Section 106 Archaeology Guidance - Terms Defined

Definitions of terms used in the guidance 

A historic property (or historic resource) is defined in the NHPA [54 U.S.C. § 300308] as any “prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion on, the National Register of Historic Places, including artifacts, records, and material remains related to such a property or resource.” Following National Register Bulletin No.


47. What are a federal agency’s responsibilities to complete Section 106 review?

A federal agency’s responsibilities are met when the agency has completed the Section 106 process. If a Section 106 agreement has been executed, such completion includes implementation of those stipulations or provisions contained in the agreement (e.g., completion of a data recovery plan, analysis and curation of retained materials, final reporting of results in professional and public formats).

Reaching agreement on appropriate treatment

41. What information is needed to decide on treatment options?

Consulting about possible options to resolve adverse effects should begin with basic information about the eligible or listed archaeological site and the nature of the federal undertaking. At this point in consultation, the federal agency has already determined the property is eligible for listing or is listed on the National Register.

Determining which archaeological sites are significant: Evaluation

31. How are eligibility determinations made in Section 106 review? 

The regulations require the federal agency to apply the National Register eligibility criteria in consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or NHO that attaches traditional religious and cultural significance to the property [36 CFR § 800.4(c)(1)]. During such consultation, a federal agency may use in-house expertise or rely on information and recommendations provided by applicants or consultants/contractors.

Determining which archaeological sites are significant: Identification

18. Does the federal agency have to identify or locate every archaeological site for Section 106 review?

No. The ACHP’s regulations do not require the identification of all of the archaeological sites within the area of potential effects (APE). Rather, federal agencies are expected to make a “reasonable and good faith effort” to identify historic properties, including archaeological sites listed or eligible for listing on the National Register in the APE.

Section 106 Consultation about Archaeology

7. What is Section 106 consultation?

The ACHP’s regulations define consultation as “the process of seeking, discussing, and considering the views of other participants, and, where feasible, seeking agreement with them regarding matters arising in the Section 106 process” [36 CFR § 800.16(f)].

Section 106 Archaeology Guidance - Index of Questions Addressed

Getting started in the Section 106 process

  1. What are a federal agency’s responsibilities under Section 106 of the NHPA?
  2. What is the role of the federal agency official in the Section 106 process?
  3. What is the ACHP’s policy on dealing with burial sites, human remains, and funerary objects?
  4. Does issuance of an ARPA permit constitute a
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