Recommendation on International Principles Applicable to Archaeological Excavation (1956)


This document, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1956, establishes international principles governing the protection and excavation of archaeological sites. The document recommends that member states:

  • make all archaeological exploration and excavation subject to prior authorization;
  • make security, maintenance and conservation of the site and its associated objects part of the deed of concession to excavate;
  • require any person who discovers archaeological remains to declare them to a competent authority;
  • establish a state archaeological administration to document activity and finds;
  • undertake educational efforts to promote respect for remains of the past;
  • supervise the restoration of archaeological remains; and
  • prohibit the removal of monuments without consent.

The Recommendation is not legally binding, but often has served as a model for national legislation governing excavation.