The law and aftifact collecting
Is selling your collection legal?
Section 6 states:
(a) No person may excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface any archaeological resource located on public lands or Indian lands unless such activity is pursuant to a permit issued under section 4 of this Act, a permit referred to in section 4(h)(2) of this Act, or the exemption contained in section 4(g)(1) of this Act.
(b) No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to sell, purchase, or exchange any archeological resource if such resource was excavated or removed from public lands or Indian lands in violation of- (1) the prohibition contained in subsection (a) of this section, or (2) any provision, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under any other provision of Federal law. (c) No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to sell, purchase, or exchange, in interstate or foreign commerce, any archaeological resource excavated, removed, sold, purchased, exchanged, transported, or received in violation of any provision,, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under State or local law.
(d) Any person who knowingly violates, or counsels, procures, solicits, or employs any other person to violate, any prohibition contained in subsection (a), (1), or (c) of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both: Provided, however, That if the commercial or archaeological value of the archaeological resources involved and the cost of restoration and repair of such resources exceeds the sum of $500, such person shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. In the case of a second or subsequent such violation upon conviction such person shall be fined not more than $100,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(e) The prohibitions contained in this section shall take effect on October 31, 1979 [the date of the enactment of this Act].
(f) Nothing in subsection (b)(1) of this section shall be deemed applicable to any person with respect to any archaeological resource, which was in the lawful possession of such person prior to October 31, 1979. (g) Nothing in subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed applicable to any person with respect to the removal of arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.
So as we see from the Act, while "no person" without a permit may excavate or remove any "archaeological resource" from federal lands, the criminal and civil penalties contained in subsection (d) may not be enforced on any person picking up an arrowhead from the surface. Removal of the artifact from the site may, however, result in arrest for theft of government property State Law In about every state, it is legal to find arrowheads on the surface of the ground while on private land. If it isn't your land, then you must have written permission from the landowner. As stated above, it is very illegal to collect artifacts on public lands (state and federal), Indian reservations or in state and federal parks. Some states like Oregon for instance make it very difficult to buy and sell artifacts, but as long as you have an old family collection from before October 31st 1979 and will attest to that fact on a notarized receipt, if is perfectly legal. It is never legal to dig for artifacts or to disturb an area with human remains, on private or public land.