Services and Resources
Site File Services
The Tennessee Division of Archaeology (TDOA) maintains records of all archaeological sites recorded in the state. As of 2019, there are nearly 27,000 prehistoric and historic sites in our database. 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: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/environment/program-areas/arch-archaeology/site-file-services.html.
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.
- Tennessee SHPO Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological Studies
- List of Consulting Archaeologists Working in Tennessee (updated May 2021)
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. More information about State Archaeological Permits may be found here: https://www.tn.gov/environment/permit-permits/permit-natural-resources/state-archaeological-permit.html.
The Division offers information and guidance to governmental agencies, private consultants, law enforcement, academics, avocational archaeologists, and the general public seeking archaeological assistance. 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 TDOA can provide general information regarding the archaeological background of the project area, and 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 reports of disturbed cemeteries and human remains. Please see the page Human Remains and Burials for information and guidance.
For assistance identifying artifacts, please email our staff. The Tennessee Division of Archaeology does not authenticate or appraise artifacts of any age or cultural affiliation.