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Important Laws

Please see below for a list of Federal and State laws that are in place to protect archaeological sites from looting and disturbance. For more information on artifact collecting and metal detecting, please see Georgia Historic Preservation Division website and the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologist’s website

Federal Laws

  • National Historic Preservation Act, as Amended (Public Law 95-515) and Section 106
  • Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (P.L. 96-95)
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (P.L. 101-601)
  • Secretary of the Interior's Professional Qualifications Standards, as Amended (36 CFR Part 61)

State Laws

  • Archeological Exploration, Excavation, or Surveying (OCGA* 12-3-52)
  • Protection of Archeological, Aboriginal, Prehistoric, and Historic Sites (OCGA 12-3-620 to 622)
  • Notification of Department Before Beginning Investigation or Disturbance of Site (OCGA 12-3- 621 [b])
  • Submerged Cultural Resources (OCGA 12-3-80 to 83)
  • Abandoned Cemeteries and Burial Grounds (OCGA 36-72 -1 to 16)
  • Notification of Law Enforcement Agengy Upon Disturbance, Distruction or Debasement of Human Remains (OCGA 31-21-6)
  • When Public Disclosure is Not Required (OCGA 50- 18-72[a][14])
  • Georgia Environmental Policy Act (OCGA 12-16-1 to 8)
  • Cave Protection (OCGA 12-4-140 to 147)
  • State Archeologist (OCGA 12-3-53)
  • Criminal Trespass (OCGA 16-7-21)

See the *Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) at your courthouse or local library for a cited code section.