2013 ORS § 358.920¹
Prohibited conduct
  • exception
  • penalty

(1)(a) A person may not excavate, injure, destroy or alter an archaeological site or object or remove an archaeological object located on public or private lands in Oregon unless that activity is authorized by a permit issued under ORS 390.235 (Permits and conditions for excavation or removal of archaeological or historical material).

(b) Collection of an arrowhead from the surface of public or private land is permitted if collection can be accomplished without the use of any tool.

(c) It is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section if:

(A) A person possesses the objects described in paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(B) A person possesses any tool that could be used to remove such objects from the ground; and

(C) A person does not possess a permit required under ORS 390.235 (Permits and conditions for excavation or removal of archaeological or historical material).

(2) A person may not sell, purchase, trade, barter or exchange or offer to sell, purchase, trade, barter or exchange any archaeological object that has been removed from an archaeological site on public land or obtained from private land within the State of Oregon without the written permission of the landowner.

(3)(a) A person may not sell, trade, barter or exchange or offer to sell, trade, barter or exchange any archaeological object unless the person furnishes the purchaser a certificate of origin to accompany the object that is being sold or offered. The certificate shall include:

(A) For objects obtained from public land:

(i) A statement that the object was originally acquired before October 15, 1983.

(ii) The location from which the object was obtained and a brief cumulative description of how the object had come into the possession of the current owner in accordance with the provisions of ORS 358.905 (Definitions for ORS 358.905 to 358.961) to 358.961 (Time limitations on actions or proceedings) and 390.235 (Permits and conditions for excavation or removal of archaeological or historical material).

(iii) A statement that the object is not human remains, a funerary object, sacred object or object of cultural patrimony.

(B) For objects obtained from private land:

(i) A statement that the object is not human remains, a funerary object, sacred object or object of cultural patrimony.

(ii) A copy of the written permission of the landowner to acquire the object.

(b) As used in this subsection, certificate of origin means a signed and notarized statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(4)(a) If the archaeological object was acquired after October 15, 1983, from public lands, any object not described in paragraph (b) of this subsection is under the stewardship of the state and shall be delivered to the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology. The museum shall work with the appropriate Indian tribe and other interested parties to develop appropriate curatorial facilities for artifacts and other material records, photographs and documents relating to the cultural or historic properties in this state. Generally, artifacts shall be curated as close to the community of their origin as their proper care allows. If it is not feasible to curate artifacts within this state, the museum may after consultation with the appropriate Indian tribe or tribes enter into agreements with organizations outside this state to provide curatorial services; and

(b) If the object is human remains, a funerary object, a sacred object or an object of cultural patrimony, it shall be dealt with according to ORS 97.740 (Definitions for ORS 97.740 to 97.760), 97.745 (Prohibited acts) and 97.750 (Permitted acts).

(5) A person may not excavate an archaeological site on privately owned property unless that person has the property owners written permission.

(6) If human remains are encountered during excavations of an archaeological site on privately owned property, the person shall stop all excavations and report the find to the landowner, the state police, the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Commission on Indian Services. All funerary objects relating to the burial shall be delivered as required by ORS 358.940 (Reinterment required).

(7) This section does not apply to a person who disturbs an Indian cairn or burial. Any person who disturbs an Indian cairn or burial for any reason shall comply with the provisions of ORS 97.740 (Definitions for ORS 97.740 to 97.760) to 97.760 (Civil action by Indian tribe or member).

(8) Violation of the provisions of this section is a Class B misdemeanor. [1983 c.620 §3; 1993 c.459 §4; 1995 c.543 §4; 1997 c.249 §115]