Burial and Cemetery Protection
Indian burials and burial grounds are protected by law in the
same manner as any grave or cemetery. It is illegal to knowingly
disturb a grave without an appropriate permit. It is also illegal
to know about, and fail to report, the disturbance of a grave.
Important points of the new laws are:
The Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns serves as a resource for
helping to identify relatives or culturally affiliated groups that
may be associated with discovered remains. In this capacity, the
Council will work with local coroners or medical examiners and with
State agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources.
- It is illegal to disturb Indian burials (unless part of an
authorized excavation by an archaeologist)
- If human remains or burial goods are accidentally exposed,
it should be immediately reported to the local law enforcement
agency (usually the sheriff)
- Any activity likely to further disturb the burial must cease
until local or state authorities permit activity to continue.
- The local law enforcement agency must work with the local coroner
or medical examiner to determine if accidentally discovered human
remains are a crime event or archeological site.
Georgia Code Sections dealing with Burial Protection:
OCGA 44-12-260 --
Protection of American Indian Human Remains and Burial Objects
OCGA 36-72-1 -- Abandoned
Cemeteries and Burial Grounds
OCGA 31-21-6 --
OCGA 12-3-52 --
Archaeological Exploration, Excavation, or Surveying; Administrative
Appeal of Department Orders
Main Laws Protecting Burials from Disturbance in Georgia:
Cemetery Preservation Information: