Archaeological Research

Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc. (Commonwealth) has an extensive technical team of qualified and experienced professionals who regularly perform all types of archaeological investigations. Areas of expertise include:

Literature Searches

By reconstructing historical development, Commonwealth provides clients with a detailed land use record that is used to assess archaeological potential. Past land use projects have also served as the basis for hazardous site assessments.

Field Survey

The first field task in most archaeological projects is a controlled survey designed to locate archaeological sites. Here at Commonwealth, clients rely on the expertise staff provides in anthropological, geographical, historical, and geophysical survey methods.

CHG workers examining a field

Geotechnology Services

Commonwealth’s professional staff consists of geoarchaeological, geophysical, and geospatial specialists who have expertise in geophysical prospecting and GIS-based predictive modeling for archaeological sensitivity, viewshed analysis, and cultural resource database development. Our staff integrates geotechnology services into cultural resources projects to create a unified approach to illuminate archaeological data, enhance, and support interpretations and provide additional knowledge for the historical and archaeological record. Other services include:

  • Geoarchaeological: Geomorphology Investigations and Assessments
  • Geophysical Survey: Ground-Penetrating Radar and Magnetometry Metal Detector Survey
  • Geospatial: Global Positioning System (GPS) Mapping and Survey
  • Geospatial: Geographic Information System (GIS) Analysis and Integration
A wooded trail

Site Evaluation

Some archaeological sites require testing beyond surveys and in these instances, Commonwealth’s management and technical teams work together to design and implement excavations that maximize the recovery of field data. All analyses of field data and artifacts are geared to provide a conclusive assessment of significance and integrity for National Register of Historic Places eligibility determinations.

Data Recovery

Commonwealth’s archaeologists are equipped to handle the technical and practical challenges encountered during data recovery projects. Clients receive the full range of data recovery services, including professional project design, intensive-level research, exacting field techniques and technical reports, and documents. Services also include designing brochures, displays, and programs to meet project needs for public involvement and education purposes.

Archaeological Collections Management Services

Commonwealth’s laboratory personnel has extensive experience in processing artifact collections and samples recovered from field investigations. Staff also provides exhibit design and fabrication for projects. Artifacts are cataloged in a custom-designed database and inventory, prepared in accordance with state curation guidelines or the National Park Service’s Collections Management System (ICMS). Commonwealth facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories and secure storage for project artifacts. Services also include exhibit design and fabrication.

Site Impact and Threat Assessments

Once archaeological sites are located, clients and review agencies need to know the type and extent of potential project impacts. Commonwealth routinely assesses project impacts to aid in planning and for use in environmental documents.

Osteological Services

Commonwealth’s staff includes osteologists that have experience in the identification and analysis of vertebrate and invertebrate species and are thus uniquely qualified to differentiate human from non-human remains.  Commonwealth osteologists have experience working with large historic cemetery populations and completing cemetery removal and relocation projects involving fetal through senescent burials. Staff conduct efficient and respectful analysis in the lab or field. Analyses include estimating age at death, sex determination, and assessment of human remains for pathological lesions, evidence of trauma, and taphonomic changes to osteological tissues. Commonwealth osteologists also have experience in assessing zooarchaeological remains to address questions regarding past human economic strategies, seasonality and ecological reconstruction, site function, and mobility.

Terrestrial and Marine Remote Sensing

Terrestrial and Marine Remote Sensing provides solutions that address some of the most complex projects imposed by multiple variables and well as scattered properties. With state-of-the-art technology, Commonwealth provides these services for the even most of challenging projects.

Underwater Survey and Testing

Our survey and testing services will provide inclusive, detailed information on historic resources beneath the water. Using the latest technologies, Commonwealth can provide the data needed to capture critical information.