How to Use
Determining the Facts
Document 1: Antiquities Act of 1906--AS AMENDED
This Act became law on June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431-433) and has been amended
once. This description of the Act, as amended, tracks the language of the United States Code
except that (following common usage) we refer to the “Act” (meaning the Act, as amended)
rather than to the “subchapter” or the “title” of the Code.
|16 U.S.C. 433,
Penalties for damage,
destruction, etc. of
Any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or
destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any
object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by
the Government of the United States, without the permission
of the Secretary of the Department of the Government
having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities
are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not
more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period
of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and
imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
|16 U.S.C. 431,
reservation of lands,
The President of the United States is authorized, in his
discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic
landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other
objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated
upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government
of the United States to be national monuments, and may
reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which
in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible
with proper care and management of the objects to
be protected. When such objects are situated upon a tract
covered by a bona fide unperfected claim or held in private
ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary
for the proper care and management of the object, may
be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of
the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment
of such tracts in [sic] behalf of the Government of the
|16 U.S.C. 431a,
Limitation on more
||No further extension or establishment of national monuments
in Wyoming may be undertaken except by express
authorization of Congress.
|16 U.S.C. 432,
Permits for excavation,
Permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of
archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity
upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may
be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture,
and Army to institutions which they may deem properly
qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or
gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may
prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations,
and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable
museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific
or educational institutions, with a view to increasing
the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings shall
be made for permanent preservation in public museums.
16 U.S.C. 432,
Rules and regulations
The Secretaries of the departments aforesaid shall make
and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations
for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.
Questions for Document 1
1. Summarize each section into one sentence. Does this give you a better idea of what this act is trying to accomplish? Why or why not?
2. According to the Antiquities Act of 1906, what is the goal of archeological excavations? What must be done with the artifacts recovered from excavations?
3. The Antiquities Act of 1906 is now 100 years old. Why do you think it is still important today?
Document 1 was excerpted from the National Park Service Cultural Resources website for Laws, Regulations, and Standards--American Antiquities Act of 1906 as amended (16 USC 431-433).