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The Law and American Indian Grave Protection

Texas Laws

Summaries of burial/archaeological laws follow. Links to full text where available.
191.133 specifically concerns American Indian burials and artifacts.


Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.051 through 191.052
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: powers and duties in general; rules

Summary:

Directs the Texas Antiquities Committee to be the legal custodian of the Antiquities Code of Texas with duties to include the following: maintain an inventory of items recovered and retained by the state; determine the site of and designate or remove designation from landmarks; contract for discovery operations or scientific investigations, and consider requests for and issue permits for survey and discovery, excavation, restoration, demolition or study; prepare and make available to the general public and appropriate state agencies and political subdivisions information of consumer interest describing the functions of the committee and the procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by the Committee; and protect and preserve the archeological and historical resources of Texas. Enables the Texas Antiquities Committee to promulgate rules and require contract or permit conditions to reasonable effect under the Antiquities Code of Texas.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

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

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.053
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: contract for discovery and scientific investigation

Summary:

Enables the Texas Antiquities Committee to contract with other state agencies or political subdivisions and with qualified private institutions, corporations or individuals for the discovery and scientific investigation of sunken or abandoned ships or wrecks of the sea, or any part of the contents of them or archeological deposits or treasure imbedded in the earth. Retains title by the state to all objects recovered unless and until it is released by the committee.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Underwater Archeological Activity

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.054
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: permit for survey and discovery, excavation, restoration, demolition or study

Summary:

Enables the Texas Antiquities Committee to issue permits to state agencies, political subdivisions or qualified private institutions, companies or individuals for the survey and discovery, excavation, restoration, demolition or study of eligible landmarks on public lands, if the committee determines that the permit is in the best interest of the state.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.055
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: supervision

Summary:

Directs that all scientific investigations or recovery operations conducted under the contract provisions in 191.053 or under permits set out in 191.054 of the Antiquities Code of Texas must be carried out under the general supervision of the Texas Antiquities Committee in accordance with reasonable rules adopted by the committee in such a 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.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.057
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: survey, excavation or restoration for private parties

Summary:

Enables the Texas Antiquities Committee to survey, excavate or restore antiquities for private parties under rules promulgated by the committee, with all real and administrative costs incurred to be paid by the private party.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.058
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: display of artifacts

Summary:

Enables the Texas Antiquities Committee, on a majority vote, to arrange or contract with other state agencies or political subdivisions and with qualified private institutions, corporations or individuals for the display of artifacts and other items in its custody through permanent exhibits established in the locality in which the artifacts were discovered, or through portable or mobile displays. Directs the committee to serve as legal custodian of such items and to adopt rules to assure their appropriate security, preservation and display. Enables the committee to arrange for the curation of artifacts and data recovered under a permit issued by the committee, and to assess costs of such curation, if a state agency or political subdivision should lack the facilities to curate or provide responsible storage for such artifacts or data.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Curation / Ownership of Artifacts

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.093
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: prerequisites to removal, altering, damaging, destroying, salvaging or excavating certain landmarks

Summary:

Declares all landmarks designated under 191.091 and 191.092 of the Antiquities Code of Texas to be the property of the state and requires a contract with or permit from the Texas Antiquities Committee to remove, alter, damage, destroy, salvage or excavate such landmarks.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.094 through 191.096
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: designating a landmark on private land; permits; marking

Summary:

Enables the Texas Antiquities Committee, by a majority vote, to designate any site located on private land as a state archeological landmark if it is determined to be of sufficient archeological, scientific or historical significance. Requires written consent of the landowner to designate a site located on private land as a state archeological landmark, and, on designation, the recordation of such consent in the county deed of records. Directs that all sites or items of archeological, scientific or historical interest located on private land in the state and designated as state archeological landmarks may not be taken, altered, damaged, destroyed, salvaged or excavated without a permit from the Texas Antiquities Committee. Directs that any site on private land which is designated as a landmark be marked by at least one marker bearing the words "State Archeological Landmark."

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.098
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: notification of alteration or demolition of possible landmark

Summary:

Requires a state agency to notify the Texas Antiquities Committee no later than 60 days before beginning alteration, renovation or demolition of a building owned by the state that is at least 50 years old and has not been designated a landmark. Requires the agency to obtain a permit to alter, renovate or demolish such a building if the committee determines the building to be a state archeological landmark within 60 days of notification. Enables the applicant to proceed with the proposed action if the committee fails to provide a substantive response within 60 days of notification.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.131
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: contract or permit required

Summary:

No person, firm or corporation may conduct an operation on any landmark without first obtaining a permit from the Texas Antiquities Committee and having the permit in possession at the site of the operation.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Permit / Site Investigation Authority

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.132
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: damage or destruction

Summary:

Prohibits the intentional defacement of American Indian or aboriginal paintings, hieroglyphics, or other marks or carvings on rock or elsewhere that pertain to early American Indian or aboriginal habitation of the country. Prohibits any person who is not the owner from willfully injuring, disfiguring, removing or destroying a historical structure, monument, marker, medallion or artifact without lawful authority.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.133
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: entry without consent

Summary:

Prohibits any person who is not the owner, and does not have the consent of the owner, proprietor, lessee or person in charge, from entering on the enclosed land of another and intentionally injuring, disfiguring, removing, excavating, damaging, taking, digging into or destroying any historical structure, monument, marker, medallion, or artifact, or any prehistoric or historic archeological site, American Indian or aboriginal campsite, artifact, burial, ruin or other archeological remains located in, on or under any private land within the state.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement

Code Book: Texas Natural Resources Code
Citation: 191.171 through 191.174
Section Title: Antiquities Code of Texas: enforcement

Summary:

Declares the violation of the Antiquities Code of Texas to be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $1,000, or by confinement of not more than 30 days in jail, or both, and that each day of continued violation constitutes a separate offense. Enables the state attorney general to bring a civil action in the name of the state, or a citizen of the state to bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction, for restraining orders and injunctive relief against violations or threatened violations of the Antiquities Code of Texas, and for the return of items taken in violation of that code. Directs the chief administrative officers of all state agencies and political subdivisions and all state and local law enforcement agencies and officers to assist the Texas Antiquities Committee and the attorney general in carrying out the intent and provisions of the Antiquities Code of Texas.

Primary Topic: Archeological Activities

    Secondary Topic:
    • Violation / Penalty / Enforcement



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Texas government, preservation and state archaeological resource links.



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