Archaeological Site File Services
The TDOA Site File maintains records of all archaeological sites recorded in the state of Tennessee. As of 2022, there are over 27,000 recorded sites in our database. The Site File Curators manage this archive, both electronic and paper, adding to it as new discoveries are made. Site File Curators can also help facilitate various types of research, depending on your needs
If you are a faculty member, graduate student, or undergrad who would like to access the site file to conduct academic research please include the following in your request:
- A brief explanation of the nature and purpose of your research
- Specifics regarding what kinds of information and/or documentation are needed
- For students/interns, please copy your advisor or supervisor in your request email
If you are conducting the following types of research we recommend you start with the Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA). That Open Context resource may give you the data you need. If not, you should be able to use it to produce a list of sites for which you need further information from the site file.
- Regional spatial analysis
- Requesting data on large numbers of sites
- Querying the site file for specific types of sites / cultural affiliations / historic time periods
Please send all requests for academic research to TDOA.SiteFile@tn.gov. If you are an academic archaeologist conducting background research for compliance with federal regulations such as NEPA or Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, please follow the procedure outlined below.
Professional qualified archaeologists can conduct archaeological background research via the TDOA Site File HUB. To request access to the Site File HUB, send a current copy of your CV or resume to Site File Curators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-office or email-facilitated research will still be available in a limited capacity to professional qualified archaeologists for whom it is necessary. Please contact Site File Curators if you would like to request in-office or email facilitated research.
Copies of Site Records, survey reports, or other publications must be requested through the Document Request. Please note, to receive documents we must have a CV or resume on file.
Background research conducted for purposes of compliance with federal regulations such as NEPA or Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act should be conducted in accordance with Tennessee SHPO Standards and Guidelines. For inquiries regarding SHPO Standards and Guidelines, please contact Federal Programs Archaeologist Jennifer Barnett.
For information about whether there is a recorded site in a particular area, we can provide a brief map check via email or phone call. If you are an engineer, planner, land manager, or landowner we can tell you whether there are known archaeological sites in your specific area of interest.
Performing map checks during the project planning process and prior to any ground-disturbing activities can help to avoid the destruction of significant archaeological resources, prevent disturbance of human remains, and help to avoid unexpected delays during project construction. Keep in mind that much of the state has not been surveyed for archaeological resources; therefore project areas may contain as-yet-unidentified archaeological resources. In addition, please note that map checks are not a substitute for a full archaeological background research study.
Due to the high volume of requests, we no longer provide map checks for planned cell tower locations. Please have a qualified archaeologist contact us to request background research.
Landowners or interested members of the public can report archaeological sites by contacting us by phone or email.Professional archaeologists may contact us directly for a copy of the current blank site recording form.
Some answers to frequently asked questions regarding recording sites can be found in our Site Record Submission FAQ.
For more information or to inquire about any of the site file services listed here, please email TDOA.SiteFile@tn.gov or call one of our Site File Curators:
- Paige Silcox: 615-687-478
- Satin Platt: 615-687-4777
Site File Hours
8:30am - 4pm CST (hours may vary depending on staff availability)