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Senior Archaeologist (Field Director - SOI Qualified - Mid-Atlantic Region)

Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc. "SEARCH"
VA, Virginia
Closing date
Apr 25, 2024

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Position Type
Cultural Resource Management
Full Time
Organization Type
Title: Lead/Senior Archaeologist
Location: Mid-Atlantic Region
Job Code: AMA-24
Job Link: SEARCH Job Postings - Direct Applications

Position Information

SEARCH has an immediate opening for full-time Lead or Senior Archaeologists to join our Terrestrial Archaeology division. Selected candidates must be based in the mid-Atlantic region with regional CRM experience and be Secretary of the Interior Qualified in Archaeology.

The position will supervise and perform Phase I, II, and III archaeological studies in accordance with a research design. Selected candidate is responsible for implementation of the Health & Safety plan; pre-field research; preparing field materials; logistical planning; overseeing and conducting fieldwork; analyzing artifacts and data; writing or contributing to progress reports, technical reports, and other deliverables; recommending modifications to the research design, health and safety plans, and other project plans; and quality control. The role will frequently supervise other project team members. The Senior Archaeologist supervises other project team members and report to Principal Investigators and Project Managers.

SEARCH provides a flexible work environment, a professional and collaborative atmosphere, and a wide range of projects and opportunities for our staff. SEARCH offers a competitive total compensation package with strong health and wellness and retirement plans. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance, group term life insurance, 401(k) plan with match, 10 paid holidays per year, and paid time off (PTO). Pay is commensurate with education and experience.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Use experience, education from a degreed program, and professional judgment to identify and target locations of enhanced site probability based on cultural, geological, and other environmental features.
  • Administer the project health and safety plan and participate in office and field training. Offer recommendations for improvement to Health & Safety Manager.
  • Have a thorough understanding of the research design and ensure its implementation.
  • Based upon education, field observations, and scientific judgement, revise field methodology to meet goals of the overall project.
  • Perform pre-field background research, prepare maps, input data into electronic devices, and prepare project summary for field staff.
  • Provide leadership to field teams conducting archaeological monitoring, survey, testing, and excavation in support of Phase I, II, and III studies in accordance with the research design to identify, record, and evaluate historic and prehistoric cultural resources.
  • Recognize archaeological signatures and apply reasoning to evaluate resources.
  • Evaluate and record accurate, organized, and clear field notes, maps, drawings, logs, forms, tables, databases, artifact bags, box labels, and other project documentation.
  • Collect and inventory artifacts, ecofacts, and samples in accordance with the research design, and keep an accurate field specimen log.
  • Identify potential human and faunal remains, and treat any suspected human burial remains respectfully and in a manner consistent with the research design and applicable State and Federal guidelines and laws.
  • Perform quality control of field data (hand-written and electronic) on a daily basis to ensure information is accurate and complete.
  • Use electronic and traditional navigational equipment (GPS, iPad/ArcCollector/Survey 123, compass, transit, etc.) to determine project limits, record fieldwork, document findings, and communicate progress.
  • Photo-document artifacts, features, excavation units, land use, landscapes, unique environmental features, historic structures, archaeology sites, unique environmental features, specialized equipment or technique usage, and work-in-progress. Keep an accurate photo log.
  • Collate field data for use in reports.
  • Utilize GIS to organize, interpret, and document field research.
  • Identify, record, and evaluate historic and prehistoric cultural resources in accordance with State and Federal laws, particularly the National Register of Historical Places (NRHP).
  • Analyze artifacts and write up artifact descriptions.
  • Provide daily updates on project progress to the Principal Investigator/Project Manager.
  • Meet with, coordinate, and collaborate with landowners, land agents, clients, other field research teams, and visiting regulatory agency staff.
  • Interview informants to gather information on history and use of property.
  • Prepare and/or contribute to thorough, accurate, professional, high-quality technical reports, including writing tasks, graphics, report production, and quality control.
  • Assist the Principal Investigator and/or Project Manager with other research, project management, and administrative tasks.
  • Procure and maintain field equipment, technology, vehicles and supplies in a clean, working, and safe manner and report any malfunctions, shortages and risks to Principal Investigator and/or Project Manager.
  • Travel for extended periods of time.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Qualifications Required:
  • Graduate degree in Anthropology, Archaeology, or a related field.
  • Based in the mid-Atlantic region.
  • Must meet the Secretary of the Interior's professional qualifications standards for archaeology and be an RPA or be eligible to become an RPA.
  • Minimum of three (3) years of professional archaeological field experience.
  • At least two (2) years of supervisory experience in the field.
  • Report writing experience as main author or contributor.
  • Understanding of State and Federal cultural resource laws, particularly the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Qualifications Preferred:
  • Understanding of the Cultural Resource Management (CRM) industry (firms, clients, contracts, new research, and projects) at the regionwide, nationwide, and worldwide level.
  • Five (5) years of professional archaeological field experience.
  • Three (3) years of supervisory experience in the field.
  • Off-road driving training and/or experience.

Physical Demands:

To successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of the job, the employee should have the ability to meet the physical demands of the position, including:
  • Hear normal conversations and receive ordinary information.
  • Communicate verbally and in writing.
  • Use average and ordinary visual acuity necessary to excavate and inspect artifacts and distinguish features.
  • Carry up to 50 lbs. occasionally.
  • Sit for extended periods during travel or in an office.
  • Walk up to 5.0 miles per day carrying gear over uneven terrain.
  • Undertake physical work outside, often in inclement weather.
  • Travel to remote locations, frequently up to or exceeding 10 consecutive days away from home.
  • Drive for extended periods up to 11 hours per day.

Application Requirements:
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • 3 Professional references
  • Writing samples (if a collaborative report, identify sections authored)
  • Please send all inquiries and supplementary materials to Include the Job Posting code (AMA-24) in the subject line of your email.

Other Important Need-To-Know Information
  • This position will require flexible availability outside of standard working hours.
  • Applicants must have a valid Driver's License, clean driving record, and reliable transportation.
  • Applicants must be eligible to be employed in the United States and ability to obtain government security clearance.
  • Pay is commensurate with education and experience.
  • SEARCH is strongly committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where a variety of backgrounds, cultures, orientations, ideas, and talents can flourish.
  • SEARCH is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • SEARCH is an Affirmative Action Employer and a Drug-Free Workplace.
  • Employment offers are contingent upon satisfactory verification of criminal, education, driving, and/or employment background checks as well as passing results from a pre-employment drug screen.


Overland and underwater, SEARCH is an archaeology firm that deploys the full spectrum of cultural heritage services worldwide. SEARCH2O, its maritime program, is at the forefront of historic shipwreck and submerged pre-contact archaeology, paleolandscape reconstruction, and deep-water archaeology. SEARCH's staff are cultural resources industry leaders, pioneers, and subject matter experts across 45 Market, Regional, and Research Sectors. Since 1993, SEARCH has completed more than 4,500 commercial and government projects in 48 US states, 6 US territories, and 36 countries spanning 7 continents and 4 oceans. By integrating science, technology, and creativity, SEARCH harnesses the power of the past to advance the projects, places, and people it serves.

For more information about SEARCH, please visit and follow us on Facebook , Instagram , and LinkedIn .


SEARCH Compensation and Benefits include:
  • Competitive Salary
  • Per Diem (for overnight travel)
  • SEARCH-subsidized Group Health Insurance (including Medical, Dental, and Vision coverage)
  • SEARCH-provided Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • SEARCH-provided Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • SEARCH-provided Group Term Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Emergency Travel Assistance
  • Generous 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Paid Holidays (10)
  • Paid Time Off (PTO)
  • Merit-Based Raises, Bonuses, and Promotions

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