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RULE §26.17Principal Investigator's Responsibilities for Disposition of Archeological Artifacts and Data

(a) Processing. Principal investigators who receive permits shall be responsible for cleaning, conserving, cataloguing, packaging in archival materials; arranging for the curation of all collections, specimens, samples, and records; and for the reporting of results of the investigation.

(b) Ownership. All specimens, artifacts, materials, samples, original field notes, maps, drawings, photographs, and standard state site survey forms resulting from the investigations remain the property of State of Texas. Certain exceptions left to the discretion of the Commission are contained in Texas Natural Resources Code, §191.052(b). The Commission will determine the final disposition of all artifacts, specimens, materials, and data recovered by investigations on landmarks or potential landmarks, which remain the property of the State. Antiquities from landmarks are of inestimable historical and scientific value and should be preserved and utilized in such a way as to benefit all the citizens of Texas. Such antiquities shall never be used for commercial exploitation.

(c) Housing, conserving, and exhibiting antiquities from landmarks.

  (1) After investigation of a landmark has culminated in the reporting of results, the antiquities will be permanently preserved in research collections at the curatorial facility approved by the Commission. Prior to the expiration of the permit, proof that archeological collections and related field notes are housed in a curatorial facility is required through the submission of a curation form. Failure to demonstrate proof before the permit expiration date may result in the principal investigator and co-principal investigator falling into default status.

  (2) Institutions housing antiquities from landmarks will also be responsible for adequate security of the collections, continued conservation, periodic inventory, and for making the collections available to qualified institutions, individuals, or corporations for research purposes.

  (3) Exhibits of materials recovered from landmarks will be designed in such a way as to provide the maximum amount of historical, scientific, archeological, and educational information to all the citizens of Texas. First preference will be given to traveling exhibits following guidelines provided by the Commission and originating at an adequate facility nearest the point of recovery. Permanent exhibits of antiquities may be prepared by institutions maintaining such collections following guidelines provided by the Commission. A variety of special, short-term exhibits may also be authorized by the Commission.

(d) Pursuant to Texas Natural Resources Code, §§191.091 - 191.092, all antiquities found on land or under waters belonging to the State of Texas or any political subdivision of the State belong to the State of Texas. The Commission is charged with the administration of the Antiquities Code of Texas and exercises the authority of the State in matters related to these held-in-trust collections.

(e) Decisions regarding the disposal or destructive analysis of held-in-trust collections are the legal responsibility of the Commission. Acceptable circumstances for disposal or destructive analysis are provided by this chapter. Exceptions may be considered by the Commission. Under no circumstances will held-in-trust collections be disposed of through sale.

(f) Disposal. The Commission's rules for disposal apply to state-associated collections prior to accessioning from an archeological project on public land or under public water under an Antiquities Permit issued by the Commission.

  (1) Disposal of state-associated collections from a site on public land or from public water under an antiquities permit issued by the Commission must be approved by the Commission. Approval for anticipated disposal is by means of an approved research design at the time the Antiquities Permit is issued. The manner in which any state-associated collection is to be disposed must be included in the research design. Additional disposal not included in the approved research design must be approved by the Commission prior to any disposal action.

  (2) The appropriate reasons for disposal of state-associated collections include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (A) are highly redundant and without additional merit.

    (B) lack historical, cultural, or scientific value.

    (C) have decayed or decomposed beyond reasonable use and repair or by their condition constitute a hazard to other objects in the collection.

    (D) may be subject to disposal as required by federal laws.

  (3) State-associated collections disposed of after recovery must be documented in the notes and final report, with copies provided to the curatorial facility.

  (4) The Commission relinquishes title for the State to any state-associated collections approved for disposal. The state-associated collections must be disposed of in a suitable manner.

(g) Destructive Analysis. The Commission's rules for destructive analysis apply to state-associated collections that are accessioned and held-in-trust by a certified repository as stated in 13 TAC §29.5(g) (relating to Disposition of State Affiliated Collections). All analysis of artifacts, including human remains, that is destructive in nature and conducted prior to accessioning must be covered by the research design approved for the Antiquities Permit.

Source Note: The provisions of this §26.17 adopted to be effective May 20, 2013, 38 TexReg 2980; amended to be effective December 31, 2017, 42 TexReg 7383; amended to be effective July 20, 2020, 45 TexReg 4967

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