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Paper Record Submissions FAQ: Archaeological Site Forms

Many questions often arise concerning archaeological records and the proper format for submission to the Utah Division of State History, State of Utah Historic Preservation Office.  Answers to some of the more frequent questions and issues can be found below.

Most of these items are recommendations or professional courtesies and not a requirement unless otherwise stated. If your question is not covered below please contact a Records staff member at Many standards have been purposefully left in the hands of the land managing agency or at the discretion of the field archaeologist. If you find a conflicting standard or recommendation please contact us.

  • Please staple site forms together including photos. Photos detached from their site form are unacceptable. Please avoid paper clipping the record together as elements often get lost.
  • Site forms should not be bound as part of the report. Site forms should be included separately and be stapled.
  • Site forms should be typed and professionally formatted.  Handwritten forms are unacceptable.
  • IMACS Encoding forms are currently required. Encoding forms can be either paper clipped to the site form, or stapled to either the front or back of the site form.  Please do not include the encoding form in the middle of the site form. Additionally, if submitting double-sided site forms, leave the encoding form single sided, and again, at the front or back of the form. If you’d like to submit encoded data electronically please see contact a staff member.
  • Encoding forms for updated or revisited site forms are required. Only the updated fields need to be completed.
  • Printing your reports and site forms double-sided is acceptable and helps save space and trees. But, please do not include the encoding form as part of the double-siding (see above).
  • Concerning the Smithsonian trinomial, we do not require a six-digit expression of the numeric component. We prefer no extra zeros be added. For example 42KA111 is the preferred composition versus 42KA000111.
  • Concerning the Smithsonian trinomial, we have no requirement on the capitalization of the two letter county abbreviation.
  • Please be sure all figures, especially maps, are clearly legible in your final print out. These figures are often used to relocate resources and/or digitize from- please provide these figures with this in mind.
  • We discourage unjustified lumping or splitting of sites. If you are splitting a previously recorded site into smaller sites or combining previously recorded sites into one larger site please contact us for guidance. At a minimum simple one-page site forms for each impacted site will need to be produced justifying the change and informing future researchers of the updated condition.
  • Previously recorded site records obtained during a project’s literature search should not be included in the submission packet- unless you are confident State History does not have a copy and are providing it as such.
  • For standards concerning photographs in site forms please reference our page on photos.
  • It is appreciated, but not yet required, that photographs be additionally provided on printed on standard sheets of paper.  This allows for easy sheet feeding through a copier or scanner.
  • Since an archaeological site excavation project permanently alters the site, an update to the site’s IMACS form is required as part of the final report.
  • Site forms should always include a map, based on a USGS 24k quadrangle, that clearly shows the site location.
  • If the site form is an update or addendum of a previously recorded site, it should be clearly noted next to the site number.
  • Sites that straddle county boundaries require two number- one for each county.  One site recording should be generated, but two copies of the site form should be provided.
  • A paper copy of your report and associated site form is required.  In addition to the paper record, we encourage you provide a digital copy of your records submission as well.  Information concerning these additional submissions will be updated soon.

All site recording and reporting should be completed in consultation and compliance with relevant landowner standards and practices.  Where such standards do not match those listed above please contact us. See additional FAQs here.