Intensive Surveys

What is an Intensive Survey?
An intensive survey is defined as “a systematic, detailed examination of an area designed to gather information about historic properties sufficient to evaluate them against predetermined criteria of significance within specific historic contexts” (Federal Register 48:44721). The goal of an intensive survey is to:

Because of their comprehensive and detailed nature, intensive surveys are the most common level of archaeological investigation within the field of Cultural Resource Management in South Carolina. Specific guidance for conducting intensive surveys in South Carolina can be found in the South Carolina Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological Investigations.

At a minimum, intensive surveys should document the following: (extracted from the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archeological Documentation)

  1. The kinds of properties looked for;

  2. The boundaries of the area surveyed;

  3. The method of survey, including an estimate and extent of survey coverage;

  4. A record of the precise location of all properties identified; and

  5. Information on the appearance, significance, integrity and boundaries of each property sufficient to permit an evaluation of its significance.

Reporting the results of an intensive survey to the SHPO should, at minimum, meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archeological Documentation. In order to ensure that sufficient information has been provided, however, the SHPO recommends using the report format that is outlined in the South Carolina Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological Investigations.

Introduction || Historic Preservation