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Cultural Resources

The Carolinas have been inhabited by humans for more than 12,000 years. Evidence of the presence of the region’s inhabitants includes arrowheads, potsherds, foundations and old chimneys. All of these resources, generally referred to as cultural resources, provide clues about our history and prehistory.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) directs Duke Energy to work with the North Carolina and South Carolina State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) to ensure cultural resources are treated appropriately. Activities completed to date include the development of an historic context Geographical Information System (GIS) database of all known archaeological and historic sites and modification of Duke Energy Lake Services' review process. The Historic Properties Management Plan for each FERC-licensed project explains how cultural resources will be managed within the project area. 

What to do if you find an archaeological or historic site

Duke Energy is committed to protecting irreplaceable archaeological and historic resources. Interfering with archaeological and historic artifacts destroys the information provided by these remnants of past inhabitants’ lives. So Duke Energy does not allow any artifact collecting on its property, including the lakebed. Interfering with burial remains and associated grave goods on any land, private or public, is also illegal.

Duke Energy complies with the guidelines contained in the FERC Project Programmatic Agreement (PA) for cultural resources when evaluating lake use applications. Any lake use applicant should be aware of the following:

  • Applicants who discover historic or archaeological resources during construction of an approved activity must stop work immediately and contact Duke Energy Lake Services. 
  • Applicants for lake use permits in areas with a high probability for archaeological and historical sites may be required to conduct additional consultation with the SHPO.

More Info

If you see anyone digging on archaeological sites, please notify your local law enforcement personnel. If you suspect that you have discovered a gravesite on Duke Energy property, contact the Duke Energy Lake Services team at or by calling 800.443.5193 immediately.