Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Archaeology question - land rights

Posted on 05/13/2013 3:54:26 PM PDT by djf

This is a completely hypothetical question.

Let's imagine there is a guy who lives in Washington state. Let's imagine he was helping out a friend, on his friends private property. Let's imagine he found something man-made and quite old... Let's imagine it looks like a piece of carved antler with intricate designs done what appears to be most likely by Native Americans... Let's imagine that the guy decides it MIGHT NOT be a good idea to run down to the local Tribal headquarters and say "Hey, I think I found something your uncle left around..."

Other than that, what does a guy do? Anybody ever hear of land rights issues and Indian (there, I said it) artifacts? You know, all the Sacred burial ground stuff!


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/13/2013 3:54:26 PM PDT by djf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: djf

In general, anywhere an indian took a dump is now sacred ground.


2 posted on 05/13/2013 3:57:55 PM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

Would the hypothetical guy want to make money or enhance historical knowledge...or both...or neither?


3 posted on 05/13/2013 3:58:09 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

I would check the specific state’s archaeological rights laws. They vary by state and the type of find you have. Burial sites are usually given the highest protections.

Here are some examples from Oregon.

http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/ARCH/docs/archeaology_bulletin_1_faq.pdf


4 posted on 05/13/2013 3:58:53 PM PDT by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

Example of the danger:

April 6 2011
Nick Laws pleaded guilty last July to selling a religious artifact known as twin effigy and was sentenced to 24 months of probation.
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705370123/Feds-allege-woman-lied-about-her-husband-hunting-for-Native-American-artifacts.html?pg=all


5 posted on 05/13/2013 4:01:14 PM PDT by donna (Pray for revival.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

Treat it as you would an arrowhead.


6 posted on 05/13/2013 4:01:37 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gorush

Excellent question.

I think the first thing the hypothetical guy would like to do is somehow, some way, get info/verification of what exactly it is he found.

The age, the style, possible origins, that sort of thing.

But ONLY ONLY ONLY if it can be done without jeopardizing his friends property rights!

Does that mean the best thing to do is tie it to a brick and throw it off the Tacoma Narrows bridge???


7 posted on 05/13/2013 4:03:16 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv; blam; Ernest_at_the_Beach

*ping* for artifact advice


8 posted on 05/13/2013 4:03:39 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv; blam; Ernest_at_the_Beach

*ping* for artifact advice


9 posted on 05/13/2013 4:03:40 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
Within Washington State (Private Property)

In the State of Washington archaeological sites are protected, even those on private property. Since 1974 it has been illegal to knowingly disturb archaeological sites or resources on private or public property without a permit from theWashington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP). The 1974 Archaeological Sites and Resources law protects all prehistoric sites and any historic properties abandoned for more than 30 years. Civil penalties as well as the costs necessary to investigate and restore the disturbed archaeological site can be imposed and any resulting artifacts can be seized.

Private land owner have a number of rights. Artifacts that are legally discovered on their property (either as individual finds or as part of a legally permitted archaeological survey or dig) belong to the land owner. Archaeological sites discovered on private property cannot be legally registered without the permission of the landowner. If the private property owner chooses to register their site there are incentives available to the landowner such as tax breaks, easements, and open space designations.

Since 1941 all bones and artifacts within Native American graves and unmarked burials have been protected. The 1941 Indian Graves and Records law prohibits knowingly disturbing graves and makes such activities a class C felony. This law also prevents the sale of any grave goods or human remains removed from such graves. The inadvertent disturbance of graves requires reburial with the supervision of the appropriate Indian tribe.

The full list of Washington State laws affecting archaeological resources is available through the WA DAHP website.

Archy Laws Explanation

10 posted on 05/13/2013 4:03:52 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

http://www.nps.gov/nagpra/

NAGPRA the federal law is probably what you’re thinking of. It was implemented because some jagoff decided to sell gravesites off his property for people to dig up for fun. If your friend has gravesites on his property he would run fowl of the law.

Artifacts such as what you have are private property. Responsible owners might alert an archeology department that he has a site on his property. I worked on a dig that was on a farm in Ohio. There were no graves. The site was dated to about 1000ya and was a Woodland period site. The farmer liked learning about the previous inhabitants.


11 posted on 05/13/2013 4:04:26 PM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

“fowl” or even foul


12 posted on 05/13/2013 4:05:25 PM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Varda

Wasn’t me.

I ain’t got nuthin.

This is a total fiction.


13 posted on 05/13/2013 4:07:23 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: djf

How about anonymous photos to the curator of the museum in Victoria?


14 posted on 05/13/2013 4:07:55 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: djf
NYS....A friend of mine would go to a local lake where there was an indian settlement about 1750. The storm would stir things up. He would give the stuff to a local museum.....until he found out they were selling the pieces as fast as he could deliver. He was livid.

Keep the stuff for a while...play dumb...like your father bought it at an auction 50 years ago...and then sell it or whatever.

15 posted on 05/13/2013 4:09:07 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

While he’s at it, see if he can find any spotted owls, rare mice, or frogs on his property.


16 posted on 05/13/2013 4:11:36 PM PDT by Dogbert41 (Thy Kingdom come!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ApplegateRanch; djf

Varies by the state, but inquiries with gubmint authorities should be handled as anonymously as possible.


17 posted on 05/13/2013 4:12:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: djf

Because we look for Indian artifacts on our own property, I understand that as long as it is on private property then it is ok. If you find bones or a skull you are supposed to call the local sheriff but if you just dig it up it belongs to the land owner.


18 posted on 05/13/2013 4:12:20 PM PDT by tiki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau

I grew up in upstate NY Finger Lakes area. My dad found arrowheads all the time. The area has a native flint rock that makes perfect (and very sharp!) arrow and spear heads.

I think my sister might still have a couple of them.


19 posted on 05/13/2013 4:13:57 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: djf

I would take it to an Archeological Dept. at a university. Tell them you found it while hiking years ago and you have been wondering about it for years. Let them figure it out. I myself would never take it to any Indian tribal counsel.

If you dug up an M-16 would you take to the police?


20 posted on 05/13/2013 4:29:47 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf
Absent the discovery of human remains, or a known historic settlement on the land, the person who discovered it would have to turn the object over to the land owner. That land owner could dispose of the property as he sees fit, but including the statement ‘I found it on my land’ opens an entire can of worms (what's the dig permit number, has this site been recorded, etc.)

One of grandpa's little treasures is a very very good idea to use as a descriptive, especially noting that it was something he found as a child. Identification can be done relatively easily; quite a number of experts on artifacts exist around the country, I strongly advise creating a new e-mail account that is ONLY used for the purpose of communication about the identification of the object, accompanied by a land address that is entirely unrelated to the find location. Such as if in Eugene, the inquiry is accompanied by a fictitious name and address in Portland.

However, actively digging in the area is something not to mess around with. Do not do this without getting the appropriate permit, and document every find with photograph of location, samples from the soil, and every photograph should include a card with the dig number recorded on it within the shot.

21 posted on 05/13/2013 4:31:07 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232
I would take it to an Archeological Dept. at a university. Tell them you found it while hiking years ago and you have been wondering about it for years. Let them figure it out. I myself would never take it to any Indian tribal counsel.

No offense, but I do not recommend using the 'found it while hiking' explanation. Odds are that the item will be seized from you immediately as an artifact found on public lands without a permit. Then the university will sell your find and pocket the money.

22 posted on 05/13/2013 4:33:04 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: djf

About 25 years ago, 2 of my friends went on a treasure hunt.
They researched old documents, looked up maps and figured out where an old War of 1812 ship had been scuttled and burned. They rented scuba gear and spent a whole summer exploring. They found a brass cannon from the ship. After they got it out of the mud at the bottom of a creek, they took it home and spent a month cleaning it up. They were really proud. A month later somebody from New York State showed up and seized it. They haven’t seen it since. No compensation. No cannon. Nothing.
Moral: if you find something, don’t tell anyone.


23 posted on 05/13/2013 4:36:38 PM PDT by BuffaloJack (Gun Control is the Key to totalitarianism and genocide.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djf

Sell the property, keep the artifact. If at all possible, sell the property to a Liberal, Feminist, transgender or Gay couple.

Then send the artifact along with the GPS coordinates of where you found it, anonymously of course to the BIA.


24 posted on 05/13/2013 4:43:04 PM PDT by Usagi_yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo; djf

Thanks for finding the proper references jaz. Looks like it is probably okay to keep, inquire about, etc. But I imagine a Tribal or Fed lawyer could figure out some way to mess everything up. The “knowingly” part. “Did you ever come across artifacts before? You did? An arrowhead!!?? And yet you decided to dig MORE post holes!!!???”

I think a variation of “shoot, shovel and shut-up” is perhaps the wisest choice. Tell the story when you pass it down to a child/ grandchild once they are older.

Plus - do your OWN research on what the artifact is, the tribes in the area, etc. If it seems to be an unusual find and noteworthy - then perhaps consider approaching a museum. And perhaps contact a lawyer first.


25 posted on 05/13/2013 4:45:08 PM PDT by 21twelve ("We've got the guns, and we got the numbers" adapted and revised from Jim M.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack

That shouldn’t have happened. There are very specific salvage and flotsom and jetsom laws. Sounds like they gave up to easily.


26 posted on 05/13/2013 4:46:15 PM PDT by Usagi_yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: djf

don’t tie a brick on it, send it to me and I will pay the postage.....


27 posted on 05/13/2013 4:50:04 PM PDT by goat granny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: djf

That sort of thing seldom survives the acidic red clay here. Human remains predating European settlement are even rare to the point of being flukish. But, there are arrowheads, spearheads and pottery shards galore.

Just go out to the river bottom or creek bottom when the fields have dried out from the first rain after plowing. The clay washes away on all sides leaving small rocks and indian artifacts sort of raised above the surrounding clay. Easily spotted unless there’s no color contrast. Only pottery shards are close in color, everything else contrasts lighter or darker.

We collected enough in my childhood to fill two of those curio jar lamp bases. Little bird points that look like shark’s teeth, larger arrowheads, a pipe, on and on. The best one of them all was a white quartz spearhead about five inches long.

Keep it, keep your mouth shut. If you try to sell it locally or even within the state you’ll likely attract unwanted attention.


28 posted on 05/13/2013 4:51:47 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 21twelve; djf

Yep, I’d say that’s probably good advice, it looks like it could be okay to keep but I’d look further into it.

I’ve no experience with it here in WA but plenty on BLM land in Oregon and it’s illegal to keep an arrowhead found on top of the ground, let alone dig for anything.


29 posted on 05/13/2013 4:52:55 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: 21twelve; jazusamo

Yes, thanks for the references.

Hypothetically, I think it was found in Pierce country, which happens to be the area in western Washington that has the most registered artifact sites.

I’m inclined to tell any hypothetical finder to just keep yur dam mouth shut.

Truly sad that this seems to be the best choice!


30 posted on 05/13/2013 5:01:10 PM PDT by djf (Rich widows: My Bitcoin address is... 1ETDmR4GDjwmc9rUEQnfB1gAnk6WLmd3n6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Dogbert41

Are you kidding?!

Spotted owls are everywhere in the western part of Washington state. They can be found in people’s backyards. It doesn’t take an old growth forest to provide them with good rodent hunting opportunities.


31 posted on 05/13/2013 8:07:49 PM PDT by SatinDoll (NATURAL BORN CITZEN: BORN IN THE USA OF CITIZEN PARENTS.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RJS1950

not true and most of the time the sites are destroyed and/or bulldozed.


32 posted on 05/14/2013 1:20:04 PM PDT by cyann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: djf

the idea that the govt. will come take your property because you found something on it is just not true. If you wish to find out about the object simply ask your local university or state archaeologist. they may wish to ask a few questions and inquire about looking or conducting research on the site but that is up to the land owner not the govt. I do not live on the east coast but I know here in Texas the land owner is “king” and owns everything found on his/her property. Even if there is a “body”/human remains found on the property the govt. does not simply take the land. In the case of burials the Native Americans here just ask that they not be bothered or may want to move them in a worse case scenario but really what kind of person robs graves? In the case of “stuff” (no graves) it belongs to the land owner and that person is responsible for how they want to act.


33 posted on 05/14/2013 1:20:08 PM PDT by cyann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mnehring

This particular issue is about looting on public land. that is why these people are in trouble not because they were legally selling things found on their personal land. This is theft of all of our history.


34 posted on 05/14/2013 1:20:08 PM PDT by cyann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cyann

The comment was sarcastic in that in many cases wherever you find an artifact it is immediately jumped on as “sacred” ground of some type. This is why in many cases sites are bulldozed and/or destroyed. This is not peculiar to the Americas. In places in Europe if a structure is being built, they find archaological artifacts and the government doesn’t know then they try to keep it quiet and complete the construction knowing that the artifacts may at a minimum hold up their project for years. That might have happened on the hill where my house is built except for the fact that the original farm structures were built long before this became a problem. When they built a house across the street they did find some artifacts because as everyone already knew it had been a site for periodic encampments by local tribes. Just because an indian sometime in the distant past left an artifact, crap or otherwise, that some tribe still has some land rights. In my area, various tribes came, went, or were run out by other tribes who were there for a while and then run out by another tribe. Rights my ass.


35 posted on 05/14/2013 2:55:16 PM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson