Legal Side: Underwater Archaeology

On October 20, 1989 the State Council issued a set of regulations designed to protect underwater archaeological sites in the territory of the People's Republic of China. The following are excerpts from the regulations:

These sites include underwater archaeological relics in the territorial waters of China.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage is in charge of registration, protection and research and is also in charge of salvaging the relics. In areas designated by relevant government departments, activities that are likely to damage or destroy these precious items, such as fishing, are strictly prohibited.

Individuals and organizations who find archaeological items in these waters must report their findings to local archaeological departments.

Applications must be filed in advance by those individuals and organizations who are conducting research and salvage efforts. These people must abide by Chinese laws and regulations and accept the supervision of relevant government departments.

Those who explore for, salvage, hide and sell items of national heritage without official permission will be fined 1,000 to 10,000 yuan (US$122 to US$1,220) and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage is responsible for the interpretation of these regulations.

(China Daily March 4, 2002)

In This Series

Underwater Mystery Unravels

Ancient Buildings Found in Fuxian Lake

First Underwater Archaeological Studies on Ancient Building Relics

Underwater Archaeological Activities to Broadcast Live

Chinese "Pompeii" Brought to Light



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