Legal Issues Concerning Cultural Heritage Resources Damage Assessments

Author(s): Todd Swain

Year: 2015


The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) was passed in 1979. ARPA requires archaeologists to calculate three different types of value to quantify the amount of loss in federal looting incidents – archaeological value, commercial value and cost of restoration and repair. In 2002, a section was added to the U. S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines to cover the damage, theft and trafficking of Cultural Heritage Resources. These guidelines also require archaeologists to calculate the amount of loss for sentencing purposes. Despite hundreds of training courses and numerous court rulings concerning archaeological damage assessments, many archaeologists are still ill-prepared to complete a document that will withstand scrutiny within the federal legal system.

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Cite this Record

Legal Issues Concerning Cultural Heritage Resources Damage Assessments. Todd Swain. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396042)