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Country Summary for JORDAN

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'The Minister'—Minster of Tourism and Antiquities.

'The Department'General Department of Antiquities.

'The Director'Director General of Antiquities.

(a) Any movable or immovable object discovered, created or modified by a human being before AD 1750, including without limitation caves, sculpture, coins, pottery, manuscripts and other manufactured products which indicate the beginning of science, arts, handicrafts, religions, traditions of previous civilizations.
(b) Any movable or immovable object described above in clause “a” which the Minister requests to be considered an antiquity by a decision published in the Official Gazette.
(c) Human, animal and plant remains dating before AD 600. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 2.7)

'Antique Site'
(a) Any area in the Kingdom that was considered an historic site under former laws.
(b) Any other area that the Minister identifies as containing antiquities or related to important historical events, provided that this identification is published in the Official Gazette. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 2.8)

'Immovable Antiquities'Antiquities built on or into the ground or those existing underground, including antiquities underwater, and those in territorial waters. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 2.9)

'Movable Antiquities'Antiquities physical detached from either the ground or immovable antiquities, and which may thus be relocated without harming the antiquity or its surroundings. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 2.10)

'Trader'Any person or entity that trades in antiquities. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 2.12)

'Antiquities Protectorate'An area of land containing archaeological, human or natural remains that has been designated in decision by the Cabinet. This designation is made by the Minister and requires the support of the Director General. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 2.14)


Antique sites shall be marked and the Government’s easement to such sites shall be written in the registers and maps of the Department of Land and Survey. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Law No. 21, Art. 4(b))

All antique sites shall be registered in the name of the Treasury/Antiquities, including those not registered with the Department but which are discovered in the Treasury land or which are appropriated or purchased. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 5(f))

Whoever owns or has possession of any movable antiquities shall provide the Department a list of the objects specifying their quantity and including pictures and other identifying details for each object, including a brief description. The Department may, if it deems proper, register these objects. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 7)

Relevant State Agencies

The General Department of Antiquities ("Department”):

Execution of archaeological policy of the state, appraisal of archaeological objects and antique sites and evaluation of the importance of every piece of antiquity; administration of antiquities, antique sites and antique protectorates in the Kingdom, their protection, maintenance, repair and preservation, beautification of their surroundings and display of their features; control of possession and disposal of antiquities pursuant to this law and the regulations, decisions and instructions issued hereunder. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 3(a))

The Department alone has the right to survey or excavate antiquities in the Kingdom. It may also, with the Minster’s approval, allow scientific institutions, commissions and societies as well as archaeological expeditions to survey or excavate by special license pursuant to this Law. (1988 Law No. 21, as amended 2004, Art. 16(a))

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Department of Antiquities
PO Box 88, Amman, Jordan
Ph: 962 464 4320
F: 962 464 4714