Message #205: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: Metal Detectorists Digging Up Phoenix Indian School? Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 19:58:29 -0700 From: Steve Weiss Every weekend I see these guys in the front area of the old Phoenix Indian School with metal detectors. Are they doing illegal looking? SWA Response: At minimum, if they do not have the permission of the property owner, they probably are trespassing. Except for human burials and associated grave goods, the digging up sites or the keeping of artifacts found on private property are not covered under AZ law. Also, some artifacts are excluded from AZ statute (e.g., bottles, coins, arowheads, anything less than 100 years old). Regardless of antiquity, all human burials and associate grave goods must be reported regardless of the location of discovery or the land ownership status. On government-owned or public lands, metal detecting, probing and digging may be illegal -- but -- it depends on the jurisdiction and the statute under consideration. Usually metal detectors are told to 'move on' by responding officers because the detectors rarely have obtained landowner permision. Since the police are quite reticent to arrest or cite detectors for being on someone elses property, the metal detectors tend to continue trespassing and probing or digging. They get in real trouble when they set their sights on historic and prehistoric properties and artifacts located on State trust lands, or municipal, county, state or federal lands, or, Indian reservations. I do not know the ownership status of the old Phoenix Indian School Property at this time. You may remember that there was a deal in the works between the City of Phoenix, the federal government and the Barron Collier Company to swap lands. This clouded status (in the minds of local residents) probably has the detectorists feeling quite secure that they can dig and probe there with impuinity.