The Tennessee Division of Archaeology (TDOA) is a division of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation responsible for managing prehistoric archaeological sites on lands owned by the U.S. state of Tennessee, conducting archaeological excavations and research, informing the public about Tennessee’s prehistoric past, and coordinating with other state agencies regarding archaeological preservation issues.
The TDOA has two main divisions. The Technical Assistance Group is responsible for the protection of archaeological sites and artifacts on all lands owned or controlled by the state. This group also provides technical assistance for state agencies (including State Parks), law enforcement, municipalities, development communities, and the general public. Assistance is offered to public and private entities on legal and technical aspects of prehistoric Native American cemetery relocation and related concerns. This group also conducts research and publishes reports on archaeological subjects, some of which are available for free download via the Division of Archaeology website. The Site File and Review Group maintains accurate records on all known archaeological sites in the state, and coordinates with state agencies to assess impacts of proposed activities on known or suspected sites. This group also provides expertise to the State Historic Preservation Office by reviewing all federally funded projects within Tennessee to determine their impact on archaeological resources. The TDOA presently employs eight archaeologists, a site files coordinator, and an administrative secretary at the Nashville location. An auxiliary storage facility is located at Pinson Mounds State Park near Jackson, Tennessee.
Each January, the TDOA, in conjunction with the Middle Tennessee State University Department of Sociology and Anthropology, co-sponsors the Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology meeting. The meeting is open to the public and features presentations by both professional and avocational archaeologists.