artifacts and/or features. This includes:

    • Project areas which included no previously recorded sites prior to the survey.
    • Project areas which included previously recorded sites.

    When an archaeological site, which includes isolated finds, is encountered, a full written report following guidance provided in the Current Guidebook for Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory—Archaeological Sites and the Indiana Cultural Resources Manual will need to be submitted. For projects being conducted under IC 14-21-1, be aware of the requirements of 312 IAC 21-3-8 (d) regarding an abbreviated project completion report and 312 IAC 21-3-8 (e) regarding an archaeological records check or literature search.

    Although strongly encouraged, the use of the Archaeological Short Report format is not mandatory and if you choose to complete a full written report, you may do so. The short report should be submitted the same way one would submit an archaeological records check or Phase Ia Reconnaissance report.

    If you chose to use the Archaeological Short Report format, please note that all of the fields must be filled in and that handwritten forms will not be accepted. Incomplete or inaccurate forms will be returned to the submitter without comment. Additionally, upon review, the form may also be returned to the submitter with the request that a full written report be provided.

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