Alabama Considers “Finders Keepers” Law for Underwater Treasures

Posted on January 23, 2012


Republican Senator Cam Ward has introduced a bill to amend the Alabama Cultural Resources Act, a law that requires underwater treasure hunters to obtain permits from the Historical Commission before exploring shipwrecks and relics. The amendment would allow permitted explorers to keep whatever treasures they find while searching state waters.

While Alabama divers support the bill, archaeologists are concerned. Teresa Paglione, president of the Alabama Archaeological Society, argues that the new bill would allow Civil Ware and Native American artifacts alike to fall into private hands, becoming unavailable for scientific study.

Read the full article from The Birmingham News: New Alabama law could mean finders-keepers for historic artifacts found underwater.

Thanks to Kristina Bauer for her assistance with this post.