Registration of Private Collections of Fossils, Archaeological Artefacts and Meteorites | Western Cape Government

Registration of Private Collections of Fossils, Archaeological Artefacts and Meteorites


Legally, owners of privately held collections of fossils, artefacts and meteorites that were collected under previous legislation had until 1 April 2002 to register their collections with the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).

There are a number of advantages to creating a register of these items:

  • Each collection has a catalogue, ensuring that the information is not lost.
  • Provision is made for bequeathing the collection to family, friends or to an institution.
  • Professionals who ratify these collections can advise and aid the owner.
  • The collections become legal.
  • Important information held in these collections becomes part of the shared national estate.

The registration process does not affect the ownership of the registered collections, which remain the property of the owner. This registration of private collections ensures that the information about them is not lost to future generations.

Collections that must be registered with SAHRA include:

  • all collections of archaeological artefacts, including artefacts older than 100 years, rock paintings or rock engravings, artefacts that have been excavated or collected from sites associated military history older than 75 years, and artefacts associated with ships and other wrecks older than 60 years.
  • all collections of fossils and other palaeontological material (including trace fossils such as ancient footprints).
  • all collections of meteorites.

Contact your Regional Office for more information:


Western Cape Provincial Office of the SAHRA:

Postal Address:
PO Box 4637
South African Heritage Resources Agency
Cape Town

Physical Address:
111 Harrington Street
Cape Town

Tel: 021 462 4502
Fax: 021 462 4509

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Government Body:
The content on this page was last updated on 21 October 2019