Archaeological Resources
Archaeaological Resources
Learn more about Bear Creek archaeology and stream restoration.

Archaeological resources provide tangible evidence of past human cultures. In the United States archaeological sites are typically characterized as precontact (before the arrival of Europeans) or historic (after the arrival of Europeans). There are many types of archaeological resources but the most common are artifacts and features.

Artifacts are portable objects that reflect human activity. Examples of artifacts include pottery, cans, shards of glass, and projectile points. Artifacts found individually are referred to as isolates. If there are multiple features found in their original locations they may constitute a site.

Features are nonmoveable elements of an archaeological site. Features are evidence of human activity that primarily consist of cultural materials which are integrated into natural layer. Features can include trash pits, hearths, walls, or pathways.

The Washington Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation regulates archaeological resources at the state level and ensure compliance with federal laws that protect these irreplaceable resources.  The Washington State Standards for Cultural Resources Reporting is updated annually and provide guidance for protecting and managing resources including in preparation for development of a site.