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Administrative Policies - Policy 0002

State of Vermont
Agency of Administration
Department of Buildings & General Services

Policy 0002

Title: Encountering Human Skeletal Remains
Date of Issue: August 27, 1997
Supersedes: Initial Policy


During construction, it is possible that staff from the Department or contractors working under contract to the Department, may uncover human skeletal remains. These remains might be either aboriginal or non-aboriginal in nature.


  1. Upon uncovering human skeletal remains, the employee or contractor shall immediately cease operations and immediately notify the Clerk of the Works, if applicable, or the project engineer from the Department of Buildings & General Services. The Clerk or project engineer shall immediately notify the Director of Facilities Services and the Commissioner’s Office. 
  2. The Department shall contact the Division of Historic Preservation and arrange for an on-site inspection by either a staff archaeologist or agent of the Division. The Division shall provide direction and guidance to the Department in order to ensure that any further construction activity proceeds in accordance with state law and applicable approved protocols.
  3. The Department will ensure that further construction activity proceeds in conformance with approved standards for construction in archeologically sensitive areas. The Department will ensure that a person trained in such procedures is on site to direct and monitor activities until it is determined that construction may proceed without such oversight.
  4. The Department shall make all notifications and follow all the requirements of state law relating to the removal and/or interment of human skeletal remains.
  5. The Department shall cooperate with parties having a legal claim to the human skeletal remains found at one of our construction sites in seeking the appropriate solutions top the issues which may arise.

The Commissioner of the Department of Buildings & General Services may alter one or more of these steps if, in the Commissioner’s opinion, a satisfactory resolution may be expedited by using an alternative approach.

Department Approval:  Thomas W. Torti, Commissioner

Agency Approval Required:  Kathleen C. Hoyt, Secretary