State Statutes on Protecting Ancient Burials
Burials Statutes | Burials
263B.7 Ancient remains. The state archaeologist has the primary
responsibility for investigating, preserving and reinterring discoveries
of ancient human remains. For the purposes of this section ancient human
remains shall be those remains found within the state which are more
than one hundred fifty years old. The state archaeologist shall make
arrangements for the services of a forensic osteologist in studying
and interpreting ancient burials and may designate other qualified archaeologists
to assist the state archaeologist in recovering physical and cultural
information about the ancient burials. The state archaeologist shall
file with the Iowa department of public health a written report containing
both physical and cultural information regarding the remains at the
conclusion of each investigation.
263B.8 Cemetery for ancient remains. The state archaeologist
shall establish, with the approval of the executive council [Governor,
Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Secretary of Agriculture],
a cemetery on existing state lands for the reburial of ancient human
remains found in the state. The cemetery shall not be open to the public.
The state archaeologist in co-operation with the department of natural
resources shall be responsible for co-ordinating interment in the cemetery.
263B.9 Authority to deny permission to disinter human remains.
The state archaeologist shall have the authority to deny permission
to disinter human remains that the state archaeologist determines have
state and national significance from an historical or scientific standpoint
for the inspiration and benefit of the people of the United States.
716.5 Criminal mischief in the third degree. A person commits
criminal mischief in the third degree [aggravated misdemeanor] who does
either of the following: 1. Intentionally disinters human remains from
a burial site without lawful authority. 2. Intentionally disinters human
remains that have state and national significance from an historical
or scientific standpoint for the inspiration and benefit of the United
States without the permission of the state archaeologist.
5231.316(6) Discovery of Human Remains. Any person discovering
human remains shall notify the county or state medical examiner or a
city, county, or state law enforcement agency as soon as is resonably
possible unless the person knows or has good reason to believe that
such notice has already been given or the discovery occurs in a cemetery.
If there is reason to believe that interment may have occurred more
than one hundred fifty years earlier, the governmental subdivision notified
shall also notify the state archaeologist. A person who does not provide
notice required pursuant to this subsection commits a serious misdemeanor.
Iowa Administrative Code
Ancient Human Skeletal Remains
685-11.1 Procedures. OSA is the appropriate agency to contact
regarding the discovery of human physical remains or suspected human
physical remains believed to be over 150 years old. The OSA should be
notified of the location of areas believed to represent ancient burial
grounds. The director has the authority to deny permission to disinter
human physical remains from aboriginal ossuaries, grave sites, cemeteries
or any other archaeological deposit that are determined to have state
and national significance from the standpoint of history or science.
11.1(4) The OSA shall maintain records of all known or suspected
ancient burial sites in the state. The OSA has the authority to co-ordinate
activities pertaining to ancient burial grounds in order to foster their
protection and preservation.
Text last updated on February 15, 1996
Burials Statutes | Burials
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