CCT: Archaeological Permits

Archaeological Permits

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is responsible for the protection and conservation of significant archaeological resources located on state lands, state-controlled waters and within designated State Archaeological Preserves.  These responsibilities extend to archaeological investigations, construction and demolition activities and other actions which may endanger significant archaeological or sacred sites.  Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutues Section 10-382, SHPO has adopted the following regulations concerning the protection of these resources on public lands and within archaeological preserves.

Section 10-386-1. Permits

(a)  Any person may apply in writing to the Connecticut Commission
on Culture & Tourism for a permit to conduct archaeological field studies on state lands or designated state archaeological preserves.

(b)  No permit shall be required for the use of metal detectors or similar electronic detection apparatus at state owned beach areas. All such activity shall be conducted in accordance with Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation current directives and regulations.

(c)  No permit shall be issued for any field investigation or excavation or both that would disturb a known Native American cemetery,  burial site or other sacred site as defined in section 10-381(5) of the Connecticut General Statutes located on state lands or on a state archaeological preserve unless the following have been satisfied.

(1)  Thirty days advance written notification has been given by the permit applicant to the Native American Heritage Advisory Council requesting its review; and

(2)  If any human skeletal remains discovered are to be excavated, the permit holder and the State Archaeologist shall have entered into a written agreement pursuant to section 10-388(d) of the Connecticut General Statutes.

Sec. 10-386-2. Professional Qualifications

(a)  To receive an archaeological permit, a principal investigator must possess the following professional qualifications:

(1)  A graduate degree, from an accredited institution of higher learning, in archaeology, anthropology, material culture studies or a closely related field;

(2)  At least sixteen months of professional experience or specialized training in archaeological field, laboratory or library research including at least four months of field experience in general North American archaeology and at least six months of experience in a supervisory role in northeastern archaeology; and

(3)  At least six months field and laboratory experience in sites and materials of the type and period of the site which will be investigated (e.g.: six months experience in historical archaeology if the site is historical; or six months experience in prehistoric archaeology if the site is prehistoric).

(b)  Any person lacking the prerequisite training and experience required in the above section may file for a permit for archaeological investigation on state lands if a principal investigator meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this section agrees in writing to sponsor such an applicant. Both the permit holder and the sponsoring archaeologist shall be responsible for all permit-related research and performance standards noted in subsequent sections.

(c)  No permit shall be issued for archaeological investigation of a state archaeological preserve except under the qualification standard of subsection (a) of this section.

(NEW) Sec. 10-386-3. Research Design

(a)  All proposed archaeological investigations shall, to the extent possible and practicable as determined by the Connecticut Commissionon Culture & Tourism, be conducted in a manner designed to further the public's knowledge and understanding of Connecticut's archaeological heritage.

(b)  Research shall be designed to maximize, as determined by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, the in situ conservation of archaeological resources.

(c)  The applicant shall submit to the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism the written consent for the proposed archaeological investigation from:

(1)  the property owner of a state archaeological preserve; or

(2)  the state agency with custody or control over the subject state lands.

(d)  The applicant shall submit to the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism written evidence that the proposed archaeological investigation will be:

(1)  consistent with the site-specific management plan prepared for a state archaeological preserve; or,

(2)  consistent with applicable agency management plans for the operation or use of state lands.

(e)  The applicant shall provide to the satisfaction of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism a written project schedule and research plan which describes the purpose of the proposed archaeological investigation; the estimated timing and duration of field research; the field methods and investigative strategies to be employed; laboratory tests and analysis which may be used; and a justification as to why archaeological resources located within the study area should be investigated.

(NEW) Sec. 10-386-4. Performance and Curation Requirements

(a)  The permit holder shall carry out all permitted activities in accordance with the performance and reporting standards specified in the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism's Environmental Review Primer for Connecticut's Archaeological Resources.

(b)  The permit holder shall file quarterly reports with the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the State Archaeologist that describe all field activities undertaken and inventories all materials collected, gathered or otherwise recovered from the permitted area. Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism inventory form shall be used as the preferred format for reporting site-specific information.

(c)  The permit holder shall, as required by section 10-388 of the Connecticut General Statutes, immediately notify the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the State Archaeologist if the presence of human skeletal remains are suspected or discovered on site. In such a case, all further archaeological studies shall immediately cease.

(d)  All artifactual materials which are collected, excavated, or removed from state lands and all associated records and data shall be deposited with the State Archaeologist as required by section 10-383 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

(NEW) Sec. 10-386-5. Special Conditions

(a)  The permit shall be kept by the permit holder or an authorized representative, who has been approved by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism at the authorized survey area when archaeological studies are in progress.

(b)  The permit holder or the authorized representative shall be in attendance at the authorized survey area whenever archaeological investigations are in progress and shall be responsible for the work and compliance with the performance standards of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism's Environmental Review Primer for Connecticut's Archaeological Resources.

(c)  All permit holders shall comply with all special conditions, requests, or directives of the Connecticut Commission on Cultural and Tourism with respect  to the archaeological studies authorized by said permits.

(d)  Each permit holder shall restore all test units and excavation areas to the conditions which existed prior to the initiation of the archaeological investigations. No permit shall be construed to authorize any activity except as noted in the permit application.

(e)  All permits shall be valid for a maximum of twelve (12) months and only with regard to the state land or state archaeological preserve specifically identified.

(f)  Representatives of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism may at any time visit and inspect the permit site and associated activities without prior notice to the permit holder. Said permit holder shall cooperate fully with said representatives during their inspection.

(g)  The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism shall revoke any permit at any time if the permit holder does not undertake proposed archaeological studies in accordance with section 10-386-4 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. When a permit is revoked, all recovered materials related to the authorized activity, including but not limited to artifacts, artifact catalogues, maps, field notes and other records necessary to identify the same shall be delivered immediately by the permit holder to the State Archaeologist.

(h)  The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, in issuing any permit, accepts no legal responsibility for any damage, direct or indirect, of whatever nature and by whomever suffered arising out of permitted activities. The permit holder fully and completely assumes the risks, if any, arising from activities relating to the authorized site investigation and assumes full and complete responsibility for determining the potential risks and dangers, apparent or latent, of such activities.

(i)  The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism shall review and act, in consultation with the State Archaeologist, upon all complete permit applications within 60 working days.

Statement of purpose: To establish procedures for the issuance of permits for archaeological investigation on state lands.


For more information,
contact Cathy Labadia at 860-500-2329 or

Content Last Modified on 9/26/2017 3:15:13 PM