From Detroit to Copper Harbor...
and Ironwood to Drummond Island, archaeological sites reveal how people have lived in Michigan for nearly 14,000 years. Archaeology is the scientific study of the human past, using places and objects to understand changing people and environments. It is the study of sand dunes and forests, seas and cities, hardship and resourcefulness, ingenuity and innovation, and above all, communities. Across time and space, archaeology helps us know the past, understand the present and plan for a sustainable and vibrant future.Explore Projects In Michigan
The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office includes archaeologists who have extensive knowledge and expertise in nearly 14,000 years of human history. SHPO archaeologists record, investigate, interpret and protect Michigan's archaeological sites, and maintain the official database of recorded archaeological sites located both on land and underwater. Our archaeologists are responsible for archaeology on state land and collaborate with the Department of Natural Resources on exhibits and educational programs, and curate archaeological collections obtained from state land as well as collections generated by review and compliance projects across the state.
The resources below provide guidance and resources for conducting archaeological research in Michigan and promote the study and appreciation of archaeology projects across the state.
Celebrate Michigan Archaeology!
We took our annual Michigan Archaeology Day virtual in 2020! Digital exhibits bring together videos, maps and other resources so people of all ages can virtually access research projects happening across our state. Learn about thousands of years of history, new digital technologies for photographing and studying artifacts, and what to do if you think you might have found part of a shipwreck.Start your exploration!
Explore Archaeology in Michigan
Michigan Archaeology brochure
From Detroit to Copper Harbor and Ironwood to Drummond Island, archaeological sites reveal how people have lived in Michigan for nearly 14,000 years.
Archaeologist, Historian, and Architectural Historian Consultant List
List of consultants who meet the federal qualifications for Archaeologist, Historian and/or Architectural Historian.
Archaeology Projects in Michigan
Archaeological investigations take place in Michigan every summer. Several of these projects are archaeological field schools aimed at teaching excavation techniques to college students, but others allow a first-hand look for the general public to see archaeologists at work.
CRM, Forms, and Research
Schedule a Research Appointment
How and when to schedule a research appointment with the State Historic Preservation Office.
Federal Professional Qualifications Documentation
How to submit your professional qualifications to SHPO.
Archaeological Investigation in Michigan
Under Michigan law, the state oversees all archaeology performed on state land. Learn more about the permitting process.
Application for Permit to Perform Archaeological Exploration on State-Owned Land
Return completed application to: Sandra S. Clark, Director Michigan History Center 702 W. Kalamazoo Street PO Box 30740 Lansing, MI 48909
Michigan Archaeology Day
2021 Michigan Archaeology Day
Save the Date: October 30. 2021! In 2020, we took Archaeology Day virtual. Check out this interactive webpage to explore active archaeology projects from around the state, unique virtual tours, and activities for the entire family to enjoy.