Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Private Property

New York Archaeological Association

Resolution Regarding Treasure Hunting on Private Property

See also State Property

WHEREAS, it is legal to metal detect, dig-up, and remove artifacts from private property in New York State, as long as the landowner has given written permission for this activity;


WHEREAS, such activities, although legal, are destructive of cultural heritage represented in the sites from which such artifacts have been removed without recording of their spatial distribution and context with relation to other objects and structures present;


WHEREAS, publicizing of such activities to the general public, and especially to school-aged children suggests to them that this procedure for gathering information about the past is a valid one

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the New York Archaeological Council, the membership of the New York Archaeological Council, and the membership of the New York State Archaeological Association, present at the Annual Joint Meeting of these two organizations urge and request that treasure hunters, and treasure hunter organizations within New York State work with their members to educate them to the destructive nature of this approach to data-gathering on private property.


FURTHER, be it RESOLVED, that acknowledged, that the past is not owned by individuals but is held in trust for future generations.  Landowners today are guardians of our national heritage.  We urge private property owners to refuse permission to collectors, unless proper techniques are used to preserve and record these tangible pieces of our heritage.


FINALLY, be it RESOLVED, that there be cooperation between archaeologists and metal detectorists as well as other collectors to encourage mutually beneficial joining of forces to locate, record and protect these tangible pieces of our heritage, through proper recording and curating of objects and their provenience or contexts in any and all sites.

NYAC Resolution Regarding Treasure Hunting on State Land

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