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What is archaeology?

Using horses to grade a road in the early 1900sArchaeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. It is a subfield of anthropology, the study of all human culture.

Archaeological resources vary greatly in their nature, content, context, and extent and are non-renewable. From 14,000 year-old material remains of our earliest human ancestors in central Oregon to the remains of 20th century buildings in Portland, archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture.

What services do archaeological staff provide?ODOT staff show students how to search for artifacts

ODOT’s archaeological staff identify and evaluate archaeological resources and develop appropriate avoidance, minimization or mitigation measures on a case-by-case basis.

ODOT archaeologists work statewide as part of project development teams and are responsible for taking into account the effects of ODOT projects on archaeological resources.

Guidance Materials




Contact the Geo-Environmental Section

4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, MS 6
Salem, Oregon 97302
Phone: 503-986-3252
Fax: 503-986-3249

Program Contacts

Phone: 503-877-8491

Phone: 541-315-1713

Phone: 503-949-0842
Phone: 541-963-4438
Phone: 541-812-2487
Phone: 503-986-3375

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