Texas Archeological Research Laboratory

Recording Sites through TARL

TARL maintains the inventory and trinomial numbering system for archeological sites in Texas.  To register a site, TARL requires that a digital site data form and an ArcGIS shapefile of the site location be provided BEFORE a site number can be assigned.

NOTE: Please send one TexSite .csv file (see below) with all of the sites for which you are requesting trinomials, rather than a separate .csv file for each.  Likewise, it is easier to deal with a single shapefile containing all of the relevant site boundaries rather than a separate shapefile for each. 

Send trinomial requests to trinomials@austin.utexas.edu  



With the advent of TexSite, a free program developed by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) for site data recording, we ask that the site data form be provided to TARL as a digital file (.csv) exported from the TexSite software.  The digital file is needed for the Texas Archeological Sites Atlas, which makes the basic site information available to qualified researchers over the internet.  The digital data sent to TARL as well as the digital data generated at TARL is transferred to the Texas Historical Commission periodically to update the archeological portion of the Texas Historical Sites Atlas. This portion of the Atlas is restricted to approved users only; for more information about the Atlas, view TARL's discussion of the Texas Historical Sites Atlas below.  Information about the THC's TexSite software can be found on their website at https://atlas.thc.texas.gov/About/TexSite.

Texas Archeological Sites Atlas

The archeological portion of the Texas Historical Sites Atlas is restricted to qualified, approved users and there is no charge for access. To apply for an account as an approved user, visit the Atlas registration web page at https://atlas.thc.texas.gov/Account/Register. The Atlas is an extremely useful tool that is being continually improved and updated. Archeological data are provided by TARL for dissemination on the Atlas; other categories of cultural resource data are generated and/or maintained by the Texas Historical Commission.  
The Atlas contains an enormous amount of information that is constantly growing. The critical task of updating the restricted archeological portion of the Atlas as new sites are recorded and existing sites revisited has significantly increased the workload at TARL; as a result, a fee is charged to all cultural resource management projects and other funded research endeavors, including those conducted by state agencies, to cover the personnel time involved in Atlas data upkeep (please see section on fees below).

Completing a Site Data Form

A TexSite form is the basic information about a site. Although we understand that very detailed information about a site may not be available when the site is initially recorded, the form should be as complete as possible. The blank for site owner must be completed; responding with "N/A" is not acceptable.
Digital data should be submitted as an email attachment(s) to TARL at trinomials@austin.utexas.edu. Maps and other attachments may be submitted in any conventional file format. ArcGIS shapefiles of site locations are now required; please contact us for alternatives if you are not able to generate a shapefile of the site location.

Filing a Revisit Site Data Form

The process outlined above and the stated fees for incoming site data forms also apply when returning to a site under other circumstances; e.g., a "revisit" to a previously recorded site which is generated through a new contract or a new phase of work. Revisit site forms supply extremely valuable information documenting how sites change through time as well as how different researchers assess a given site. They also provide new information on what work has been done on a site. Fields in the form should be completed with annotations about the data observed on the revisit. Each revisit form should be accompanied by a topographic map showing the site in its present configuration. 


The site form submission fee and the fee for revisit form submission is $96 per site.  In order to facilitate the processing of fees, invoices are prepared and mailed when the site numbers are assigned. Invoices are payable within 90 days. This will allow those of you with short term projects to pay for these projects while they are active and will allow state agencies wishing to minimize paperwork to accumulate invoices for quarterly payments.
If you have forms to turn in that are long overdue (with or without trinomials), please check with TARL staff to ascertain whether or not the charges will be assessed. Forms submitted by avocational archeologists, student archeologists, or from pro bono research projects are not charged site record submission fees.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions. As always, we thank you for your support and cooperation.