Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Cultural Resources


historical artifact

Mapping Archaeological Sites

Boundaries of archaeological sites 10 acres or larger must be digitized as polygons.  The shapefile must be named sitepl.shp.  Archaeological sites smaller than 10 acres may also be digitized as polygons to better represent the site’s topographic situation or relationship to its surroundings. 

Archaeological sites smaller than 10 acres may be digitized as points or lines in separate shapefiles.  They may also be digitized as polygons, if more efficient or a better representation of the site’s topographic situation or relationship to its surroundings.  Use whichever feature type best represents the shape and situation of the site.

If sites are represented as points, the shapefile must be named sitept.shp.  If archaeological sites are represented as lines, the shapefile must be named siteli.shp.

Under no circumstances shall Consultants map non-sites or features that have not been assigned OSA site numbers.

Attribute Table Definitions for SITEPL, SITELI, and SITEPT Shapefiles

Field Name Type Length Precision Scale Values
PROJ_N Text 40 0 0

Project Number, e.g.
SP 73-602-17
SAP 14-599-33
CP 193-334-206

If there is no project number, enter a descriptive term to identify the project.

SITENUM Text 8 0 0 Site identification Number (i.e. 21ML0106).  Be sure that this exactly matches the site number as represented in OSA’s digital database.



64 8 1 Estimated site area, in acres. Fractions (in 1/10ths of an acre) are allowed.



64 5 1 Distance in meters from the line or point feature represented to its outermost edge.  In other words, half the width of a linear feature or radius of a point feature.  Do not report the distance from one outer edge to the other outer edge.  This field should be coded as 0 for polygon features, since there should be no additional feature “width” beyond the polygon’s boundaries.
CONTRACTOR Text 30 0 0 Name of contractor performing survey (ALL CAPS)
MAP_METH Text 1 0 0

Mapping method, i.e.
1 - Digitized from paper
2 - Generated from GPS
3 – Heads up digitizing

4 – Buffered centerline or point
5 - Imported from CAD or GIS data



4 4   Year of survey



64 18 11 Maximum observed depth of site, to the nearest 1/10th meter.