U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 29, 2023
As used for purposes of this part:
(a) Archaeological resource means any material remains of human life or activities which are at least 100 years of age, and which are of archaeological interest.
(1) Of archaeological interest means capable of providing scientific or humanistic understandings of past human behavior, cultural adaptation, and related topics through the application of scientific or scholarly techniques such as controlled observation, contextual measurement, controlled collection, analysis, interpretation and explanation.
(2) Material remains means physical evidence of human habitation, occupation, use, or activity, including the site, location, or context in which such evidence is situated.
(3) The following classes of material remains (and illustrative examples), if they are at least 100 years of age, are of archaeological interest and shall be considered archaeological resources unless determined otherwise pursuant to paragraph (a)(4) or (a)(5) of this section:
(i) Surface or subsurface structures, shelters, facilities, or features (including, but not limited to, domestic structures, storage structures, cooking structures, ceremonial structures, artificial mounds, earthworks, fortifications, canals, reservoirs, horticultural/agricultural gardens or fields, bedrock mortars or grinding surfaces, rock alignments, cairns, trails, borrow pits, cooking pits, refuse pits, burial pits or graves, hearths, kilns, post molds, wall trenches, middens);
(ii) Surface or subsurface artifact concentrations or scatters;
(iii) Whole or fragmentary tools, implements, containers, weapons and weapon projectiles, clothing, and ornaments (including, but not limited to, pottery and other ceramics, cordage, basketry and other weaving, bottles and other glassware, bone, ivory, shell, metal, wood, hide, feathers, pigments, and flaked, ground, or pecked stone);
(iv) By-products, waste products, or debris resulting from manufacture or use of human-made or natural materials;
(v) Organic waste (including, but not limited to, vegetal and animal remains, coprolites);
(vi) Human remains (including, but not limited to, bone, teeth, mummified flesh, burials, cremations);
(vii) Rock carvings, rock paintings, intaglios and other works of artistic or symbolic representation;
(viii) Rockshelters and caves or portions thereof containing any of the above material remains;
(ix) All portions of shipwrecks (including, but not limited to, armaments, apparel, tackle, cargo);
(x) Any portion or piece of any of the foregoing.
(4) The following material remains shall not be considered of archaeological interest, and shall not be considered to be archaeological resources for purposes of the Act and this part, unless found in a direct physical relationship with archaeological resources as defined in this section:
(i) Paleontological remains;
(ii) Coins, bullets, and unworked minerals and rocks.
(5) The Federal land manager may determine that certain material remains, in specified areas under the Federal land manager's jurisdiction, and under specified circumstances, are not or are no longer of archaeological interest and are not to be considered archaeological resources under this part. Any determination made pursuant to this subparagraph shall be documented. Such determination shall in no way affect the Federal land manager's obligations under other applicable laws or regulations.
(6) For the disposition following lawful removal or excavations of Native American human remains and “cultural items”, as defined by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA; Pub. L. 101-601; 104 Stat. 3050; 25 U.S.C. 3001-13), the Federal land manager is referred to NAGPRA and its implementing regulations.
(b) Arrowhead means any projectile point which appears to have been designed for use with an arrow.
(c) Federal land manager means:
(1) With respect to any public lands, the secretary of the department, or the head of any other agency or instrumentality of the United States, having primary management authority over such lands, including persons to whom such management authority has been officially delegated;
(2) In the case of Indian lands, or any public lands with respect to which no department, agency or instrumentality has primary management authority, such term means the Secretary of the Interior;
(3) The Secretary of the Interior, when the head of any other agency or instrumentality has, pursuant to section 3(2) of the Act and with the consent of the Secretary of the Interior, delegated to the Secretary of the Interior the responsibilities (in whole or in part) in this part.
(d) Public lands means:
(1) Lands which are owned and administered by the United States as part of the national park system, the national wildlife refuge system, or the national forest system; and
(2) All other lands the fee title to which is held by the United States, except lands on the Outer Continental Shelf, lands under the jurisdiction of the Smithsonian Institution, and Indian lands.
(e) Indian lands means lands of Indian tribes, or Indian individuals, which are either held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States, except for subsurface interests not owned or controlled by an Indian tribe or Indian individual.
(f) Indian tribe as defined in the Act means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska village or regional or village corporation as defined in, or established pursuant to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688). In order to clarify this statutory definition for purposes of this part, Indian tribe means:
(1) Any tribal entity which is included in the annual list of recognized tribes published in the
(2) Any other tribal entity acknowledged by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to 25 CFR part 54 since the most recent publication of the annual list; and
(3) Any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688), and any Alaska Native village or tribe which is recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as eligible for services provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
(g) Person means an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, institution, association, or any other private entity, or any officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the United States, or of any Indian tribe, or of any State or political subdivision thereof.
(h) State means any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
(i) Act means the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm).