Indian Burial and Sacred Grounds Watch

indexmission
siteslearnactionlinkscontact

Subjects

Federal laws

State laws

Some preserved sites.

Some history and culture

Controversies Concerning Archaeology

American Indian Voices

News Archive Index

Return to main Learn page


Please inform the webmaster of any broken links!

The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Tennessee Laws

Full text of Tennessee's state rules on dealing with Native American cemeteries. Tennessee Archaeology Net has a page, Laws and Ethics Statements Pertaining to Archaeology, with links to Tennessee's state laws and current bills.

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: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 5-108
Section Title: Vandalism of caves or caverns

Summary:

(a)(2) Declares it to be an offense for any person, without the prior permission of the owner, to harm or disturb any artifact found in a cave. [11-6-102(1) Defines "artifact," for the purpose of this chapter, as any relic, specimen or object of a historical, prehistorical, archeological or anthropological nature that may be found above or below the surface of the earth, and that has scientific or historic value as an object of antiquity, as an aboriginal relic or as an archeological specimen.]

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Cave Activity

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-104
Section Title: Archeology: excavated artifacts--property of state--availability and care

Summary:

Declares that all artifacts and other materials excavated, discovered, donated or otherwise acquired by the Division of Archeology pursuant to this chapter shall be the property of the state and placed under the custodianship of the division. Directs the state archeologist to have primary responsibility to assure that the material is properly and adequately safeguarded and available at all reasonable times to interested scientists and to the public insofar as funds and good scientific practices permit. Authorizes the state archeologist, whenever it is consistent with good scientific practices and in the furtherance of the aims and purposes of the division, to approve and permit the loan of such objects and materials to nonprofit scientific organizations, public agencies, museums and institutions of higher learning both within and without the state for purposes of research or public education. Prohibits the public exhibition or display of Native American Indian remains held by the division.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

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

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-105
Section Title: Archeology: excavation of state lands--permits--unauthorized excavation--penalty

Summary:

(a) Reserves for the state the exclusive right and privilege of field archeology on sites owned or controlled by the state, its agencies, departments, institutions and commissions in order to protect and preserve archeological and scientific information, matter and artifacts. (b) Requires that such information and artifacts recovered from state lands shall be used solely for scientific or public educational purposes and shall remain the property of the state unless the state archeologist and the Archeological Advisory Council shall conclude that some artifacts do not merit retention. (c) Prohibits any person or organization, including other state agencies, from excavating upon any site situated on lands owned or controlled by the state or any agency thereof, unless acting as a duly authorized agent of the Division of Archeology. (d) Authorizes the state archeologist to grant permits and contracts for archeological exploration or excavation for such periods of time and under such terms and conditions as the state archeologist may determine. (e) Declares that all artifacts, photographs and records obtained by such agents shall remain the property of the state, subject to the decision of the state archeologist and the advisory council, and shall be maintained in agreed upon public repositories. (f) Declares that a person, corporation, society or organization conducting archeological explorations or excavations upon lands owned or controlled by the state or an agency of the state without having first obtained a permit from the state archeologist commits a Class A misdemeanor, except that a violation occurring on a site listed in the Tennessee Register of Archeological Sites where the commercial or archeological value of the artifact involved and the cost of restoration or repair of such archeological site or artifact exceeds the sum of $5,000 is a Class E felony. (g) Requires all artifacts excavated by such persons or organizations to be forfeited to the state and delivered to the Division of Archeology.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-106
Section Title: Archeology: defacement of sites or artifacts--misdemeanor

Summary:

Declares it to be a Class A misdemeanor for a person, natural or corporate, to write upon, carve upon, paint, deface, mutilate, destroy or otherwise injure an object of antiquity, artifact, Indian painting, Indian carving or sites.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-107
Section Title: Archeology: discovery of sites, artifacts or human remains: notice to Division of Archeology

Summary:

(a) Directs state agencies, departments, institutions and commissions, as well as all counties and municipalities, to cooperate fully with the Division of Archeology in the Department of Environment and Conservation. (b) Directs a public body owning or having control over any land where sites or artifacts are discovered and that is preparing to initiate construction or other earth-moving activities upon such property, or is currently performing such work, to comply fully with subsection (d) regarding the disturbance of human remains. Directs public bodies to urge supervisors of such works to notify the division of the discovery and location of sites or artifacts immediately, and to cooperate to the fullest extent practicable with the division, either to prevent the destruction of such sites and artifacts or to allow the division to obtain maximum information and artifacts before these locations are disturbed or destroyed. (c) Directs state agencies to have the provisions of this chapter made known to contractors who are to perform work on any such public lands. Requires contractors to comply fully with the provisions of this chapter. (d) Requires a person who encounters or accidentally disturbs or disinters human remains on public or private land, except during excavations authorized by this chapter, to cease disturbing the ground immediately in the area of the human remains and notify either the coroner or medical examiner and a local law enforcement agency. Declares that a person who fails to cease such activity and provide such notifications commits a Class A misdemeanor. Directs the coroner or medical examiner, within five working days of notification, to determine whether the site merits further forensic or criminal investigation, and, if not, to notify the department. Directs that human remains and burial objects reported to the division shall be treated as provided in 11-6-104 and 11-6-119. Exempts from the provisions of this section: normal farming activity, provided that if human remains are discovered or disturbed, a report should be made to the proper authorities; and surface collecting. Declares that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant a right of access or occupation to the public without the land owner's permission. (e) Directs that all archeological site clearance work carried out pursuant to this section shall, in as far as possible, be scheduled so as not to interfere with construction activities, and such clearance work shall be conducted only at sites that have the potential to yield information significant to the scientific study of the state's aboriginal and historic past.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-109
Section Title: Archeology: private land--trespass, vandalism and unauthorized activities--permission--artifacts--prohibited storage, dumping or littering

Summary:

Declares it to be an act of trespass and a Class A misdemeanor for a person, natural or corporate, to excavate and remove artifacts from the private land of any owner without first obtaining the owner's express permission. Prohibits a person, corporation, partnership, association or other entity from the following: excavating, damaging, vandalizing or removing any artifact from or otherwise altering or defacing any site listed in the Tennessee Register of Archeological Sites without first obtaining the land owner's permission; selling or offering to sell, purchasing or offering to purchase or otherwise exchanging any artifact from a site listed in the Tennessee Register of Archeological Sites if the artifact has been removed or received in violation of this section; or storing, dumping, littering or otherwise disposing of any garbage, dead animal, sewage or toxic substance in any cave or sinkhole listed in the Tennessee Register of Archeological Sites.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Cave Activity
    • Private Funds
    • Private Property
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-111
Section Title: Archeology: threatened site--contract with corporations or organizations

Summary:

Authorizes the Division of Archeology to make a contract with any corporation or organization for the conduct of archeology upon any site, particularly sites threatened with damage or destruction by public or private construction projects.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-112
Section Title: Archeology: violations--penalties--enforcement powers

Summary:

Directs that any act declared to be a misdemeanor or a felony in this Part, and not otherwise classified, shall be a Class A misdemeanor or a Class E felony, respectively. Declares that employees of the Division of Archeology, when properly commissioned and qualified by the commissioner of environment and conservation, shall have all police powers authorized for park superintendents and rangers under 11-3-107 necessary to enforce all state laws and all rules and regulations made and published by the department regarding archeological sites for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of 11-6-104 through 11-6-106.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-116
Section Title: Archeology: excavation of areas containing Native American remains: Native American representatives on site

Summary:

Directs that representatives of Native American Indians shall have a right to be present on the site at all times when a burial ground or other area containing human remains of Native American Indians is being excavated or treatment of such remains is taking place. Directs the Department of Environment and Conservation to promulgate regulations governing application procedures for and the number of representatives to be present on sites.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-117 through 11- 6-118
Section Title: Archeology: Native American Indian human remains--prohibited acts

Summary:

Prohibits the public exhibition or display of Native American Indian human remains, except as evidence in a judicial proceeding. Prohibits the import into the state or the export from the state of human remains, except in the following instances: by hospitals or medical schools for education or research purposes; for burial or reburial, or preparation for the same; or for use as evidence in any judicial proceeding. Declares violation of this section to be a Class E felony. Directs that any remains so imported or exported shall be confiscated and subject to disposition as provided in 11-6-104 and 11-6-119.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

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

Code Book: Tennessee Code
Citation: 11- 6-119
Section Title: Archeology: reburial of human remains following discovery or confiscation

Summary:

Requires that any human remains discovered in the course of an excavation or accidentally, and any remains confiscated pursuant to 11-6-118, shall be properly reburied in a manner appropriate to Native American traditions, following scientific analysis, within six months of such discovery or confiscation in accordance with procedures formulated by the Archeological Advisory Council. Authorizes the director of the Division of Archeology to grant an extension of not more than six months upon request for additional scientific or medical research before reburial is required.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Disposition of Human Remains



Return to State laws
State Historic Preservation Legislation Database. Search by state and keywords for legislation.
Tennessee government, preservation and state archaeological resource links.



home : mission : updates : sites : learn : action : links : contact


Best viewed at screen resolutions 1024 x 768 and 800 x 600
Copyright Information
For site problems contact the webmaster