Code of Virginia - Title 10.1 Conservation - Section 10.1-2305 Permit required for the archaeological excavation of human remains

§ 10.1-2305. Permit required for the archaeological excavation of human remains

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct any type of archaeological field investigation involving the removal of human skeletal remains or associated artifacts from any unmarked human burial regardless of age of an archaeological site and regardless of ownership without first receiving a permit from the Director.

B. Where unmarked burials are not part of a legally chartered cemetery, archaeological excavation of such burials pursuant to a permit from the Director shall be exempt from the requirements of §§ 57-38.1 and 57-39. However, such exemption shall not apply in the case of human burials within formally chartered cemeteries that have been abandoned.

C. The Department shall be considered an interested party in court proceedings considering the abandonment of legally constituted cemeteries or family graveyards with historic significance. A permit from the Director is required if archaeological investigations are undertaken as a part of a court-approved removal of a cemetery.

D. The Board shall promulgate regulations implementing this section that provide for appropriate public notice prior to issuance of a permit, provide for appropriate treatment of excavated remains, the scientific quality of the research conducted on the remains, and the appropriate disposition of the remains upon completion of the research. The Department may carry out such excavations and research without a permit, provided that it has complied with the substantive requirements of the regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.

E. Any interested party may appeal the Director's decision to issue a permit or to act directly to excavate human remains to the local circuit court. Such appeal must be filed within fourteen days of the Director's decision.

(1989, c. 656.)

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Last modified: April 16, 2009