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Site Evaluation
Data collected during mitigation is used to produced scaled drawings of each excavated wreck site. Site plans of vessels 2 (left) and 20 (right) from Fig Island, Savannah, Georgia illustrate the level of documention employed in mitigation phase research.
Site mitigations are designed to recover the historical and archaeological data that makes a cultural resource eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Investigations conducted by TAR personnel are based on project specific research designs developed in accordance with criteria established by Section 106 of the National Preservation Act of 1966 (36 CFR 800) and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation (1984). Each research design includes a detailed treatment of those aspects which make a site significant and a comprehensive plan for data collection and/or recovery that ensures the documentation or preservation of those attributes.

At each site, TAR archaeologists systematically document the resource using techniques which produce the best results for the environmental conditions of the site. Once a detailed map of all exposed material has been prepared an on-site baseline reference system is employed to served as the basis for positioning excavation grids or expanded to form a more complex grid work to control total excavation of the site. Unless site specific considerations are best addressed using other techniques, all on-site excavations are carried out within the confines of a rigid grid frame deployed in relationship to an on-site baseline. Exposed material is mapped in situ using both conventional triangulation, photography and/or video. On-site computers are used to maintain excavation records and artifact inventories.

Artifacts recovered during testing are catalogued, documented and stored pending transportation to temporary facilities for cleaning, analysis and conservation when desirable. Unless research activity includes the recovery of all material or proposed construction activity will destroy the site, material exposed by investigation but left in situ is reburied at the end of the project to protect the site.

Photography and video are another tool employed ing preserving the archaeological record of a site.
Archaeologist documenting a small workboat on the Savannah River.