Archaeology assessments and studies

In B.C., archaeological sites are investigated and protected for their historical, cultural, scientific and educational value to the general public, local communities and First Nations. 

The following 3 study types help us identify and assess archaeological sites to determine whether proposed projects will impact archaeological resources.   

Last updated: February 3, 2021 

1. Archaeological Overview Assessments

Archaeological Overview Assessments (AOAs) allow for a desktop assessment of several variables (e.g., known archaeological sites, traditional land use, or environmental variables) to identify and assess the potential of an area for as-yet unrecorded archaeological sites. An AOA may be a large-scale GIS model, or small-scale map review. Please note that the Branch has established guidelines for AOAs.

Visit our Archaeological Overview Assessment page for more information.

2. Preliminary Field Reconnaissance

Preliminary Field Reconnaissance studies (PFRs) may be conducted without a permit to conduct a field evaluation of archaeological potential. Non-permitted preliminary field reconnaissance studies can be conducted in accordance with Best Practices for Recording Results of Non-permitted Preliminary Field Reconnaissance (PFR) Studies (PDF 36 KB)

Visit our Preliminary Field Reconnaissance page for more information.

3. Archaeological Impact Assessments

Archaeological Impact Assessments (AIAs) are conducted by archaeologists under permit, and allow for subsurface investigations, artifact collections, and other activities.

Visit our Archaeological Impact Assessment page for more information.