PAST, INC. provides archaeological and cultural resources studies throughout the western United States. With diverse experience and a proven track record, our investigations are performed in a timely, cost-effective, and high-quality manner. Because the cost of an investigation is directly related to the nature, size, and scale of a particular project, all jobs are individually evaluated before a cost estimate is provided. To properly evaluate a project, we require that our clients first provide us a map depicting the size, shape, and location of the subject property as well as any other relevant information about the proposed project such as a project description and the identification of the agency requiring the study. After this information is received, we will review all of the project material and conduct a review of our in-house records. PAST, INC. will then develop a proposed scope-of-work and cost estimate for the project; the details of which can be quickly transmitted back to our clients by phone, Email or FAX. Most of our contracts are based on a firm fixed price so our clients know the exact cost of an investigation; however, our services can also be billed on a time and expenses basis depending upon the scope of the project. To obtain a proposal from us for a specific project, please provide us with the relevant project information stated above by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the services we offer (please note that the terminology used may vary depending upon the governing body that is requiring the study and the applicable laws that are being addressed), as well as a brief general explanation of their purpose and goals include:
Phase I Cultural Resources Survey and Inventories (including Initial Evaluations in the City of Malibu)
• Conducting a survey or inventory is usually the first step taken in the cultural resources evaluation process.
• The purpose of this study is to identify any known or suspected prehistoric or historic resources that may be located on a property.
• The scope-of-work for these projects generally include: a review or relevant documents, a records search from an archaeological information center, an on-foot field inspection of the subject property, and a written report documenting the findings of the study.
• Within the final report recommendations are made regarding the need for further steps in the evaluation process for resources revealed during the investigation as well as those which may be inadvertently discovered during any work on the property.
Phase II Evaluations and/or Subsurface Testing
• If the initial study was able to identify any known or suspected cultural resources, additional investigations may be needed.
• The purpose of these evaluations is to further define the nature and extent of the resource(s) and to assess their importance as defined by various Federal, State, and local laws, ordinances, and regulations.
• Depending upon the nature of the resources investigative work on these types of projects may include additional historic research; documentation; subsurface archaeological testing; artifact analysis; comparisons with other nearby and regional cultural resources; and consultations with various officials, agencies, organizations, and individuals.
• If the identified resources a not found to be important, then no additional investigations are generally required prior to work on a project; however, excavation monitoring may be needed to ensure that additional finds are documented and evaluated properly.
• Should it be determined that any cultural resources located on a property qualify as “important” and that the implementation of a proposed project will have a significant effect upon the environment, a Phase III data recovery program will be needed to mitigate any impacts should avoidance (the preferred alternative) not be possible.
• The complete findings of the investigation, along with any determinations and recommendation, are detailed in a written report.
Phase III Data Recovery Programs
• If “important” cultural resources are identified following the results of a Phase II evaluation, a Phase III data recovery program will be needed.
• The purpose of a Phase III data recovery program is to mitigate adverse impacts upon important cultural resources.
• The scope-of-work for data recovery programs are project-specific and are guided by an explicit research design.
• The work plans for these programs usually call for the scientific data recovery of an appropriate sample of the resource. This sampling may include surface collections and archaeological excavate, followed by analyses of the recovered materials and a final technical report.
• The monitoring of grading or excavation work by an archaeologist is usually required for projects following the completion of the phases listed above as well as in cases where surface conditions or other factors (e.g., under existing roads, trenching, landslides, fill, etc.) hinder an evaluation prior to implementation of specific work on a project.
• The purpose of archaeological monitoring is to identify and evaluated any known or suspected cultural resources. It is important to note that nearly all archaeological evaluations are based on testing and sampling a small portion (generally 15% or less) of any given area. As such, it is possible that important archaeological resources and other unfortunate finds such as human remains may still be present within a project area despite all efforts to previously detect them.
• The scope of archaeological monitoring depends on many factors (e.g., the geology of the area, the type and number of excavation equipment being employed at any one time, the size of the project, etc.). Proper budgeting considerations should consider that stop work orders may be needed as part of a project in order to allow archaeologists and others (e.g., Native Americans, etc.) the time to properly evaluate any mitigate any important find(s).
• Like all previous stages of the cultural resource evaluation process, the final step of the monitoring program is the complete analyses of all recovered materials and the preparation of a final technical report.