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Archaeological Services

Surveying, Testing, Mitigation, Archaeological Monitoring,

 Cemetery Studies...

History and Architectural History

Historical Architecture Evaluation and Nomination, 

Genealogical Research...

Mapping and GIS Services

GIS Data Management, Remote Sensing, Drone Mapping, 3D Landscape Modeling...

Natural and Earth Sciences

NEPA Compliance, Geophysical studies, Geomorphological Studies...

                      for a brief Services flyer in .pdf format.

Archaeological Services

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Phase I Archaeological Survey

Phase I archaeological survey identifies where sites are located, if any, in the client’s project area. It involves both background research and survey of the project area. Based on the results of the research and survey, CARA will evaluate the presence of any archaeological site(s). If the results of our investigation suggest that the project area contains culturally significant sites, as defined by state standards and the National Historic Preservation Act, CARA will recommend 1) avoidance of the site, or 2) further testing.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Phase II Archaeological Evaluation

Phase II archaeological investigation provides this further testing. During this more intensive phase, test units are excavated to determine the presence and extent of intact subsurface features. (Features are typically soil anomalies that can either be cultural— such as a post hole or fire pit— or noncultural— like a tree root or rodent burrow.) CARA will analyze the information recovered from these excavations and based upon those results, will recommend 1) avoidance of the site, 2) further recovery of cultural remains, or 3) that no further testing is necessary.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Phase III Data Recovery

Phase III is the most intensive stage of cultural resource recovery. It is recommended only when Phase I and Phase II investigations yielded significant cultural resources. Phase III data recovery is a more intensive version of Phase II, involving large excavation units and recording of features. This final stage of mitigation will allow the client to proceed with their plans while preserving the cultural resources to the extent that the law requires.

Ethnobotanical Analyses

Ethnobotany is the study of how humans interact with and use plants in their surrounding environment. Within archaeological studies, this is accomplished by using flotation to obtain plant remains from archaeological deposits. These remains can be related to food processing, textile production, fuel sources, and even remedies for illnesses. When combined with other forms of archaeological data, ethnobotanical data can answer many research questions as to diet, seasonality, foraging strategies, textile production and use, and many others.

Archaeofaunal Analyses

Archaeofaunal analyses are studies of the animal remains from an archaeological site. From these kinds of studies, archaeologists can often discern much about the prehistoric or historic environment and the people who lived there. These kinds of analyses seek to answer questions about subsistence, diet and dietary stress, hunting strategies and preferences, seasonality of occupations, and many others.


CARA will maintain an annual curation agreement with Antonio J. Waring Archaeological Research Laboratory in Carrolton, Georgia. CARA complies with all state, federal, and agency-specific guidance and standards for archaeological materials curation.

Archaeological Collection Curation

Oral history projects are interviews with living people who remember or can inform about historic individuals, communities, lifeways, food, music, and many other facets of historic culture. These interviews give cultural context to historical, genealogical, and archaeological studies, and contribute to the larger field of ethnology- the study of the characteristics of different cultural groups and how those peoples and characteristics relate to one another. 

Oral History- Ethnology

Ethnoarchaeology is the ethnographic study of the material and non-material traditions of modern cultural groups in order to inform the study of archaeological material culture. These studies seek to reconstruct historic or prehistoric lifeways, customs, and technologies based upon modern people. This kind of study is invaluable to the understanding of the archaeological record.


Historic cemeteries often have poorly-defined boundaries which do not encompass all the burials present, records that do not account for all burials present, burial markers which are missing (making location of a specific interment difficult), or the cemetery is forgotten entirely. For many real estate transactions, construction projects, cemetery registry, or cemetery maintenance, determining the presence, location, and identity of human burials becomes a concern. While graves less than 50 years of age are generally the purview of a funeral home, most states in the region will request an archaeologist investigate these kinds of questions when managing a cemetery of more than 50 years of age. CARA uses a combination of techniques to relocate graves, including archival research, remote sensing, geophysical survey, hand excavation, and mechanical excavation.

Cemetery Location and Identification
Native American Consultation

Many individual historic properties, federal lands, and private lands or projects receiving federal funding are required to draft and implement a cultural resources management plan which details all of the information about known resources as well as how archaeological or architectural properties are to be maintained and managed. CARA has extensive experience with the creation and revision of cultural resources management plans for project areas as small as a 1.25-acre historic cemetery to management plans for entire military installations, National Archaeological Districts, and National Battlefields.

Cultural Resources Management Plans

CARA offers contracting services for cultural resources management and archaeological research, including Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS) dating, radiocarbon dating, thermoluminescence (TL) dating, electrolytic reduction of oxides, artifact stabilization, petrographic analysis, phytolith analysis, and residue analysis, among other services.

Analytical Services

Sometimes, as part of an Environmental Assessment (EA), a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) will be requested. The goal of a SIA is to analyze, monitor and manage the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions. Its primary purpose is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable biophysical and human environment.

Environmental Assessment (EA) Social Impact Assessments (SIAs)

Enacted in 1990, the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was created to address the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, including human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. Federal agencies, universities, and museums sometimes have Native American remains or funerary items in collections, or they are encountered during archaeological excavations. The repatriation process involves a thorough analysis and inventory of all remains and associated objects, followed by publishing findings and notices in the Federal Register. From that point, tribes which claim descent are consulted on the specifics of repatriating the remains and objects.   

History and Architectural History

Historical, Genealogical, and Literature Research

Historic Landscapes are places that foster a sense of community, and offer identity at a local, state, or national level. These places can be places as small as a quarter-acre to an entire vista. As development encroaches on these places, it is increasingly important to document them for future generations. Measured drawings, written histories, photography, and many other forms of media are used to document these special places, which are housed in the Library of Congress.

Historic Landscape Survey

The Historic American Building Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) document achievements in architecture and engineering. These records are housed by the Library of Congress. HABS/HAER documentation is often requested by a State Preservation Office (SHPO) in conjunction with an evaluation of special historic properties.  

HABS/HAER Documentation

A historical architecture survey is a review of all structures in or near a project area which are fifty years of age or older. These structures are documented through description, classification, architectural sketches, photography, and historical research so that they can be considered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Historical Architecture Survey and Evaluation

Computer analysis of aerial photography, historic maps, LiDAR data, digital elevation models, and other types of remote sensing data can yield valuable insights as to the history and nature of a parcel of land. Photogrammetry uses remote sensing data to extract 3D models from 2D data.   

Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry

CARA offers 3D modeling and rendering services using our own in-house photographic, aerial systems, and mapping systems combined with ESRI's 3D Analyst, Drone2Map, and Survey Analyst extensions for ArcMap, ArcScene, and ArcGlobe. We also offer a suite of 3D modeling solutions using state-of-the-art rendering software.

3D Modeling and Imaging

When trying to understand phenomena across space and time, spatial and geostatistical analyses are often employed to model geographic data. Generally speaking, these types of analysis can model (and sometimes predict) trends in a exceedingly wide range of datasets, such as natural or environmental phenomena, real estate, crime, or demographic trends through time, traffic patterns, utility coverage or reliability, and many other applications.    

Geostatistical and Spatial Analysis

Our custom GIS programming services seek to create GIS data processing or analysis tools tailored to your organization's workflow. Primarily, we use the ArcObjects suite of tools to create custom APIs for ESRI's ArcMap and ArcPad software.     

Desktop and Mobile GIS Programming and Customization

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are widely used by many industries and has become an important data management tool for land management, development planning, and analysis of information across space and time. These datasets can be quite extensive, and thus time-intensive and complex to create and maintain. CARA's cartographic staff specializes in the creation and management of custom-made GIS to place the information your organization needs at your fingertips. 

GIS Data Acquisition and Management

CARA maintains a cartographic and survey staff with multiple years of experience in the operation of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Total Station mapping solutions. CARA maintains a suite of GPS and survey-grade equipment. Whether planning construction, providing maps for signage or brochures, or simply in need of exact spatial measurement, CARA's survey staff has the skills, ability, and equipment to meet all mapping needs. 

GPS and Total Station mapping and stake-out services
Geophysical Services

Geophysical methods are the most preferred non-destructive method to investigate archaeological sites or cemeteries. There are several different methods to detect subsurface geophysical anomalies: ground-penetrating radar, gradiometry, magnetometry, electrical conductivity and resistivity, and X-ray refraction are common examples of these technologies. CARA offers the expertise and experience necessary to successfully employ these technologies.

Geomorphological Analysis

Understanding landscape-level geologic processes is essential in understanding the geoarchaeology of a given site, and how deposits relate to natural landscape processes. This understanding becomes especially important in karst, riverine, or coastal environments as these environments can change rapidly.

Photography and Videography Services

CARA maintains a staff, equipment, and software for a wide range of photographic and videographic services. We specialize in high-resolution digital photography of antiquities, which are often required for insurance purposes, photographic restorations, and aerial photography, videographic, and photogrammetry services.

Aerial Drone Photography, Videography, and Photogrammetry

Whether in need of a stunningly executed and edited aerial video for your web page, aerial photography for use with GIS or cartographic projects, or monitoring services for farming, construction, or land management, CARA offers a variety of drone services tailored to each client's needs. Our operators are licensed and insured, and routinely serve diverse industries such as real estate, advertising, construction, forestry, and agriculture, among others. 

Natural and Earth Sciences

Mapping and GIS Services

Projects often require research components to understand the historic context of a given structure, archaeological site, or object. Our historians and researchers excel at locating primary source materials from a wide variety of archival sources, and then synthesizing this information into a rich historical narrative. Research can include history of an individual from written or oral history accounts, genealogical studies, the investigation of a whole community, or the complex relationships between entire settlement systems.

Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) consultation

Native American tribes are often consulted on federal undertakings, as required by law. The process of consulting with Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) can be difficult and confusing for the uninitiated, and because the process often takes long periods of time in advance of a project, failure to follow the proper procedures, include all consulting parties, or file all the required documentation can cause major delays for a project. CARA provides management services for these kinds of consultations, ensuring the timely and successful completion of the compliance process for our clients.