Geoarcheology Research Associates, Inc. (GRA) is a specialty firm dedicated to providing a broad range of cultural resources and archeological services to both public and private sector agencies.
Our primary market is in the domestic development sector–governmental and private–where we apply earth science strategies to determine archeological sensitivity for preservation compliance. We have a long history of experience in compliance law that enables us to address archeological sensitivity in the timeliest and most efficient manner possible, and our clients include large CRM firms, as well as primary contracting agencies and development interests. Our secondary market is international, where we co-ordinate large-scale research and management projects in developing nations that are beginning to formulate heritage and conservation programs. GRA combines technical expertise in environmental archeology and cultural resources management with a thorough understanding of the research and heritage interests of host nations. These projects are typically undertaken with universities and foreign governments, often with the sponsorship of international scientific and development organizations.
GRA’s unique specialty in the earth sciences stresses innovative strategies and sampling schemes, instead of labor intensive survey and excavation. We believe this is the wave of the future as designers and planners increasingly focus on higher levels of efficiency and imaginative solutions to traditional cultural resources problems.
GRA is known for:
- Its scientific orientation and ongoing development of methods to predict archeological preservation through the use of remote sensing, coring, and backhoe testing prior to systematic excavation by large teams.
- GRA has been contracted to assess the potential of buried stream-side sites by examining ancient soils and river deposits to measure their development and antiquity. In this way, decisions concerning the necessity of excavation may be made independent of more costly survey.
- Its administrative and scientific direction over large-scale multidisciplinary projects, specifically those requiring advance planning.
- Such projects include multi-year utility projects, highway expansion, dam construction, and military base transfers in areas where a broad array of cultural resources is identified and require mitigation efforts to be coordinated with developers.
- Its efficient management of negotiations among federal regulators, state historic preservation officers, local governments, Native American representatives and citizen groups.
- GRA has structured Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) in New York State for several pipelines that have accommodated the recent Native American Graves Protection Act (NAGPRA).
- Its novel use of dating strategies which helps foreign governments locate settlement complexes of great antiquity or significance in the evolution of human civilization.
- Most recently, GRA participated in separate efforts with the Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, University of Texas, Arlington, and the Department of Antiquities of Pakistan, to identify locations ranging from sites of the earliest Near Eastern Neanderthals east of the Jordan Rift; some of the oldest hominid sites in India; a stratigraphic study of a cave in the Aegean Mediterranean; and the most ancient villages in South Asia’s “Cradle of Civilization” between Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
Geoarcheology Research Associates, Inc. (GRA) was founded and incorporated in 1989 by Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein, and is headquartered in New York City where it is strategically located to provide scientific geological and archeological services to clients across the United States and overseas.
GRA’s core staff consists of specialists in environmental archeology, cultural resources planning, preservation planning, and public presentation. Depending on project requirements, the company also makes use of a “satellite” staff of consulting scientists and technicians, most of whom have been associated with GRA for many years. Flexible staffing enables us to furnish timely and professional consulting services within the fiscal limitations of each and every project.
Through judicious allocation of its core and satellite staff, GRA is able to provide the broad range of geoarcheological and paleoenvironmental services which are becoming standard in multi-stage cultural resources investigations. In particular, its staff expertise with stratigraphic, deep testing, remote sensing (magnetometry and ground penetrating radar), and geographic information systems (GIS), has been a critical component in successful completion of large-scale interdisciplinary projects.
Most recently, GRA has been involved in joint ventures with larger cultural resources firms in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to assist utility and pipeline firms with the Section 106 and Compliance process. Over the past twenty years principal GRA personnel have undertaken major projects in the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and Plains provinces. Dr. Schuldenrein has directed major mitigation projects throughout the United States, Europe, Middle East, and South Asia.