Welcome to the Office of Contract Archeology

The Office of Contract Archeology (OCA), a division of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, is a cultural resources management program that was established within the University of New Mexico in 1973. Since its inception, OCA has taken a leading role in innovative, large-scale, interdisciplinary cultural resources studies throughout the state of New Mexico and adjacent portions of Arizona, Colorado and Texas. A hallmark of OCA's service history has been the development of scientifically based management solutions for projects of all sizes. Our central location, emphasis on both large- and small-scale projects, laboratory facilities, and staff structure are all geared for high-quality and rapid-response action demanded by simultaneous multiple task projects. Since 1973, OCA has completed over 1000 cultural resource investigations and has compiled an exemplary record of high quality research, timely performance, and excellent customer satisfaction.

What's New at OCA

Updates to Recent Projects
From the Bandelier backcountry to the Gila National Forest, OCA has the pleasure of working on projects throughout the state. Take a look at some of our most recent work.

March 19, 2015: Water Canyon 2012-2013 Interim Report Released
The 2012-2013 Interim Report for the Water Canyon Paleoindian Site has recently been released and is available for download. Download a PDF version of the report. For more information on the Water Canyon site, check the Current Research page.

Our Services Include:

  • Archeological surveys
  • Archeological excavations
  • Archeological testing and monitoring
  • Research design development
  • Historic building inventories
  • HABS/HAER documentation
  • Literature surveys and assessments
  • Popular publications, posters, and brochures production
  • National Register Historic Preservation nominations
  • Ethnographic/TCP studies
  • State and federal agency coordination
  • NAGPRA consultations
  • Section 106 compliance
  • Curation of collections
Research Capabilities

OCA houses and staffs its own research library, which contains an extensive collection of published, unpublished, and limited-distribution cultural resource management-generated data for the entire state of New Mexico, the Four Corners region, and west Texas.
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Data Management & Reporting

The data management structure presently in place at OCA has been designed and refined in response to several large-scale multi-task services contracts with White Sands Missile Range; the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District
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OCA holds Curation Agreements with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico; the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe; and in the past has held agreements with the Centennial Museum at The University of Texas (El Paso) and the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas (Austin).
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Facilities & Equipment

OCA has a large (8560 sq. ft), facility located on the University of New Mexico’s North Campus. The majority of our facility is dedicated to a spacious laboratory with both artifact and equipment storage. The organization of the laboratory is specifically tailored to the needs of data recovery projects, including numerous artifact sorting, cleaning, and analysis work areas
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