Underwater Archaeology

Our pre-colonial specialists understand the changing nature of the rivers and seashores in New England. AHS’s underwater expertise, combined with the latest technology, enables us to better predict where Native American sites are currently located, as the landscape has shifted and sites have become submerged. Our underwater experience includes the use of geophysics and coring in marine and wetland environments, and focuses on the analysis and interpretation of seismic reflection profiles, hand-auguring, and vibracore extraction. We incorporate geospatial data into all of our underwater projects, and our extensive GIS experience covers mapping of field data, paleogeographic reconstruction, and predictive modeling of pre-colonial archaeological site locations.

Featured Project

Norwalk Railroad Bridge Replacement

AHS is conducting all of the cultural resource management-related tasks associated with this large project. The replacement of the 19th-century historic railroad swing bridge will involve significant impacts to the bottom of the tidal Norwalk River, from the erection of new piers to burying electrical conduits deep into the riverbed. AHS studied historic maps and bathymetric data in order to plan an intertidal and underwater archaeological survey. We are collecting vibracore samples in order to reconstruct paleography and assessing the potential for submerged archaeological sites to be present. Radiocarbon-dating and botanical analysis of core samples will refine the understanding of the area’s prehistory and aid in development of impact-mitigation strategies.



Other Project Example 

Mill Pond Restoration 

The Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, is proposing to restore an impounded freshwater pond along the Marston Mills River for environmental improvement purposes. AHS used a GPR machine in a flat-bottom canoe, a simple, cost-effective approach to scan for submerged objects and archaelogically sensitive areas.


For more information on AHS’s experience and capabilities, visit our expertise page.