State of Texas will seize any old Indian artifacts found on private property?

Comments after the story indicate Texas can seize old Indian artifacts found on private property. How the heck is that legal?

To be honest, I’m a little skeptical of something referred to obliquely in a single newspaper website comment, especially since the relevant law, the Antiquities Code of Texas, doesn’t seem to make any explicit provisions for state appropriation of artifacts. Do you have any other citations?

On the other hand, by long-standing doctrine, buried treasures belong to the state and human remains are covered by federal law. While I cannot comment of the specifics, it makes a certain level of sense.

An arrow head is not a buried treasure. You can find them if you pay attention in fields and other places. People have hunted with them for thousands of years.

You would naturally think “finders keepers” but you would be wrong. Picking up such things is illegal in this state and probably throughout the US.

The commenter referred to the “state antiquities commission”–by which he probably meant the Texas Antiquities Committee, which existed from 1969 through 1995. “Its duties were absorbed by the Texas Historical Commission and are carried out through its Archeology Division.” (Just a slight correction, although the Chronicle article manages to mention the correct group.)

The Texas Historical Commission has published guidelines for documenting archaeological collections. Or is this merely a nefarious plot to sieze more arrowheads?

The Dirt Brothers want to save the past!

Lots of interesting stuff to be found–including laws concerning historic & prehistoric sites & artifacts. But nothing on “confiscation.” Perhaps someone needs to ask Jas415 for a Cite!

Added, since it’s too late to Edit.

In the UK, archaeological treasures belong to the Crown; the finder must be compensated. (This may not apply to Scotland.) But nothing found in Texas would qualify as treasure. Until somebody finds Jean Lafitte’s Gold!