The Iowa Archaeological Certification Program

The Office of the State Archaeologist developed the Iowa Archaeological Certification Program to promote interaction and cooperation among professionals and interested non-professionals throughout the state. The specific objectives of this program are to:

1. Train a group of individuals to assist career archaeologists in field and laboratory work. 
2. Increase the frequency of site reporting in the state and upgrade the quality of site reports. 
3. Impress upon nonprofessional archaeologists the importance of a well-planned, orderly, and controlled survey and excavation, and discourage the practice of pot-hunting and unsupervised digs. 
4. Involve capable individuals in a more meaningful way in the location and preservation of Iowa's prehistoric resources.

These objectives can be implemented by encouraging participation by non-professionals who are interested in archaeology. By participating in this program non-professionals will gain recognition for their effort. 

A certification registration form may be requested from Cherie Haury Artz, Certification Program Coordinator, at the address below, or downloaded here as a pdf under "Guidelines for Certification". Applicants must complete this form, listing the category or categories applied for, their interest in certification, their past education, and their experience in archaeology, and return it to the Office of the State Archaeologist with a one-time registration fee of $10.00 payable to the Iowa Archeological Society. This fee contributes to the administration of the program. An applicant must be a member of the Iowa Archeological Society. An individual membership costs $25.00 also payable to the Iowa Archeological Society. 

On receiving the registration form, the applicant's previous experience will be evaluated and considered as partial or complete fulfillment of the field experience requirement. A record will be kept at the Office of the State Archaeologist of the applicant's previous experience and the remaining criteria needed to be met in order to become certified. 

The applicant will then be sent instructions for completing certification in any one of the three categories. All applicants will receive a list of basic information with which they should become familiar by the time of the certification exams. The person applying for certification as site surveyor will also receive site forms and instructions on how to complete them. Information on recording archaeological sites may also be found at this website

In general, the program requirements are designed to provide an enjoyable educational experience that offers the applicant the opportunity to learn essential skills to conduct archaeological work under the supervision of a professional archaeologist and gain an appreciation for the protection and preservation of Iowa's archaeological past. 

For more information about the program, contact Cherie Haury Artz, Certification Program Coordinator at the Office of the State Archaeologist. A complete copy of the Guidelines to the Certification Program including a registration form may be downloaded here as a PDF. 

Cherie Haury Artz
Archaeological Certification Program
Office of the State Archaeologist
700 South Clinton Street Building
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1030

Phone: 319-384-0741