The Society for American Archaeology’s (SAA) Government Affairs Program, managed by lawyer and WAC4 attendee Donald Craib, publishes an detailed monthly update on matters of relevance to archaeologists and heritage professionals that are being considered by the U.S. government in Washington D.C.. The URL is Recent editions of the update include the following items which should be of interest to WAC members. Note that the original text is copyright and is only paraphrased here to draw the attention of readers to the issues in question. Readers are referred to the SAA website for details.

NAGPRA Review Committee. In mid-1999, the U.S. National Park Service published a notice seeking comments on the NAGPRA Review Committee’s Draft Principles of Agreement Regarding the Disposition of Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains. The SAA’s submission recognized the legitimacy of Native American interests in the disposition of their ancestors’ remains as well as the legitimacy of scientific interest in studying those remains. The SAA noted that “We believe that conflicting claims concerning the proper treatment and disposition of particular human remains must be resolved on a case-by-case basis through consideration of the scientific importance of the material, the cultural religious values of the interested individuals or groups, and the strength of their relationship to the remains in question”. See

Amendments to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Bill HR 2643 (proposed by Representative. Hastings, Republican, Washington State) seeks to repeal NAGPRA’s ownership provisions based on aboriginal lands and allows limited scientific study under certain conditions and specific time periods. A similar bill received a hearing in an earlier Congress, but action is unlikely until several issues have been resolved in the Kennewick Man litigation. The SAA supports the legislation.

Senate Indian Affairs Committee oversight hearing on the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act In April 1999, SAA president Keith Kintigh testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee regarding an oversight hearing on the implementation of NAGPRA ). He considered four main questions in his testimony:

· maintaining NAGPRA coordination functions within the U.S. National Parks Service’s Archaeology and Ethnography Program;

· problems with compliance by federal agencies;

· extensions for museums that are making efforts to complete their inventories in good-faith; and

· problems with the implementation of the Act’s definition of cultural affiliation.

SAA met with staff of members on the Committee prior to the hearing and the Committee has taken no action by since the hearing.

The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict In January 1999, the U.S. President submitted the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict to the Senate for consideration and ratification . The Treaty was completed in 1954 and guides the protection of archaeological sites, monuments, artefacts, and collections in wartime. While the U.S.s was involed in drafting the Treaty, it has not been submitted to the US Senate before for ratification. The SAA was told by staff from Senate Foreign Relations Committee and were told that the Treaty is unlikely to receive attention in the current Congress.

Cultural Property Reform Act Introduced by Senator. Moynihan (Democrat, New York), this bill seeks to change the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act passed by the Congress in 1983. The Act allows the United States to implement the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. In May 2000, the Senate Finance Committee invited public comment on the legislation. The SAA submitted a letter in June which was endorsed by the Society for Historical Archaeology, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, Preservation Action, the American Cultural Resources Association, and U.S-ICOMOS (see .

The SAA opposes the bill because it would have deleterious consequences for U.S. efforts to protect its own cultural heritage and to maintain its international leadership role in such matters. The bill benefits a few individuals who illicitly trade in illegally-exported antiquities. The SAA urged the Finance Committee to reject the bill.

PREHISTORIA 2000 – bilingual announcement

Revue de l’Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques

et Protohistoriques

Journal of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences

A la fin de cette année. Le premier numéro d’une nouvelle revue, qui portera comme titre ‘Prehistoria 2000’ apparaîtra. Cette nouvelle périodique sera publiée par l’UISPP, ou bien l’Union Internationale des Sciences Pre- et Protohistoriques. Le but de cette revue sera en première lieu d’encourager un échange constant d’informations entre spécialistes, ceci en diffusant des connaissances scientifiques les plus larges possible et en provoquant des discussions entre les différents chercheurs du monde entier.

Le premier numéro de la nouvelle revue a été prévu pour l’an 2001, et sera diffusée durant le XIVe congrès de l’UISPP qui aura lieu du 2-8 septembre 2001 à Liège (Belgique). De ce moment-là “ Prehistoria 2000 ” apparâitra annuellement. Toutefois, pour le fin de l’an 2000 est déja prévu un ‘numéro zéro’, une version plus au moins sommaire de la revue final qui fonctionera comme numéro spécimen.

En ce moment les préparations pour ce numéro-pilot sont en cours. Il est pour cette première publication que nous sommes encore à la recherche d’articles scientifiques et des comptes-rendus, ayant un rapport avec les sciences Pré- et Protohistoriques. Nous sommes également intéressées dans des informations sur des projets de fouilles et des recherches ayant à peine commencées, ou des annonces des congrès, expositions et toutes autres événements qui auraient lieu dans le proche avenir. Aussi des références sur des publications récémment apparues qui ont un rapport avec les sciences pré- et protohistoires seraient très utile pour notre rubrique bibliographique.

La date de clôture de rédaction pour le premier numéro de Prehistoria 2000 a été fixée sur le 17 juillet 2000, en ce qui concerne les communications scientifiques. Toutes les annonces de caractère informatives par contre devraient être soumises avant le 3 juillet pour être inclus dans le premier numéro. Bien sûr, cet avis assez court pris en considération, des articles pour le numéro suivant seront également acceptés. Pour des plus amples informations, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter.


At the end this year the first issue of a new archaeological journal called Prehistoria 2000 will appear. The journal will be published by the UISPP, better known as the International Union for Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences. The main goal of this new periodical will be to encourage a continuous exchange of knowledge between specialists around the world. In order to achieve this, a wide range of scientific information will be supplied and discussions between various scholars will be hosted.

The actual publication of the new journal has been projected for the year 2001, when its first issue will be distributed during the XIVth UISPP Congress, being held in Liège (Belgium) from 2-8 September of that year. From then on Prehistoria 2000 is intended to appear on a yearly basis. A special issue, however, consisting of a more summary version of the journal than will normally be produced, is planned to appear at the end of this year.

At the moment, the preparations for this so-called ‘pilot-issue’ are underway. For this issue we are still looking for scientific articles as well as book reviews, covering the fields of the Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences. Also, we are very much interested in all kinds of information considering recently-started excavations and research-projects, or announcements of congresses, exhibitions and so on that will take place in the near future. Furthermore, all information on new publications considering the fields of Pre- and Protohistory would be very useful for our bibliography.

The deadline for contributions to be included in the first issue of Prehistoria 2000 was July 2000. All announcements of events taking place, as well as bibliographical data had to be submitted before the 3rd of that month to be included. Of course, because of the rather short notice, papers to be included in later issues are welcome as well. For any further information feel free to mail, fax, email or call us.

Sandra Verhulst
Tel: +39/543.404405
Fax: +39/543.404314