Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Legislation in Archaeology: Overview and Introduction

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_276

State of Knowledge and Current Debates


Every country in the world has some form of law relating to its cultural heritage. These range from the draconian (and sometimes relatively ineffective: Cleere 1984: 130) to the more loosely formulated and generally respected. In between lies the majority, more or less complex and more or less complied with. Some are “homegrown” and reflect particular local circumstances; others elsewhere are copied from neighboring or more distant places; others again have been adopted from past rulers but remain in place nonetheless. Law has been very important to the development of the idea of preserving material from the past (Carman 2012): laws have always proved a key means by which that preservation was effected. Laws also serve to legitimize the idea of that preservation.

This entry will look at the different kinds of laws that apply to the material heritage in different parts of the world and how they operate. In doing so, it is an...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Archaeology and AntiquityUniversity of BirminghamEdgbastonUK