Archeological Sites and Cemeteries Toolkit
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Archeological Sites and Cemeteries Toolkit

The Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT), the Health and Safety Code and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) establish the environmental compliance obligations regarding archeological sites and cemeteries. Local governments, consultants and TxDOT staff use the following tools to comply with these requirements.

For more information, contact the supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division at 512-416-2631.

View frequently asked questions at Online forms FAQs.


Title Date Description
Guidance: Design Change Review for Archeology 03/24 This document provides District staff with guidance for review of design changes for potential impacts to archeological sites and cemeteries. The guidance includes circumstances under which no additional review is necessary and expected time to complete review and coordination.
Emergency Discovery Guidelines 05/23 The Emergency Discovery Guidelines document provides tips to District staff and contractors to handle unanticipated finds of burials or archeological sites during construction and maintenance projects.
Environmental Handbook for Archeological Sites and Cemeteries 11/14 Outlines the steps to comply with the NHPA, ACT and Health and Safety Code for archeological sites and cemeteries
Potential Archeological Liability Maps (PALMs)   Lists TxDOT-developed ArcGIS maps functioning as geoarcheological predictive models to aid in transportation planning and cultural resource compliance
TxDOT Tribal Histories Project 07/22 Used to assist in the production of TxDOT Transportation projects

Project review tools

Title Date Description
Cultural Resources Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 10/23 FAQ to share with members of the public interested in cultural resources management work
Preguntas frecuentes sobre recursos culturales (FAQ) 04/24 Preguntas frecuentes para compartir con los miembros del público interesados en el trabajo de gestión de recursos culturales
Review Standard for Archeological Background Studies 05/11 Used to evaluate and communicate comments on a background study report that identifies whether archeological fieldwork is necessary for the project
Review Standard for Antiquities Permit Applications 04/20 Used to evaluate and communicate comments on an Antiquities Permit application for submission to the Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Review Standard for Archeological Survey Reports 05/11 Used to evaluate and communicate comments on an archeological survey report
Review Standard for Interim Testing Reports 05/11 Used to evaluate and communicate comments on an interim report of archeological test excavations to address site eligibility and project effects
List of Projects That Do Not Require Review or Coordination for Archeological Compliance 03/24 Identifies the project types that do not require review or coordination for compliance with laws and regulations regarding archeological sites. The guidance comes from existing TxDOT agreements with regulatory agencies.

Project deliverable tools

Title Date Description
Template for Archeological Background Studies 09/20 Used to complete the "Perform Archeological Background Study" Activity in ECOS
Template for Archeological Survey Report 04/20 Used to complete the "Perform Archeology Study" Activity in ECOS

Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding

Title Date Description
TxDOT-THC Memorandum of Understanding 02/13 Defines the process for coordinating projects between TxDOT and THC in compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas, but it is not applicable to projects where governments coordinate directly with THC
Tonkawa Tribe Programmatic Agreement 06/02 Establishes the tribe-specific Section 106 process for projects with FHWA funding or required FHWA approval
TxDOT – FHWA Section 106 Programmatic Agreement 09/23 Defines TxDOT’s Section 106 process for projects with FHWA involvement. The document includes definitions of Area of Potential Effect, unscreened vs screened undertakings, TxDOT’s consultation process, and a historic bridge management plan