The Office of State Archaeology (OSA) is housed within the Museum of Natural History/Connecticut Archaeology Center. The office was established by state legislation (CT G.S. Sec. 10a-112) in 1987 to identify, manage, and preserve Connecticut's archaeological resources. Toward this end OSA works with:
Developers and local municipal officials to review privately funded economic development projects, such as subdivisions, golf courses, shopping centers, etc., to determine their potential impact on cultural resources, and to make recommendations that help encourage preservations of archaeological sites. OSA also provides technical assistance to help municipal officials develop local laws to protect the cultural resources in their town.
Native American communities to help identify and preserve sacred sites, including burial grounds, and to provide for proper handling of Native American skeletal remains, and to assist in reburials in keeping with native traditions.
Avocational archaeologists, professional archaeologists, and academics to provide research tools and technical information concerning archaeological issues in Connecticut, and to serve as a clearinghouse for archaelogical information in the State.
Private non-profit organizations, such as land trusts and local historical organizations, to identify and help preserve cultural resources under their charge.
Concerned private citizens to repond to questions about artifacts they have discovered, or potential cultural resources on their own property.
Federal and State organizations such as the National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the Native American Advisory Council and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film, to respond when Connecticut based archaeological resources are at issue.
State Medical Examiners Office and Law Enforcement Agencies to provide technical assistance with skeletal remains older than 50 years, or those not necessarily associated with a crime, such as remains uncovered in an unmarked grave.
MNH/OSA is identified by law as the official repository for the State's collection of over 500,000 anthropological artifacts, and is responsible for its continued conservation and curation for future generations. The State Archaeologist is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and plays an ongoing role in CAC's educational programming for both professional and lay audiences.
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is OSA's sister state agenecy dealing with Connecticut archaeological issues. SHPO's responsibilities include:
-Managing review and compliance of Federal and State funded/permitted economic development projects, such as cell towers, Federal highway projects, Army Corps wetlands reconstruction projects, etc., for their impact on cultural resources.
-Management and development of State Archaeological Preserves.
-Nomination of archeological sites to the National Register of Historic Places.