Frequently Asked Questions

Tab/Accordion Items

Maybe you have gone for a walk in a state park and you saw a piece of pottery laying on the ground. Or you were planting flowers in your front yard and you dug up an arrowhead. Maybe a family member has a box full of projectile points in the basement that they picked up over the years while farming. What can you do to protect these archaeological resources?

Most importantly, if you stumble across an artifact somewhere outside, leave it where it is! Context is critical in archaeology. Taking an artifact out of its context makes it harder to learn that artifact’s story. Additionally, if you are on state or federal lands, removing an artifact is against the law. Follow National Park Service guidance: “Take only pictures, leave only footsteps!”

Take a picture of the artifact or make a drawing. Write down the artifact’s location and make notes about the area where you found it. You can use this information to fill out a Citizen Archaeologist Site Form and submit it to the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology.

The American Indian Heritage Commission is not a grant-making organization. However, we do try to identify funding opportunities for our constituents.

We encourage you to take a look at our resources page to see if any opportunities are available!

The AIHC can provide technical assistance to help you determine an appropriate home for your items. Contact Us for information.

Please include a picture of your item(s), if possible.

Commissioners to the American Indian Heritage Commission are appointed by each of our eight state-recognized tribes (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is the only tribe in NC with full federal recognition) and our state's four Urban Indian Organizations.