State Archaeological Permit Program

About Archaeological Permits

The Cultural Properties Act (Section 18-6-9 NMSA 1978, as amended) makes it unlawful for any person to excavate, injure, destroy, or remove any cultural property or artifact on state land without an archaeological permit. A permit is required to use mechanical earth-moving equipment to excavate an archaeological site(s) on privately owned land in New Mexico. It is also unlawful for any person to intentionally excavate any unmarked human burial, and any material object or artifact interred with the burial, located on state or private land in New Mexico without a permit (Section 18-6-11 NMSA, 1978, as amended).

Under the Cultural Properties Act, the CPRC is empowered to issue permits to qualified applicants to conduct archaeological investigations, with the concurrence of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer.  The CPRC meets several times a year.  These meeting dates are provided for your reference and you should always call to confirm the actual date of the meeting and the deadline for submittals. 

If you are in need of an archaeological consultant or firm, you can download a current list from this page.  Additional information on the Cultural Properties Act and the CPRC schedule can also be found under Related Documents or on the Forms and Documents page.