James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0334
Archaeology Section Manager
The Environmental Division's Archaeology Section operates within the Tennessee Department of Transportation and coordinates with the Tennessee Division of Archaeology and the Tennessee State Historic Preservation Office to complete public transportation improvements with as little damage to archaeological resources as possible. The primary goals of the agency are to identify archaeological remains located within areas of potential effect (APE) of proposed TDOT projects, to coordinate and consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), interested parties and the public concerning the appropriate treatment of archaeological resources that cannot be prudently or feasibly avoided, and to insure that mitigation measures stipulated in the Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) are successfully completed.
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) requires all Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their actions on any district, site, building, structure or object that is included in/or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The regulations implementing compliance with Sec. 106 can be found at Title 36 CFR 800. Tennessee Public Laws also require agencies to take into account the effects of proposed undertakings on historic properties on State owned lands.
Site Identification using accepted scientific methods, the staff of the agency and cultural resource firms working under the auspices of the TDOT are responsible for the majority of archaeological site discoveries made annually in the State of Tennessee. Such compliance related discoveries now provide for the bulk of archaeological investigations being conducted across the state.
Compliance and Coordination
When archaeological resources are discovered within a project's area of potential effect the TDOT staff archaeologists are responsible for applying the criteria of eligibility pursuant to 36 CFR 60.4 to determine if such resources are eligible or potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, for coordinating and consulting with other TDOT Divisions to assess possible methods of site avoidance and minimization of construction impacts, coordinating with federal agencies, state agencies, interested parties and the public to disseminate information and receive input for consideration in the decision making process, and reviewing all archaeological documentation to see that it meets professional standards.