Realtors raise concerns about proposed 'historic artifacts' bill (NH)

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When Jeff Marple began construction of the "Eastwood" development off Lang Rd., he was mandated by the state to hire a pair of archeologists to dig a series of holes across the property and sift the soil in search of Native American remains or artifacts. The process stalled Marple’s construction for two months, cost him $5,000 and the University of New Hampshire archeologists didn’t find a single artifact.

"They did find two round stones next to each other, and that caused a heck of a stir," said Marple, adding that discovery was deemed insignificant.

Preserving buried remains and historical artifacts has long been state-mandated, but a proposed House bill would require Marple, and all other New Hampshire realtors, to tell potential real estate buyers if any Native American artifacts have ever been found on the property. The bill would also require sellers and realtors to tell potential buyers that if any future digging or excavating "shows evidence of historical artifacts or remains," the property owner would be required to stop the digging until a state archeologist "officially determined" if an archeological dig was required to "protect and preserve" the artifacts or remains.

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