Archeological Resource Protection Act violation at Chancellorsville Battlefield

by | Sep 9, 2022 | History

Following a multi-year investigation by park rangers of the National Park Service (NPS) an Alexandria man agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $15,557.25. An investigation conducted under the authority of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) revealed evidence indicating that the man was responsible for illegal excavation and damage to an archeological resource while metal detecting on property under the jurisdiction of the NPS. 

On March 16, 2021, an off-duty Virginia State Police Senior Trooper observed a white male digging in the Chancellorsville Battlefield and reported it to park officials. Rangers responded and found a person matching the description and discovered multiple unauthorized excavation sites along with damage to archaeological resources within the boundary of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, adjacent to the Chancellorsville History Trail. 

The NPS reminds the public that the battlefields included in the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park are protected by federal laws and regulations. Archeological resources on public lands administered by the National Park Service are an irreplaceable part of the nation’s heritage. Enacted in 1979, ARPA makes it a violation of federal law to excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface, or attempt to do so, any archeological resource located on public lands. Penalties for persons convicted of felony violations may include up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. 


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