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Thunderbird Archeology helps our clients efficiently navigate federal and state cultural resource protection statutes such as Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and others.  

The 1966 National Historic Preservation Act (as amended) directs the protection of cultural resources under federal jurisdiction; federal agencies are required to determine the effects of a proposed action on any district, site, building, structure, or object that is included on, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places.  This means that any project that involves federal licensing, funding, or permitting, or that occurs on federal lands and leases, must identify, inventory, and evaluate the National Register eligibility of any cultural resources that could be adversely affected by the proposed project. 

The National Historic Preservation Act also established the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation and State Historic Preservation Officers and required the adoption of state historic preservation plans.  Specifically, Section 106 requires all federal agencies to determine how their project would affect National Register eligible or listed cultural resources and allows the Advisory Council to comment before the action occurs.  Section 110 requires all federal agencies to survey and inventory their properties for cultural resources, prompting the necessity for a Phase I investigation. 

The National Environmental Policy Act requires the federal government to protect significant historical, cultural, and natural aspects of the national heritage; it also expands the scope of cultural resource legislation to include resources important not only on a national level but also on a local or state level.

Additionally, some county comprehensive plans require a Phase I archeological investigation in order to attain rezoning approval or the issuance of a special use permit, and some local jurisdictions, such as the City of Alexandria, have passed regulations that require archeological investigations of varying levels at various points in the development process.


Thunderbird Archeology’s professionals are members of:

  • The Register of Professional Archaeologists;
  • The Council of Virginia Archaeologists;
  • The Archeological Society of Virginia;
  • The Society for Historical Archaeology;
  • The Society for American Archaeology;
  • The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference;
  • and The Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists.



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