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In the British Isles the legal protection of archaeological sites involves the selection of nationally important examples which are then added to an official list, or Schedule. The process is known as Scheduling; monuments protected in this way are known as Scheduled Monuments or, incorrectly, Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs). To be protected in this way a monument must be judged to be of national importance according to the following criteria: period; rarity; documentation; group value; survival/condition; fragility/vulnerability; diversity; and potential. There is no appeal against the Scheduling process, which defines an area of land containing the archaeological site known as the Scheduled Area. Protection takes the form of controlling works within the Scheduled Area; before any works are carried out within a Scheduled Area, Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) from the Secretary of State is required. Damaging a Scheduled Monument or undertaking works without consent is a criminal offence.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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