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The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Florida Laws

When contacted April 2001, the Florida State Archaeologist, James Miller, specifically referred to 872.05 regarding human burials. A link to the full text of that law will be found in the following summaries of burial/archaeological laws yielded through a keyword search for "archaeology" and "burial" on 2001 March 30 at the State Historic Preservation Legislation Database found at the NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) web site, that database then updated through 1999. These summaries are reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law which may be found at www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html

http://www.ibsgwatch.org is not responsible for any inaccuracies or timeliness of information.


Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 240.515
Section Title: Florida Museum of Natural History; functions

Summary:

Directs the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida to make scientific investigations toward the sustained development of natural resources and a greater appreciation of human cultural heritage, including in-depth archeological research and ethnographic analyses, and to maintain, among other collections, a depository of archeological and ethnographic specimens and materials to provide a base for research on the distribution of prehistoric and historic archeological sites and an understanding of the aboriginal and early European cultures that occupied them. Authorizes institutions, departments and agencies to deposit collections from archeological sites in the museum. Authorizes the museum to accept, preserve, maintain or dispose of such specimens and materials in a manner which makes each collection and its accompanying data available for research and use by the staff of the museum and by cooperating institutions, departments, agencies and qualified independent researchers. Directs that such collections shall belong to the state with title vested with the museum. Requires the museum to comply with pertinent state archeological rules but directs that all permits from other institutions, departments or agencies be granted routinely to the museum for research or collecting efforts on state lands. Directs the museum to develop free public exhibitions and conduct programs which illustrate, interpret and explain the natural history of the state.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 253.027
Section Title: Emergency Archeological Property Acquisition Act of 1988

Summary:

Establishes a program to protect archeological properties of major statewide significance from destruction as a result of imminent development, vandalism or natural events and creates a rapid method of acquisition for a limited number of specifically designated properties that may bypass previously accepted methods of state land acquisition. Directs that a sum of $2 million shall be segregated in an account within the Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund for emergency archeological acquisition. Requires that such funds be spent only for the following reasons: the property is an archeological resource of statewide significance; the structures, artifacts or relics or their historic significance will be irretrievably lost if the state cannot acquire the property; the site is on or meets the criteria of the Conservation and Recreation Lands acquisition list; no other source of immediate funding is available to purchase the property; the site is not otherwise protected by local, state or federal laws; or the acquisition is not inconsistent with the state comprehensive plan and the state land acquisition program. Prohibits money from the account from being spent for excavation or restoration of the properties acquired. Allows funds to be spent for preliminary surveys to determine if the sites meet the criteria of this section. Allows an amount up to $100,000 to be spent to inventory and evaluate archeological and historic resources on properties purchased or proposed for purchase pursuant to 259.032. Directs the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to consider the purchase of lands pursuant to this section upon its own motion or upon written request by any person, corporation, organization or agency. Requires that such written requests be filed with the Division of State Lands and the Division of Historical Resources, the directors of which shall determine if the requests meet the criteria of this section.

Primary Topic: Funding Sources for State or Local Preservation Program

    Secondary Topic:
    • State Archeology / Burial Sites Fund

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.031
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: Division of Historical Resources

Summary:

Authorizes the Division of Historical Resources in the Department of State to adopt rules as deemed necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities; enter into contracts or agreements with other agencies, organizations, associations, corporations and individuals or federal agencies; and accept gifts, grants, bequests, loans or endowments. Directs law enforcement agencies to assist the division in carrying out its duties.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.14
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: legislative intent regarding field investigation on private lands

Summary:

Declares it to be the intention of the Legislature that field investigation activities on privately owned lands should be discouraged except in accordance with both the provisions and spirit of 267.11 through 267.14. Encourages persons having knowledge of the location of archeological sites to communicate such information to the Division of Historical Resources.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.061 (1)
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: state policy relative to historic properties

Summary:

Declares it to be the policy of the state to: provide leadership in the preservation of the state's historic resources; administer state-owned or state-controlled historic resources in a spirit of stewardship and trusteeship; contribute to the preservation of nonstate-owned historic resources and give encouragement to organizations and individuals undertaking preservation by private means; foster conditions, using measures that include financial and technical assistance, for a harmonious coexistence of society and state historic resources; encourage the public and private use of the state's historically built environment; and assist local governments to expand and accelerate their historic preservation programs and activities. Declares that all treasure trove, artifacts and such objects having intrinsic or historical and archeological value which have been abandoned on state-owned lands or state-owned sovereignty submerged lands shall belong to the state with the title thereto vested in the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts
    • Underwater Archeological Activity

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.061 (3)(m)
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: Division of Historical Resources--acquisition of objects

Summary:

Directs the Division of Historical Resources to acquire, maintain, preserve, interpret, exhibit and make available for study objects which have intrinsic historical or archeological value relating to the history, government or culture of the state, including tangible personal property. Declares that all such objects belong to the state with title vested in the division. Requires the division to maintain an adequate record of all objects in its custody and to take a complete inventory of such objects each year. Authorizes the division to arrange for the temporary or permanent loan of any historical or archeological object in its custody to assist in historical or archeological studies, provide for interpretive exhibits and other educational programs that promote Florida history and the programs of the division, or assist the division in ensuring the proper curation of the objects. Authorizes the division to sell or transfer any historical or archeological object in its custody if the division determines that the state has no further use for the object, to ensure that the object will receive more appropriate care or to acquire another object which better serves the interests of the state. Authorizes the division to implement a program to administer finds of isolated historic artifacts from state-owned river bottoms whereby the division may transfer ownership of such artifacts to the finder in exchange for information about the artifacts and the circumstances and location of the discovery.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts
    • Underwater Archeological Activity

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.11
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: designation of archeological sites

Summary:

Authorizes the Division of Historical Resources to designate as a State Archeological Landmark any archeological site of significance to the scientific study or public representation of the state's historical, prehistorical or aboriginal past or to designate as a State Archeological Landmark Zone any interrelated grouping of significant archeological sites. Requires such designations to be made only with the prior written consent of the private owner. Requires written notification, upon designation, of the owners and occupants of each designated landmark or landmark zone. Prohibits a person from conducting field investigation activities on land so designated without first securing a permit from the division.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.12
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: research permits; procedure

Summary:

Authorizes the Division of Historical Resources to issue permits for excavation and surface reconnaissance on state lands or lands within the boundaries of designated state archeological landmarks or landmark zones to institutions that the division shall deem to be properly qualified to conduct such activities, subject to rules and regulations that the division may prescribe. Requires such activities to be undertaken by reputable museums, universities, colleges or other historical, scientific or educational institutions or societies that possess or will secure the archeological expertise for the performance of systematic archeological field research, comprehensive analysis and interpretation in the form of publishable reports and monographs, such reports to be submitted to the division. Allows those state institutions considered by the division permanently to possess the required archeological expertise to conduct archeological activities allowed under the provisions of the permit to be designated as accredited institutions, which will be allowed to conduct archeological field activities on state-owned or controlled lands or within the boundaries of a state archeological landmark or landmark zone without obtaining an individual permit for each project. Requires the accredited institution to give prior written notice of all such anticipated archeological activities to the division with such information as may reasonably be required to insure the proper preservation, protection and excavation of the archeological resources. Directs that no archeological activity may be commenced by the accredited institution until the division has determined, within fifteen days of receipt of such notification, that the planned project will be in conformity with the guidelines, regulations and criteria adopted by the division. Directs that all specimens collected under a permit issued by the division or under procedures adopted for accredited institutions shall belong to the state with title vested in the division. Authorizes the division to arrange for the disposition of such specimens at accredited state institutions and for the temporary or permanent loan of such specimens at permit holding institutions for the purpose of study, display and curatorial responsibilities.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 267.13
Section Title: Florida Historical Resources Act: prohibited activities; penalties

Summary:

Prohibits a person from conducting archeological field investigations on, or removing, or defacing, destroying or altering any archeological site or specimen located on land owned by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archeological landmark or landmark zone, except in the course of activities pursued under authority of a permit or under procedures relating to accredited institutions granted by the division. Declares that a person shall commit a misdemeanor of the first degree who conducts such activities by means other than excavation and shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not to exceed $1,000, and shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects and materials collected, together with all photographs and records relating to such materials. Declares that a person shall commit a felony of the third degree who: conducts such activities by means of excavation; or offers for sale or exchange any object with knowledge that it has previously been collected or excavated in violation of any of the terms of 267.11 through 267.14; or who procures, councils, solicits or employs another person to violate such prohibitions. Directs that anyone who commits such felonies in the third degree shall be punished, upon the first offense, by imprisonment of not more than five years or, for a habitual offender, not more than ten years, with no possibility of release for five years, or a fine not to exceed $5,000, and shall be subject to forfeiture of any vehicle or equipment used in connection with the violation, and shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects and materials collected, together with all photographs and records relating to such materials. Authorizes the court to require the defendant to make restitution to the state for damage and the cost of restoring the affected resource. Authorizes the division to impose an administrative fine of not more than $500 a day on a person or business organization that, without written permission of the division, explores for, salvages or excavates treasure trove, artifacts, sunken or abandoned ships or other objects having historical or archeological value located on state-owned or state-controlled lands, including state sovereignty submerged lands. Declares that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor who reproduces, retouches, reworks or forges an archeological or historical object originating from an archeological site and deriving value from its antiquity or makes such an object, whether a copy or not, or falsely labels, identifies or offers for sale any object with intent to represent it as an original specimen.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Underwater Archeological Activity
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

CHAPTER 872 OFFENSES CONCERNING DEAD BODIES AND GRAVES


Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (1 through 3)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: legislative intent; definitions; notification

Summary:

Declares it to be the intention of the Legislature that all human burials and human skeletal remains be accorded equal treatment and respect based upon common human dignity without reference to ethnic origin, cultural background or religious affiliation. Directs that this section shall apply to all human burials, human skeletal remains and associated burial artifacts not otherwise protected by chapter 497 or other state law and found upon or within any public or private land in the state, including submerged lands. Defines an unmarked human burial as any human skeletal remains or associated burial artifacts or any location, including any burial mound or earthen or shell monument, where human skeletal remains or associated burial artifacts are discovered or believed to exist on the basis of archeological or historical evidence, excluding any burial marked or previously marked by a tomb, monument, gravestone or other structure. Requires a person who knows that an unmarked human burial is being unlawfully disturbed, destroyed, defaced, mutilated, removed, excavated or exposed to notify the local law enforcement agency immediately. Directs a local law enforcement agency that finds evidence that an unmarked human burial has been unlawfully disturbed to notify the district medical examiner.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (4)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: discovery other than during an archeological investigation

Summary:

Requires that, when an unmarked human burial is discovered other than during an archeological excavation authorized by the state or an educational institution, all activity that may disturb the burial shall cease immediately, and the district medical examiner shall be notified. Directs that such activity shall not resume unless authorized by the medical examiner or the state archeologist in the Division of Historical Resources. Directs the medical examiner, within thirty days of discovery, to notify the state archeologist if it is determined that the unmarked human burial represents a human who has been dead 75 years or more. Authorizes the division to assume jurisdiction over and responsibility for the unmarked human burial. Directs the state archeologist to consult a human skeletal analyst who shall report within fifteen days as to the cultural and biological characteristics of the human skeletal remains and where such burial or remains should be held prior to a final disposition.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (5)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: discovery during an archeological investigation

Summary:

Requires that, when an unmarked human burial is discovered as a result of an archeological excavation and the archeologist finds that the burial represents a human who has been dead 75 years or more, all activity that may disturb the burial shall cease immediately and the district medical examiner and the state archeologist shall be notified. Directs that the excavation shall not resume until authorized by the district medical examiner. Directs the archeologist to report to the state archeologist in the Division of Historical Resources within fifteen days as to the cultural and biological characteristics of the human skeletal remains and where such burial or remains should be held prior to a final disposition. Authorizes the division to assume jurisdiction over and responsibility for the unmarked human burial.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (6 through 7)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: jurisdiction; duties of the state archeologist; report required

Summary:

Authorizes the Division of Historical Resources to assume jurisdiction over and responsibility for the unmarked human burial in order to initiate efforts for the proper protection of the burial, the human skeletal remains and associated burial artifacts. Directs the state archeologist to determine whether the unmarked human burial is historically, archeologically or scientifically significant and, if so, to allow a human skeletal analyst to examine the remains before reinterment may occur. Requires the state archeologist, in determining the proper disposition of the remains found in an unmarked human burial, to make reasonable efforts to identify and locate persons who can establish direct kinship or tribal, community or ethnic relationships with the individual whose remains constitute the unmarked burial, especially the closest related family member or recognized community leaders. Directs the archeologist, if unable to establish such relationships, to consult persons with relevant experience, including: a human skeletal analyst; two Native American members of current state tribes recommended by the Governor's Council on Indian Affairs, Inc., if the remains are those of a Native American; two representatives of related community or ethnic groups if the remains are not those of a Native American; or an individual who has special knowledge or experience regarding the particular type of burial. Directs that, if the state archeologist finds that an unmarked human burial is historically, archeologically or scientifically significant and if the parties with whom the state archeologist is required to consult agree, the human skeletal remains and the associated burial artifacts thereof shall belong to the state with title vested in the division. Requires the archeologist and the human skeletal analyst involved in the excavation and scientific analysis of an unmarked human burial to submit a written report and a summary of such findings, in terms that may be understood by lay persons, to the state archeologist within two years of completion of the excavation, to be published by the division within one year after its receipt.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (8)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: public display

Summary:

Allows associated burial artifacts to be made available on loan by the division for educational purposes to institutions that have demonstrated an ability to provide safe, proper and respectful care. Requires the Division of Historical Resources to develop guidelines and adopt rules regarding the public display of human remains. Directs that such guidelines and rules shall not restrict legal, medical or educational use of human skeletal remains, or the display of human skeletal remains in a manner not objectionable to groups with a kinship, tribal, community or ethnic relationship to the individual whose remains are displayed.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (9)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: excavation not required

Summary:

Declares that this section does not require excavation of an unmarked human burial unless circumstances require excavation to prevent destruction of the human skeletal remains.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 872.05 (10)
Section Title: Unmarked human burials: violation and penalties

Summary:

Declares that a person who willfully and knowingly disturbs, destroys, removes, vandalizes or damages an unmarked human burial is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable upon the first offense, by imprisonment of not more than five years or, for a habitual offender, not more than ten years, with no possibility of release for five years, or a fine not to exceed $5,000, and shall be subject to forfeiture of any vehicle or equipment used in connection with the violation, and shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects and materials collected, together with all photographs and records relating to such materials. Declares that a person who has knowledge that an unmarked human burial is being disturbed, vandalized or damaged and fails to notify the local law enforcement agency is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not to exceed $5,000. Exempts a person from the provisions of this subsection who is acting under the direction or authority of the Division of Historical Resources or is otherwise authorized by law to disturb, destroy or remove an unmarked human burial.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Florida Statutes
Citation: 943.1728
Section Title: Department of Law Enforcement: basic skills training relating to the protection of archeological sites

Summary:

Directs the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission in the Department of Law Enforcement to establish standards for instruction of law enforcement officers in the subject of skills relating to the protection of archeological sites and artifacts, in consultation with the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State, the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement



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