70-27. Findings and purpose.

(a) The General Assembly finds that:

(1) Unmarked human burials and human skeletal remains are subject to vandalism and inadvertent destruction at an ever-increasing rate;

(2) Existing State laws do not provide adequate protection to prevent damage to and destruction of these remains;

(3) There is a great deal of scientific information to be gained from the proper excavation, study and analysis of human skeletal remains recovered from such burials; and

(4) There has been no procedure for descendants or other interested individuals to make known their concerns regarding disposition of these remains.

(b) The purpose of this Article is (i) to provide adequate protection from vandalism for unmarked human burials and human skeletal remains, (ii) to provide adequate protection for unmarked human burials and human skeletal remains not within the jurisdiction of the medical examiner pursuant to G.S. 130A-383 that are encountered during archaeological excavation, construction, or other ground disturbing activities, found anywhere within the State except on federal land, and (iii) to provide for adequate skeletal analysis of remains removed or excavated from unmarked human burials if the analysis would result in valuable scientific information. (1981, c. 853, s. 2; 2007-484, s. 11(a).)