Enhancing cultural resource projects with customized, comprehensive, and strategic interpretations of landscape history.
SWCA geoarchaeologists have garnered academic and consulting-oriented experience through research-based projects in university settings and participation in multiple phases of cultural resources projects. Our approach yields more precise results, more efficiently, by detecting potential locations for buried archaeological sites and ruling out unlikely sites, generating a deeper understanding of landform history, and evaluating archaeological site preservation.
Our experience includes literature review and assessment, archaeological site probability models, extensive deep testing and survey, site-intensive sampling for investigations of integrity and paleoenvironmental contexts, investigations on the microscale of depositional processes, soil formation, and archaeological evidence through archaeological micromorphology. SWCA has a team of skilled and experienced geoarchaeologists that continue to expand our capabilities across the U.S.
- OSHA Excavation Competency Training
- Register for Professional Archaeologists
- Texas Administrative Code 13 TAC 26.4 (9)
Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology
American Academy of Underwater Sciences
American Cultural Resources Association
American Institute of Professional Geologists
Ceramic Petrographers in the Americas
Council of Texas Archeologists
Geological Society of America
Illinois Association for Advancement of Archaeology
Society for American Archaeology
Society for Archaeological Sciences
Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology
Southeastern Archaeology Conference
Texas Archeological Society
SWCA has a laboratory with in-house magnetic susceptibility, texture analysis, and chemical analyses to support field-based investigations, and we have successfully worked laboratory results and chronometric modeling into project reports.
SWCA can perform underwater archaeological services including synthesis of coastal underwater resources, regulatory agency permitting, underwater geological coring, interpretation of geologic deposits and cultural integrity, evaluation of project designs and impact to cultural resources, identifying locales for potential buried cultural resources. SWCA has divers across the country that are certified to dive in riverine, coastal, and marine environments.
Using a combination of geological datasets and GIS spatial analysis, SWCA can perform desktop studies to predict the potential for buried archaeological sites and determine whether project components will impact subsurface cultural resources. The resulting buried site sensitivity model can inform consulting parties on potential risks of project implementation and be used to target sites for testing and mitigation.
Sediment analysis using microscopy that supplements stratigraphic analysis and landscape studies through: detection of microscopic archaeological evidence (charcoal, bone, shell, microdebitage, etc.); analysis of microstratigraphy and depositional environments; determination of vertical and horizontal site boundaries; analysis of site preservation; and the evaluation of buried soils (A horizons) along with their relative availability as a surface potentially available for past human activity.
Petrographic analysis (optical mineralogy) is a method in geology used to classify rocks. In archaeology, petrography is used to analyze the composition or microstructure of ceramic artifacts such as pottery, brick, tiles, daub, and other cultural materials composed of fired clay. Understanding the composition of ceramic materials helps our clients make decisions based on knowledge of cultural heritage, ceramic technology, social interaction, and the movement of people.
Non-invasive deep testing that extracts stratigraphically intact sediment cores from subsurface deposits. Collected in clear plastic tubes, there is no limit for coring depth. A highly efficient method that provides a permanent record of subsurface stratigraphy potentially containing charcoal, bone, shell, artifacts, and other cultural material. They are highly sensitive for detecting previously occupied surfaces (buried A-horizons or paleosols).
- Radiocarbon Collection
- Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Collection
- Chronometric Modeling
- Regional Landscape Reconstructions and Archaeological Correlations
- Underwater Geology
- Archaeological Test and Data Recovery Investigations
- Cultural Deposit and Site Integrity Interpretations
- Desktop Assessments and Predictive Modeling
- Deep Test Excavations
- Mechanical Excavation and GeoProbe Coring
- Laboratory Analysis
- Maritime Archaeology
Meet the Experts
Principal Investigator / Project Manager
Ken has 30 years of archaeological experience on projects across the U.S. He specializes in prehistoric archaeology, deep testing excavation, geoarchaeological research, and laboratory analyses.
Anna has 9 years of experience on projects across the U.S. She specializes in deep test excavations, geoarchaeological investigations, and interpretation of cultural deposits and site integrity.
Mary Ann Vicari
Mary Ann has 17 years of experience in the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. She specializes in sensitivity modeling, particle-size analysis, stratigraphic profiling, and interpretations of depositional context and post-depositional processes.
Assistant Project Archaeologist
Ashley has 12 years of experience focused in Texas and surrounding states. Her specialties include deep test excavation, geoarchaeological sampling and laboratory analyses, and interpretation of cultural deposits and site integrity.
Karleen has 12 years of experience in California and southern Mexico. Her specialties include pottery analysis, ceramic petrography, and clay surveys for ceramic provenance.
Associate Project Archaeologist
Analise has 7 years of experience in terrestrial and underwater archaeology. Her specialties include underwater surveys, site integrity and ID, geologic deposit interpretation.
Josh has 20 years of archaeological experience in Texas, the Great Basin, the Columbia Plateau, and Alaska. He specializes in fluvial and arid geoarchaeology, geochronology, prehistoric lithic technology, and peopling of the Americas.