Understanding Section 3 of NAGPRA

Author(s): Mary Carroll

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Beyond Collections: Federal Archaeology and "New Discoveries" under NAGPRA" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) became law on November 16, 1990. In the 29 years since NAGPRA was enacted, much attention has been paid to Native American human remains and other cultural items subject to NAGPRA already in museum and Federal agency collections. However, there’s another aspect of NAGPRA that impacts Federal agencies and their work. Section 3 covers the ownership of cultural items subject to NAGPRA inadvertently discovered or intentionally excavated on Federal lands after November 16, 1990. But what is actually required under Section 3? This paper will set the context for the "Beyond Collections" symposium by providing a brief summary of Section 3, including what must occur in order to allow archaeological excavations; what must happen at the time of an inadvertent discovery; who is entitled to custody/ownership of the human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony; and what dispositions of "unclaimed" cultural items are allowed.

Cite this Record

Understanding Section 3 of NAGPRA. Mary Carroll. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451777)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23499