U.S. Response:
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 Glossary and Definitions


Agreement. "In law, a concord of understanding and intention between two or more parties with respect to the effect upon their relative rights and duties, of certain past or future facts or performances." (Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed., p. 67)  

State Party. A nation ratifying the 1970 UNESCO Convention.  


The source of the following definitions is the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act 

Cultural property. (1) Object of archaeological interest; (2) Object of ethnological interest; or (3) Fragment or part of any object referred to in (1) or (2) which was first discovered within, and is subject to export control by, the State Party [nation signing the 1970 UNESCO Convention]. -syns. artifacts, antiquities, art  

Archaeological object. Culturally significant material object, at least 250 years old, which is normally discovered as a result of scientific excavation, clandestine or accidental digging, or exploration on land or under water.  

Ethnological object. Product of a tribal or nonindustrial society that is important to the cultural heritage of a people because of its distinctive characteristics, comparative rarity, or its contribution to the knowledge of the origins, development, or history of that people.  

Emergency action.  Such action can be taken when sites are in jeopardy from pillage, dismantling, dispersal, or fragmentation which is, or threatens to be, of crisis proportions.

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Revised: November 10, 1998


Cultural Property Advisory Committee 


Review Process 

Frequently Asked Questions 



On October 1, 1999, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will become part of the
U.S. Department of State. Bureau webpages are being updated accordingly. Thank you for your patience.