Citation: Archaeological Resources (Arkansas Stat. Ann. Â§13-6-201 through Â§13-6-216 and Â§13-6-401 through Â§13-6-409).
Date Enacted: 1991
Summary: The state law prohibits the desecration of human remains and associated artifacts in unmarked, unrecorded, abandoned or unregistered graves, burial grounds or cemeteries found on public or private land or water. It also prohibits trade or commercial display of remains or associated burial furniture. Anyone who knowingly or intentionally buys, sells, displays or desecrates burial remains is committing a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense and Class D felony on the second offense. Legally acquired artifacts and private collections are exempted for these provisions. When justified by "A State Plan for the Conservation of Archaeological Resources in Arkansas," the investigation, excavation, removal and analysis of human skeletal remains and burial furniture is permitted. If the remains are on private land, the landowner must consent prior to excavation.
Upon discovery of human remains the archaeologist must notify the SHPO, who assists in determining appropriate tribes to include in the consultation process. Scientific studies are permitted only after consultation. If a tribal group recognized by the U.S. Government is determined to be directly related to the uncovered remains, the remains will be returned upon request. If no direct relation is identified, the Arkansas Archaeological Survey or state supported museum may serve as a repository for the skeletal remains for scientific research, the remains will be disposed of in accordance with existing laws, rules, and regulations for disposing of human remains.
Jurisdiction: All public and private land or water.
Statute of Limitations: Not specified.
Areas Covered Under Act: All human remains and burial furniture.
Ownership: Remains are to be returned to the appropriate tribe or church, or the Arkansas Archaeological Survey or a state supported museum will assume charge.
Review/Consultation Committee: No review committee is established, but the SHPO must assist in identifying appropriate tribal groups for consultation.
Liable: Anyone who knowingly or intentionally buys, sells, displays or desecrates burial remains.
Penalties: First offends of buying or selling human remains or intentionally desecrates a burial ground are a Class A misdemeanor; all second offenses are a Class D felony. Displaying human remains for profit or aiding a commercial enterprise is a Class B misdemeanor, with each day of display a separate offense.
Exemptions: Legally acquired artifacts in private collections are exempt. Agricultural activities are exempt.
Permitting: The Arkansas Archaeological Survey issues permits to excavate.