Skip Navigation
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina Show Links

Cemetery Preservation
South Carolina Laws

There are numerous South Carolina laws governing cemeteries. The following are of particular interest to those concerned about preserving and protecting historic cemeteries.

Destruction or desecration of human remains or repositories thereof; penalties
(SC Code 16-17-600)

Removal of abandoned cemeteries (SC Code 27-43-10 through 27-43-40)

Preservation of abandoned or unmaintained cemeteries (SC Code 6-1-35)

Access to Cemeteries on Private Property (SC Code 27-43-310)

On June 11, 2010 Governor Mark Sanford signed into law an amendment to the South Carolina Code of Laws (Section 16-11-780) making it “unlawful to willfully, knowingly, or maliciously enter upon the lands of another or the posted lands of the state and investigate, disturb, or excavate a prehistoric or historic site for the purpose of discovering, uncovering, moving, removing, or attempting to remove an archaeological resource.”

The law also amended Section 16-17-600 of the Code - “Destruction or desecration of human remains or repositories thereof” - to specifically include Native American burial ground or burial mound in the list of burial sites covered by the law.