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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 17. Libraries And Cultural Resources
Agency 5. Board of Historic Resources
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing Permits for the Archaeological Removal of Human Remains
3/1/2024

17VAC5-20-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Archaeological site" means a geographic area on dry land that contains any evidence of human activity which is or may be the source of important historic, scientific, archaeological or educational data or objects, regardless of age. Dry land includes land which is saturated or under water on a temporary basis.

"Associated artifacts" means natural objects or objects of human manufacture worn by or buried with human remains at the time of burial.

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Historic Resources.

"Curation" means the care and maintenance of artifacts or human remains, or both, from the time they are removed from the ground during any period of analysis and study, and as a possible option for long-term disposition of excavated materials.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Historic Resources.

"Emergency" means a situation in which human burials that have or may have scientific or historic significance are threatened with immediate and unavoidable destruction, or in which there likely will be a loss of scientific data because of the disturbance or destruction of human burials. Emergency situations exist where failure to initiate a scientific investigation immediately would result in irreversible loss of significant information. An emergency may exist regardless of whether the human remains are encountered unexpectedly, or may reasonably be anticipated, or suspected. Such situations include but are not limited to (i) construction projects where avoidance or delays are not possible or would constitute major hardships; (ii) sites where natural processes such as floods or erosion threaten destruction; and (iii) sites where looting is occurring, or is expected to occur within a short period of time.

"Field investigation" means the study of the traces of human culture at any site by means of surveying, sampling, excavation, or removing surface or subsurface material, or going on a site with that intent.

"Human remains" means a human body or any part of a body, particularly skeletal remains, at any stage of deterioration.

"Person" means any natural individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other legal entity.

"Unmarked burial" means grave or location where human remains were intentionally buried but which lacks any marker identifying the person or persons buried there. This may include primary or secondary burials. Any such burial shall constitute evidence of human activity as stated under the above definition of "archaeological site."

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-2202 and 10.1-2300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR390-01-02 § 1, eff. August 14, 1991.

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