Established in 1976, Public Archaeology Survey Team, Inc. (PAST) is a private, nonprofit research and public education organization based in Mansfield, Connecticut. Specializing in archaeological and historical research, we are Connecticut's oldest, largest and most experienced cultural resource management firm. PAST has completed over 500 projects, most of them in southern New England, ranging from small-scale archaeological surveys to complicated multi-component studies. We are known for our innovative research designs and preservation strategies, our efficient implementation and completion of projects, and our uncompromising integrity and quality.
Our staff of 17 full-time employees includes professional archaeologists, architectural historian, ethnohistorians, geologist, conservator, and public education specialist. We have great depth and breadth, with experts in the full range of prehistoric and historic periods. Our staff turnover is low, which facilitates quality and efficiency because our teams not only include experienced people, they are experienced units, accustomed to tackling tasks quickly and smoothly.
PAST's office building is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory and analytical facilities, including a dedicated artifact conservation laboratory. We have full-time laboratory staff and a custom-designed database program which permits the most sophisticated and thorough data analysis. We also have GIS capabilities in staff and equipment.
Although PAST conducts both grant-funded and compliance research, our primary mission as a nonprofit organization is to research history and prehistory in such a way that client needs are met economically and resultant data become the source for expanded research and public education efforts. Every project contributes data that will benefit present and future generations. We consider community outreach to be an important part of our education goals, and give frequent public presentations on our projects, lead tours of historic sites, prepare Web sites and museum exhibits, assist local historical societies and communities in renewal and tourism projects, and even judge school history contests. We are working on education modules for Connecticut school systems based on local archaeology and history. We also have an agreement with the nearby University of Connecticut to provide practical experience to interns in history, anthropology, and related fields.
PAST has earned numerous awards for work in cultural resource management, including recognition by Connecticut Preservation Action, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the Connecticut Chapter of American Institute of Architects, the Hartford Architecture Conservancy, and a National Historic Preservation award from the U.S. Department of Interior. We have been a leader in archaeological preservation in Connecticut, beginning with large surveys that have provided the core of the state's archaeological database. Six out of ten of Connecticut's State Archaeological Preserves are sites documented by PAST, and we have documented nearly all of the National Register-listed archaeological sites in the state.