DEEP: Archaeological Preserves on DEP Property

Archaeological Preserves on DEP Property

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Office of Connecticut State Archaeologist (OSA) are the lead agencies for the preservation of the state's archaeological and historic heritage and are responsible for identifying, evaluating, and protecting these resources.  The SHPO and OSA are responsible for monitoring all archaeological explorations of state-owned land and water and coordinate with both state and federal agencies during the planning stage of projects to augment the protection of archaeological resources.

Significant archaeological sites can be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places and be designated as a State Archaeological Preserve. Designating a property as an Archaeological Preserve gives the site a degree of protection, including protection from unauthorized excavation or other alternatives or disturbances. The SHPO interprets all metal detecting (ground penetrating radar, resistivity, etc.) as archaeological field techniques and as such, warrant coordination with SHPO for an archaeological permit on sites considered to be Archaeological Preserves.

Archaeological Preserves on DEP Property

1.  Putnam Memorial State Park, Redding and Bethel (designated 1/2001)
{Putanm Memorial}
Statute of General Israel Putnam located at the entrance to the park.
2.  Axle Shop-Spring Factory Archaeological Site, Sleeping Giant State Park, Hamden (designated 2/2001)
3.  Quinnebaug River Prehistoric Archaeological District, Canterbury (designated 5/2003)
4.  Aunt Polly Houseboat Site, Gillette Castle State Park, Hadlyme (designated 5/2003)
5.  Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company, Lover's Leap State Park, New Milford (designated 5/2003)
6.  Viaducts on the Air Line State Park Trail, Colchester and East Hampton, (designated 12/2003)
7.  Fort Griswold State Park, Groton (designated 10/2006)

  {Ft. Griswold cannons}
Ft. Griswold's gates and cannons


Prohibited Activities Within Preserve Areas:

  • Excavating or digging of any sort
  • Use of metal detectors
  • Removal of any artifacts, human remains, or fossil remains from the site
  • Camping of any sort
  • Altering or disturbing the site in any way
  • Placement of letterboxes and geocaches

Connecticut General Statutes:

Sec. 10-386. Permit for archaeological investigation on state lands. Regulations. (a) No person may conduct an archaeological investigation on state lands or on a state archaeological preserve without a permit from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Any such permit shall be issued with the concurrence of the State Archaeologist. The applicant shall submit an application on such form as the commission may prescribe and with such information as the commission, after consultation with the State Archaeologist and the advisory council established pursuant to section 10-382, deems necessary, including, but not limited to, the time, scope, location and specific purpose of the proposed research. The applicant shall submit (1) evidence satisfactory to the commission of qualifications to perform the excavation, including evidence of experience, training and knowledge; (2) an excavation plan for the site satisfactory to the commission which includes provisions on the method of excavation and (3) a written statement that upon completion of the excavation the applicant shall submit a report of the investigation which shall include a description of archaeological artifacts discovered and relevant maps, documents, drawings and photographs. No permit shall be issued for an investigation that would disturb a known Native American cemetery, burial site or other sacred site without the review of the advisory council established pursuant to section 10-382. Failure to comply with the terms of a permit issued under this section shall be grounds to deny a subsequent permit.

Sec. 10-390. Penalty. (a) No person shall excavate, damage or otherwise alter or deface any archaeological or sacred site on state lands or within a state archaeological preserve unless such activity is in accordance with the terms and conditions of a permit issued under section 10-386 or in the case of an emergency.
      (b) No person shall sell, exchange, transport, receive or offer to sell, any archaeological artifact or human remains collected, excavated or otherwise removed from state lands or a state archaeological preserve in violation of subsection (a) of this section.
      (c) No person shall engage in any activity that will desecrate, disturb or alter any Native American burial, sacred site or cemetery, including any associated objects, unless the activity is engaged in pursuant to a permit issued under section 10-386 or under the direction of the State Archaeologist.
      (d) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or twice the value of the site or artifact that was the subject of the violation, whichever is greater, and imprisoned not more than five years or both.
      (e) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be liable to the state for the reasonable costs and expenses of the state in restoring the site and any associated sacred objects or archaeological artifacts.

Content last updated July 28, 2008