Academics: Finders Keepers Bill A Threat To Florida's Historical Record

Dec 8, 2015

Scientists across Florida are up in arms about a Republican plan to let people keep historic artifacts they excavate from state-owned land. 

An amateur Indiana Jones could keep the historic artifacts he finds on state property under a Republican bill pending in the Legislature.

Under the proposal, an amateur Indiana Jones would have to get a permit and allow state experts study and document their finds. But Susan deFrance, chair of anthropology at the University of Florida, says priceless information surrounding the recovered objects could be lost.

“Our excavation of those objects has as much material, or as much information, about our cultural patrimony as the objects themselves.”

The bill would ban the use of heavy equipment and also require permit holders to carefully document the area where they found the artifacts.