The City's Archaeology Program has evolved in tandem with the development of the Archaeological Preservation Ordinance, which was enacted in 1987. Between 1987 and 1990, the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board assisted the City with the implementation of the Ordinance.
In 1990, the City hired its first full-time City Archaeologist, Carl Halbirt. Twenty-seven years later, Halbirt retired and Dr. Andrea White became the new City Archaeologist. In 2019, Katherine Sims was hired to fill the position of Research and Collections Archaeologist, which substantially increased the Program’s ability to manage the growing artifact collections, databases, and file archives generated since 1987.
The City's Archaeological Preservation Ordinance was one of the first in the United States and is unique because it evaluates and protects archaeological deposits on both public and private properties. Per the ordinance, an archaeological review is part of the City’s permitting process. If a building, utility, or right-of-way project occurs within a defined archaeological zone, exceeds 100 square feet in width, and extends 3 inches deep, the work requires an archaeological review by the City Archaeologist.
The review fee is based on an estimate of the total construction cost, which is determined by archaeological zones. Once the payment has processed, the Archaeology Program strives to facilitate the investigation in a timely manner for the property owner and/or contractor.