An Appraisal of the Development of Archaeological Legislation in Botswana, 1911-2011: A 100-year Journey

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Nonofho Mathibidi Ndobochani


This paper reviews the development of archaeological legislation in Botswana, with specifi c interest in how integration of archaeological issues in other pieces of legislation has facilitated the growth of archaeological legislation. With its first statute, in the form of a proclamation, towards protection of archaeological
resources in 1911, Botswana continued to revise its archaeological legislation until 2001. This paper argues that the review of a piece of legislation from time to time (growth through time), is indicative of advancement in the operations of any fi eld. The growth through time allows for refi ning defi nitions, broadening the scope of the discipline or profession, and embracing other emerging issues worthy of consideration. It is also in most cases a necessary endeavor in response to satisfying basic requirements of the rule of law. This includes the need for clarity, precision, and transparency among other things. This paper
further purports that while this growth through time is fundamental to any legislation, it is also imperative that legislation grows through integration into other pieces of legislation. This facilitates integration of the discipline/fi eld and the profession into other legal and policy apparatus. The integration does not only provide context within which archaeological resources can be protected, but also ensures sustainability as implementation of other pieces of legislation may directly or indirectly nurture the archaeological agenda.

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