Permits

Mississippi Landmark Permits

Under the MS Antiquities Law, significant archaeological sites located on public property are Mississippi Landmarks. Public property includes any property owned by a city, county, or state government or utility. These archaeological sites require a permit from the Board of Trustees prior to any work being conducted.  

To work on one of these sites, you will need to submit a research design and Notice of Intent to the Chief Archaeologist at archaeology@mdah.ms.gov by the last Thursday of the month for consideration.  

Human Remains and Burial Permits

Should aboriginal human remains be discovered, all ground- disturbing activities should cease in that area immediately. The field archaeologist should contact the governing/contracting agency for further instruction. In the absence of Federal involvement, if Native American burials are encountered on state, county, municipal or private land, the field archaeologist should contact MDAH Chief Archaeologist and apply for a burial excavation permit. 

Burial excavation permits may also be applied for in anticipation of encountering burials. Work may continue in the area once a burial excavation permit has been granted by MDAH. Encountered aboriginal human remains shall be recorded, handled, and protected according to the stipulations stated in the permit. 

As stated in 39-7-3 (Declaration of Public Policy), it is the policy of the State of Mississippi and in the interest of the State to protect and preserve archaeological sites of every character.  Burials in the context of the Antiquities Law are archaeological sites.  They are, however, very special kinds of archaeological sites that are given additional legal protection by other laws. For this reason, burials are the only type of site for which MDAH has legal authority on private property, except for Mississippi Landmarks for which this authority is voluntarily given by the landowner. 

To Request an Archaeological/Burial Permit:

 Email a research design and proposal of your proposed project to the chief Archaeologist at archaeology@mdah.ms.gov. Once the proposal is received, it will be reviewed by the Archaeology and History Sites Section and submitted to the Permit Committee of the Board of Trustees for review and permitting.  The Permit Committee meets every second Thursday of each month.  If approved, you will receive a permit via mail.  Work may not proceed until a permit is received.

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