Services and Resources
Site File Services
One of the primary functions of the Tennessee Division of Archaeology (TDOA) is to maintain records of all archaeological sites recorded in the state. As of 2019, there are nearly 27,000 prehistoric and historic sites in our database. The Site File Curators manage this archive, making information available as needed and adding to it as new discoveries are made. Qualified archaeologists may make an appointment to come to our offices in Nashville to perform site file research. More information about site file services may be found here.
Federal Programs Review
The TDOA provides archaeological review and compliance services to the Tennessee State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) through a contract with the Tennessee Historical Commission. Questions regarding Section 106 review may be addressed to the Federal Programs Archaeologist Jennifer Barnett, at 615-687-4780 or by email at Jennifer.Barnett@tn.gov. Additional information and resources regarding Section 106 review are available at the Tennessee Historical Commission website.
The TDOA is responsible for issuing permits for archaeological work to be conducted on State lands. Archaeologists must receive a permit from the TDOA before beginning any archaeological investigations on State lands. For more information about State Archaeological Permits click here.
The Division offers information and guidance to a wide variety of entities seeking archaeological assistance. These entities include governmental agencies, private consultants, law enforcement, academics, avocational archaeologists, and the general public. Public outreach opportunities, such as school presentations, are accommodated as Division staff schedules allow.
Archaeological Site Concerns
The Division of Archaeology often receives calls from citizens concerned about the potential destruction of archaeological sites by ongoing and proposed development projects. The Division can provide general information regarding the archaeological background of the project area, guidance to developers and/or local planning agencies as appropriate. There is no state law that requires private landowners to avoid disturbing archaeological sites, even if known sites are present on their property.
Human Remains and Burials
The TDOA often receives and responds to reports of disturbed human remains. Please see the page Human Remains and Burials for information and guidance.
Tennessee laws related to cemeteries and burial removals.
Tennessee THPO Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological Studies
The standards and guidelines for the Tennessee State Historic Preservation Office.