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ACHP Issues Revised Policy Statement Regarding Treatment of Burial Sites, Human Remains, and Funerary Objects

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation voted unanimously to adopt its new “Policy Statement Regarding Treatment of Burial Sites, Human Remains, and Funerary Objects” Feb. 23, 2007 at its quarterly business meeting in Washington, D.C. This new policy statement replaces the ACHP’s 1988 “Policy Statement Regarding the Treatment of Human Remains and Grave Goods.”  

As part of its outreach effort, the ACHP’s Archaeology Task Force, led by expert member Julia King, disseminated three versions of the developing policy for public review and comment and conducted eight regional consultation meetings with Indian tribes and two with Native Hawaiian organizations. “Over a period of almost two years, the Archaeology Task Force has crafted a revised policy statement that reflects the task force’s broad membership and its outreach to and consultation with federal and state agencies, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, the professional archaeological and preservation community, and the general public,” King told the council members.

The policy offers leadership in resolving how to treat burial sites, human remains, and funerary objects in a respectful and sensitive manner. It is designed to guide federal agencies in making decisions about these sites and objects encountered during the Section 106 process, in those instances where federal or state law does not prescribe a course of action.

View complete text of the policy statement
View a fact sheet about the policy statement


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