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The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Mississippi Laws

Summaries follow 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: Mississippi Code
Citation: 39- 7-11
Section Title: Antiquities Law of Mississippi: designation of sites, objects, etc. upon lands belonging to state or political subdivisions as Mississippi Landmarks

Summary:

(1) Designates as Mississippi Landmarks and declares to be the sole property of the state all sites, objects, buildings, artifacts, implements and locations of archeological significance, including those pertaining to prehistoric and historic American Indian or aboriginal campsites, dwellings and habitation sites, their artifacts and implements of culture, as well as archeological sites of every character that are located in, on or under the surface of any lands belonging to the state or to any county, city or political subdivision of the state. Prohibits such properties from being taken, altered, damaged, destroyed, salvaged or excavated without a contract or permit from the board. (2) Authorizes the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History to declare to be Mississippi Landmarks all other sites, objects, buildings, artifacts, implements, structures and locations of historic or architectural significance located in or under the surface of any lands belonging to the state or to any county, city or political subdivision. Requires designated Mississippi Landmarks to be recorded in the deed records of the county in which they are located. Prohibits such designated sites or items located on public lands from being taken, altered, damaged, destroyed, salvaged, restored, renovated or excavated without a permit from the board. (3) Prohibits all sites or items located on private lands within the state that have been designated as Mississippi Landmarks from being taken, altered, damaged, destroyed, salvaged, restored, renovated or excavated without a permit from the board. Requires such designation to be recorded in the deed records of the county in which the landmark is located.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Mississippi Code
Citation: 39- 7-17 through 39- 7-21
Section Title: Antiquities Law of Mississippi: contracts and permits for salvage at Mississippi Landmarks

Summary:

(17) Authorizes the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History to enter into contracts with other state agencies or institutions, corporations or individuals for the discovery and salvage of treasure imbedded in the earth, sunken or abandoned ships or wrecks of the sea, parts thereof and their contents. Allows such contracts to provide for fair compensation to the salvager in terms of a percentage of the reasonable cash value of the objects recovered, or at the discretion of the board, of a fair share of the objects recovered. Authorizes the board to determine the amount constituting a fair share, taking into consideration the circumstances of each operation. Directs that the reasonable cash value shall be determined by contract provision providing for appraisal by qualified experts or by representatives of the contracting parties and their representative. Retains for the state superior title to all objects recovered unless and until title is released to the salvager or permittee by the board. Prohibits a person, firm or corporation from conducting such salvage or recovery operations without first obtaining a contract. Authorizes the board to conduct surveys to identify Mississippi Landmarks on or under all lands and waters belonging to the state, or any county, city or political subdivision of the state and to excavate or study all landmarks. Authorizes the board to identify and excavate historic, architectural or archeological sites on private property. Requires any survey or excavation carried out by the board on private land to be carried out only with the land owner's consent. (19) Authorizes the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History to issue permits to other state agencies or institutions and to qualified private institutions, companies or individuals for the taking, salvaging, excavating, restoring or conducting of scientific or educational studies at, in or on Mississippi landmarks. Allows such permits to provide for the retaining by the permittee of a portion of any recovery, as set out for contracting parties in 39-7-17. Prohibits a person, firm or corporation from conducting such salvage or recovery operations without first obtaining and having in its possession such permit at the site of operation. (21) Requires that all salvage or recovery operations conducted under contract or permit be carried out under the general supervision of the board in accordance with reasonable rules and regulations adopted by the board, and in such manner that the maximum amount of historic, scientific, archeological and educational information may be recovered and preserved in addition to the physical recovery of items. Directs that the board shall be the legal custodian of all antiquities recovered. Authorizes the board to promulgate such rules and regulations and to require such contract or permit conditions as to reasonably effect the purposes of this chapter.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority
    • Underwater Archeological Activity

Code Book: Mississippi Code
Citation: 39- 7-23 through 39- 7-25
Section Title: Antiquities Law of Mississippi: expenditures for acquisition of items; gifts and bequests; contracts for temporary possession of items by others; restoration of antiquities for private parties

Summary:

(23) Authorizes the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History to expend such sums as it may deem advisable, from any appropriation made for such purposes, to purchase from a salvager or permittee the salvager's or permittee's share of items recovered, or a portion thereof, that, in the opinion of the board, should remain the property of the state. Authorizes the board to accept gifts, grants, devises and bequests of money, securities or property to be used in the purchase of such items from the salvager or permittee. Allows the board to enter into contracts or agreements with persons, firms corporations or institutions who may advance to the board the money necessary to procure from a salvager or permittee such items as the board might determine should remain the property of the state in exchange for the privilege of the person, board, institution or corporation retaining temporary possession of such items, upon condition that the items: must be available for public viewing while in the temporary possession; shall not be removed from the state without written authorization of the board; and shall be subject to recovery by the board when the board should chose to repay the sum so advanced, without interest or additional charge. (25) Authorizes the restoration of antiquities for private parties under rules and regulations promulgated by the board, with all costs incurred in such restoration paid by the private party.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts

Code Book: Mississippi Code
Citation: 39- 7-27 through 39- 7-33
Section Title: Antiquities Law of Mississippi: violations

Summary:

(27) Prohibits a person from intentionally reproducing, replicating, retouching, reworking or forging any archeological or other object that derives value from its antiquity, with intent to represent the same to be original or genuine and with intent to deceive or offer any such item for sale or exchange. (29) Prohibits a person from intentionally and knowingly defacing any American Indian or aboriginal paintings, hieroglyphics or other marks or carvings on rock or elsewhere. (31) Prohibits a person from entering or attempting to enter upon the lands of another, without the written consent of the owner, proprietor, lessee or person in charge thereof, to injure, disfigure, remove, excavate, damage, take, dig into or destroy intentionally any prehistoric or historic monument, marker, medallion or artifact, or any prehistoric or historic archeological site, American Indian or aboriginal remains located in, on or under any private lands within the state. Prohibits a person without a permit from the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History and without permission of the land owner, from intentionally injuring, disfiguring, removing, excavating, damaging, taking, digging into or destroying any prehistoric or historic American Indian or aboriginal burial. (33) Declares it to be unlawful for any person, not being the owner thereof, and without lawful authority, willfully to injure, disfigure, remove or destroy any historical structure, monument, marker, medallion or artifact.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

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

Code Book: Mississippi Code
Citation: 39- 7-35
Section Title: Antiquities Law of Mississippi: penalties for violation of chapter; finder's fee for arrest and conviction of violator

Summary:

Declares that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor who violates any provisions of this chapter and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $5,000, or by confinement in jail for not more than thirty days, or by both a fine and confinement, with each day of continued violation constituting a separate offense. Authorizes the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History to grant a finder's fee not to exceed $500 for the arrest and conviction of any person in violation of this chapter.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Mississippi Code
Citation: 39- 7-37 through 39- 7-39
Section Title: Antiquities Law of Mississippi: civil action to enjoin violations or threatened violations of chapter; other agencies and governments to assist in enforcement

Summary:

Authorizes the attorney general to bring an action in the name of the state in any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin violations or threatened violations of this chapter, and for the return of items taken or for the restoration of alterations made in violations of the provisions thereof. Directs that the venue for such actions shall lie in the county in which the activity sought to be enjoined is alleged to be taking place, or in the county from which the items were taken. Authorizes any citizen in the state to bring the same actions in the same venues.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement



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Mississippi government, preservation and state archaeological resource links.



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