State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs) are designated by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and receive legal protection under the Antiquities Code of Texas (the Code). The Code defines all cultural resources on non-federal public lands in the State of Texas as eligible to be designated as SALs. Historic buildings must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places before they can be designated as SALs, but archeological sites do not have the same prerequisite.
SAL designation does not mean that sites or buildings cannot be altered or destroyed. The land-owning agency must consult with the THC about such proposed actions through the permit process, and the THC will determine whether the work will be allowed.
Buildings designated as SALs are listed in the Texas Historic Sites Atlas. However, information about designated archeological sites is not available to the general public to protect the sites from vandalism and destruction.
SALs are now State Antiquities Landmarks
The Texas Historical Commission has revised the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Antiquities Code of Texas, which govern project review and issuance of permits under the Antiquities Code. We encourage archeologists, architects, and state and local governments to review the adopted rules, published in the May 17 issue of the Texas Register. Changes include reorganization into subchapters for archeology and for historic buildings and structures, as well as amending the designation name from State Archeological Landmark to State Antiquities Landmark. Questions regarding the rules may be sent to Mark Denton for archeology and Elizabeth Brummett for buildings and structures.