Resolutions on Treasure Hunting on State Property
See also Private Property
WHEREAS, in accordance with New York State Education Law # 233 #1, “all scientific specimens and collections, works of art, objects of art, objects of historic interest and similar property appropriate to a general museum, if owned by the state and not placed in other custody by a specific law, shall constitute the collections of the state museum.”
WHEREAS, stated in #3 of this section, “the state of New York, through its legislative authority accepts the provisions of section one hundred twenty of the federal-aid highway act of nineteen hundred fifty-six (1) (70 Stat.374) relating to the salvage of archaeological and paleontological objects, including ruins, sites, Indian Burial grounds, buildings, artifacts, fossils or other objects of antiquity having national significance from an historical or scientific standpoint, and empowers and directs the commissioner of education to make agreements with appropriate state departments or agencies and such agency or agencies as the federal government may designate to carry out the purposes of such provision of law.”
WHEREAS, stated in #4 of this section, “except as otherwise provided in subdivision three of this section, no person shall appropriate, excavate, injure or destroy any object of archaeological and paleontological interest, situated on or under lands owned by the state of New York, without the written permission of the commissioner of education. A violation of this provision shall constitute a misdemeanor. The discovery of such objects shall be forthwith reported to the commissioner by the state department or agency having jurisdiction over such lands.”
WHEREAS, stated in #5 of this section, “permits for the examination, excavation or gathering of archaeological and paleontological objects upon the lands under their respective jurisdiction may be granted by the heads of state departments or other state agencies to persons authorized by the commissioner of education for the purposes of the state museum and state science service, with a view to the preservation of any such objects worthy of permanent preservation and, in all cases, to the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge relating thereto.”
THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the New York Archaeological Council urges and requests that the various Treasure Hunter organizations within New York State work with their members to educate them to this law and to work as monitors and guardians of the said state lands, “scientific specimens and collections, works of art, objects of historic interest and similar property…if owned by the state and not placed in other custody by a specific law…”
FURTHER, be it RESOLVED, that if members of these organizations or other groups within New York State are found to be violating the terms of this Education Law, they will be reported promptly to the Commissioner of Education or other persons authorized by the Commissioner.