The South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) plays an important role in protecting the state’s archaeological heritage through its involvement in the environmental review process. The SHPO’s primary role is to consult with federal and state agencies about effects to historic properties, which include significant archaeological sites. As an advisory agency, the SHPO makes recommendations to government agencies regarding:
The SHPO reviews and comments on all reports produced in compliance with state and federal laws. Staff archaeologists are responsible for reviewing all compliance-related archaeological investigations performed in the state. They make site visits and provide technical advice but are rarely able to perform any fieldwork. Contract archaeologists perform the majority of archaeological fieldwork in the state.
The SHPO maintains records for the compliance-related projects, and is also responsible for maintaining files for sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The SHPO does not, however, manage or maintain the state’s archaeological site files. Those files are managed by the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (see below).
If you have questions about the SHPO’s role in the environmental review process or need assistance, please contact a staff archaeologist.
The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) manages and maintains archaeological site information for the state of South Carolina. SCIAA was established in 1963 as a University of South Carolina research institute. SCIAA conducts a broad range of field research throughout the state and is also the legal repository for the state’s archaeological collections. The State Archaeologist resides at SCIAA. The Office of the State Archaeologist, among other things, advises the State Historic Preservation Office, other state and public agencies, and private individuals on compliance related activities. For more information about SCIAA visit the SCIAA Web site at http://www.cas.sc.edu/sciaa/. To access SCIAA's archaeological site files, follow this link. To access ArchSite, the state's online cultural resource GIS, follow this link.
The Maritime Research Division is also administered by the SCIAA. The Maritime Research Division:
The State’s underwater experts, including the State Underwater Archaeologist, are housed at SCIAA. The SHPO draws on this expertise and consults with the Maritime Research Division on compliance projects that have the potential to impact submerged cultural resources.
For more information about underwater archaeology in the state of South Carolina, visit SCIAA’s Maritime Research Division Web site. The Web site includes a description of the Sport Diver Program and Hobby Diver Licensing.
The Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP), a division of SCIAA, serves as a primary facility for the investigation of archaeological
research problems associated with cultural development within the Savannah
River Valley. The SRARP provides continued cultural resource management guidance
to the U.S. Department of Energy to assure compliance with the National Historic
Preservation Act. Beyond compliance and research activities, the SRARP
administers an outreach program that offers a variety of school programs,
lectures, tours, archaeological displays, and special assistance for the public.
The South Carolina Conservation Bank was established in 2003. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in South Carolina through the conservation of significant natural resource lands, wetlands, historical properties, and archeological sites. The Bank’s goal is to protect open space by acquisition of interests in real property from willing sellers. It is working to encourage cooperation and innovative partnerships among landowners, State agencies, municipalities, and non-profit organizations. For more information visit their Web site at http://sccbank.sc.gov/.
The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (PRT) manages several of the state’s significant archaeological sites. The Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site offers visitors the rare opportunity to join with park staff in hands-on archaeology work while the Charles Towne Landing Historic Site tells the story of how Native Americans, English, Africans and Barbadians came together to create the first successful English colony in Carolina in 1670. For more information, visit PRT’s Web site.
Introduction || Historic Preservation