When relics are discovered Heritage NSW must be notified. This applies to all land in NSW.
A ‘relic’ means any deposits, artefact, object or material evidence that:
- relates to the settlement of the area that comprises NSW, not being Aboriginal settlement
- is of local or state significance.
For more information about how to assess significance refer to Assessing Significance for Historical Archaeological Sites and Relics.
Discovery of unexpected relics
If you find unexpected archaeological deposits or relics either:
- not identified and considered in the supporting documents for a section 140 or section 60 approval, OR
- when no permit, approval or exception is in place,
work must cease in the affected area(s) and the Heritage Council of NSW must be notified via the Heritage Management System (HMS).
Register as an HMS user and lodge this notification online. See the Frequently Asked Questions below for guidance.
Additional assessment and approval may be required prior to works continuing in the affected area(s) based on the nature of the discovery.
Discovery of a relic when using section 139(4) exceptions
When you discover a relic while using the self-assessed s139(4) exceptions, send an EMAIL to heritageMailbox@environment.nsw.gov.au. The email must:
- be labelled with the exception used and site address (e.g. ‘Relics found at 10 Prince Street, Princeton using exception 2b’)
- the GPS location of the relic,
- a photograph of the relic in its location (for context), and
- if a test excavation has occurred a short summary of the test excavation results (no more than 500 words).
See the Excavation permit Exception s139(4) page for further information.