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What do we do

Archaeological Overview Assessments (AOAs)

Prior to conducting an AIA or archaeological impact assessment, areas of archaeological potential have to be identified.  Two methods are used to identify the areas within a proposed development to contain protected but unrecorded archaeological sites: archaeological overview assessment (AOA) or an archaeological review.

The archaeology Branch maintains an inventory of records for known (recorded) archaeological sites protected under the Heritage Conservation Act (HCA).  An archaeological consultant should be retained to access this information and provide professional interpretation of the records.

Archaeological Overview Assessments (AOAs) provide planning-level evaluation of archaeological assessments and permitting needs for a project, with a focus on identifying or determining if there are significant archaeological issues.

The main tasks of an AOA include 1) a search of the remote Access for Archaeological Data (RAAD) database administered by the Archaeology Branch; 2) a literature review of readily available published and unpublished reports, ethnographies, maps, documents, and records on file with the Archaeology Branch; 3) Traditional Use information, if available can be incorporated into the AOA background research. This information is compiled to determine the need for further archaeological assessments for a project.

When a proposed development area is relatively small, or there are only a few small areas to be studied, archaeological reviews are sometimes performed instead of conducting a large AOA.  These archaeological reviews compile known site locations, site potential and expert knowledge of an area, which result in a brief summary report determining the risk of archaeological site potential and need for further field study.

Often, a Preliminary Field Reconnaissance (PFR) is conducted following an AOA, or as part of, to confirm or refute the archeological potential rating and the need for further archaeological field inspection.

Do you need an AOA? Please contact us for a cost estimate.