Despite years of research in our state, many of the state’s archaeological resources are still unknown. This is due to a number of factors, including the limited number of archaeologists working in the state relative to the size of Nebraska, limited funding for archaeological research, and limited access to lands for survey. Regardless of the amount of effort put forth by professional archaeologists, increasing our collective knowledge of archaeology across the state is very dependent on the help of landowners and local residents who know the land and resources best.
Everyone can help record archaeological sites. If you know about or have found an archaeological site, NAPA encourages you to consider reporting it to the Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS), the clearinghouse for archaeology in Nebraska. The NSHS State Archeology Office (SAO) maintains a database of every archaeological site reported in the state. This database is used by professional archaeologists during compliance reviews to ensure consideration of site significance and preservation during construction, as well as for research into our state’s 12,000+ years of human occupation. To date, the database contains information on more than 10,650 archaeological sites, ranging from recently abandoned farmsteads to Clovis projectile points found in blowouts!
If you have any questions regarding the Nebraska Archaeological Sites database or how to report an archaeological site you’ve discovered, visit nebraskahistory.org/archeo/resource.htm and nebraskahistory.org/archeo/faq.shtml for more information.
Looking for additional ways to get involved in documenting and preserving Nebraska’s archaeological resources?
• Become knowledgeable about the prehistory of our state and the people who have lived here over the past 12,000+ years.
• Record/report sites where you have found artifacts using the PDF form above. Avoid collecting or digging at sites – removing artifacts from a site removes a piece of the puzzle of Nebraska’s past!
• Report any site destruction you witness.
• Preserve archaeological sites on your property. Avoid unnecessary digging and soil disturbance around the site to save the important information your site may contain!
• Join the Nebraska Association of Professional Archaeologists and/or the Nebraska Archaeological Society!
• Sign up to volunteer at a public archaeology dig as opportunities become available! Email NAPA with your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our volunteer contact list.
• Explore and support your local historical society and/or museum. Volunteer to help with their archaeological collection needs, or help develop new exhibits!