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Thread: Indian artifact Legality

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  1. #1
    us
    May 2005
    Tulsa, ok
    87
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Indian artifact Legality

    In the past years i have found a lot of different indian artifacts and due to not knowing if it was legal or not i have left a lot of really good items behind exept of course the points that i find. I am wondering what the law stipulates about finding such items. I have a detailed journal on what i have found and where i found it. lol In my case it is where i have hidden it

    I know there are no problems with finding points but the items that i am curious about are pottery, woven baskets, turtle rattles and a few other misc items. I don't know about the rest of you but finding something like this is NOT worth a jail sentence.


    Is there anybody that can tell me about the legality of finding Indian artifacts?


    Have a great day
    rustycoinUT
    looking for folks to metal detect with in Tulsa,ok

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Jun 2004
    Hurlock, Maryland
    XP Deus, CTX-3030, Excalibur II
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    I am pretty sure that if you are on private land and not a burial site most of the items are ok to take. Your local state archeologist should be able to help. Don,t offer any finds to evaluate just ask for general regulations.

    Ed
    Keep detecting, Keep finding, Keep digging!

    Ed Donovan

  3. #3

    Jun 2003
    San Antonio, Texas
    Whites DFX, MXT X2, Exploder, and Classic III
    463
    16 times

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    What Ed said! Never offer information, just GET information. That's the safest way.

    Rich
    Saving History, one Piece at a time!

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
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    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Altho I Agree with Asking,

    I have to Me The Pessimist here too.

    Personally, I doubt you'll get an HONEST answer from an archeologist.
    My Guess No matter What the Law, The'll say it's Illegal for "YOU".
    I'd Talk To a Lawyer, Or Go to The Courthouse & look it up in the Law Library.

    JEFF

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Jun 2004
    Hurlock, Maryland
    XP Deus, CTX-3030, Excalibur II
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    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Jeff,

    Did you honestly say go to a LAWYER for an honest answer? Think about what you are saying!

    Just Kidding! It just made me chuckle when I read it. I just said Archaeologist because he should already know. Maybe it should,t be a state archaeologist.

    Ed
    RockinIdaho likes this.
    Keep detecting, Keep finding, Keep digging!

    Ed Donovan

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
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    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Quote Originally Posted by ecdonovan
    Jeff,

    Did you honestly say go to a LAWYER for an honest answer? Think about what you are saying!



    Ed
    Now you just Cracked Me Up.? Yes a Guess Honest & Lawyer Are Kind of Opposites.

  7. #7
    us
    May 2005
    Tulsa, ok
    87
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Thanks for the replies. I don't think i would get in trouble on the state end of things i am just worried about getting in trouble with the feds. I think you have all offered up some good advice and I appreciate it. I have been in talks with the local archaeology department and they will look into it. They will tell me what is ok and whats not without me offering up any details we are just talking Indian Artifacts in general so this might just work


    thanks
    rustycoinUT
    looking for folks to metal detect with in Tulsa,ok

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
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    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    GOOD LUCK,

    And Let us Know What Happens.

    Jeff

  9. #9
    TomWVa

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    I pick up alot of broken pottery in plowed fields and its ok. you seem to run into your problems on federal land and if collecting artifacts disturbs a untouched archeological site. you might want to check the federal,ARPA Law, i think that is the name of it to be sure. send me a nice paleo point when you find one. lol. good luck!

  10. #10
    SASQUASH

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    I have been colecting for years I keep every thing & go any where never have had a problem. I feel if thay wanted it thay would not have left it. SAS

  11. #11
    TomWVa

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    i have to agree with you sas. the things i find are for the most part what the aborigine's considered trash anyway. thier trash = my treasure.

  12. #12
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
    6,797
    115 times
    eating

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Quote Originally Posted by rustycoinUT

    Is there anybody that can tell me about the legality of finding Indian artifacts?
    What you'll find if you start asking is nobody really knows. Now, they may say they do--but in reality, they don't.

    Ask some native Americans and they'd say you should immediately be sent to the eternal river of darkness forced to forever paddle your canoe upstream for even thinking about removing Indian artifacts.

    Like was said above, if you have permission from the landowner, you have a right to carry away anything not hidden in an Indian mound. Start messing with Indian mounds and you're courting big trouble. At least this is my understanding of the whole thing.

    The TV production "Antiques Road Show" often has examples of very old woven baskets, etc., and the finders are never interrogated.

    Go get the loot before someone else beats you to it! Or better yet, tell me where it is? ?
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  13. #13
    us
    monty

    Jan 2005
    Sand Springs, OK
    ACE 250, Garrett
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    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Isn't "honest lawyer" an oxymoron? Well, it's some kind of moron! Excellent! Monty
    Don't make me loose the hounds! If you dig, Cover up your holes.

  14. #14
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,686
    60 times

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    Beware the Indian-artifacts police
    A 1990 federal law restricts commercial trade in American Indian archaelogical remains and so-called sacred objects, and pressures public institutions to hand over ("repatriate") such holdings to tribes. According to its critics, the law has begun to put a serious crimp in archaelogical investigation of the North American continent. It also menaces legitimate dealers of artifacts with prison terms over vaguely defined offenses, all while providing the adherents of certain religious tenets (those claimed to be traditional native beliefs) with powerful legal muscle not available to those of us who may hold other (or no) religious beliefs. (Steven Vincent, "Grave Injustice", Reason, Jul.). For the "Kennewick Man" controversy, the most famous thus far to arise under the law, For cases with sometimes-overlapping effect arising from a federal law which restricts trade in artifacts whose components include the feathers of eagles and other protected birds,

    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW appraiser Bruce Shackelford, an independent San Antonio appraiser and consultant who deals with Indian art and culture, to call it "a dangerous field to collect in." That's because laws on the books?and ethical issues brought to the fore by Native American groups?have raised important legal and moral issues about collecting Native American objects. Here we've put together a simple primer on the laws governing Native American collecting to help new and seasoned collectors alike navigate legally and ethically in this field.

    Illegal Goods

    Pots are highly sought Native American artifacts.


    A series of laws passed in 1906, 1966, 1979, and 1992 forbid the taking of Native American artifacts from federal land, including national forests, parks and Bureau of Land Management land, unless granted a permit to do so. Over the years, states have passed their own laws that restrict the taking of Native American objects from state land, echoing the federal laws. There are also laws that deal with pre-Columbian art and taking native works out of other countries.

    Ed Wade is senior vice president at the Museum of Northern Arizona, a private institution in Flagstaff that has a repository of over 2 million Native American artifacts. Ed explains that these laws were enacted to restrict "pot hunting," the illegal excavation and sale of Native American objects. Under these laws, those who dig up artifacts from federal or state lands can be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and can also be prosecuted and sent to jail.

    If someone knowingly or even unknowingly purchases these illegally excavated objects, Ed says federal or state officials might seize them without giving any financial compensation.
    Grave Robbing

    Pot hunters know that they are likely to find the best objects at Indian graves. "Pieces from the graves tend to be the more spectacular ones," Bruce says. "Native Americans buried their better pieces in graves, so they are often protected from use and tend to survive in a more complete state." At the Austin ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Bruce saw two Anasazi pots that were between 800 and 1,200 years old. One of the pots had what is called a "kill hole," made in a pot when it was buried in order to release the spirit from the pot. The existence of this hole in a pot indicates that it was ritually buried.

    Is it legal to buy, sell, and collect artifacts in my area ?
    You cannot physically pickup artifacts from any lands owned or administered by an agency of the US Federal Government, including Indian Reservations. To hunt on private lands you must receive permission from the property owner. The following states may have a law that restricts transfer of items deemed archaeological WA., OR., AK., HI., WV., MA., your best bet would be to contact your local Department of Conservation.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  15. #15

    Jan 2006
    62
    1 times

    Re: Indian artifact Legality

    I've often wondered about what I was also finding and picking up. I've been treasure hunting and mining for years and every now and then also finding items on the surface.

    Not so many arrowheads,mostly knives,ovates,maces,celts,axes......

    Face it, arrowhead hunters have picked some places so clean that what is left is the Paleo tools that dont look like arrowheads. I once found 4 Cody Knives near a spring, no other items were there.
    I dont "pot hunt", I found a bird whistle once, it looks like a Mourning Dove, and makes the same tones to call them. I still have it. I found it on a mining claim about 30 years ago.
    Mostly I leave it were it was. My EX-wife would throw anything like this away as trash if I brought it home. (Get those ------- Rocks outta the house!)

    Aufinder01

 

 
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