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NCJ Number: 66291 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: VANDALISM IS ROBBING US ALL
Journal: OUR PUBLIC LANDS  Volume:29  Issue:3  Dated:(SUMMER 1979)  Pages:3-5
Author(s): C R SIMMONS
Corporate Author: US Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: US Department of the Interior
Washington, DC 20240
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MOTIVATED BY BOTH PROFIT AND THE EXPRESSED DESIRE TO KEEP ARTIFACTS IN THE AREA, POTHUNTERS ARE DIGGING UP AND OFTEN DESTROYING ANCIENT RUIN SITES IN THE CANYON COUNTRY OF SOUTHEAST UTAH.
Abstract: PEOPLE, THE ANASAZI, WHO OCCUPIED THE FOUR CORNERS AREA FROM APPROXIMATELY 500 A.D. UNTIL ABOUT 1300, AND THAT EVOLVED FROM A CULTURE OF SIMPLE FORGERS TO THE MORE SETTLED FARMING CULTURE OF THE PUEBLO PEOPLE OR CLIFF DWELLERS. POTHUNTERS--OR LOOTERS, GRAVEROBBERS, AND VANDALS--LOOK FOR ANCIENT BASKETS AND PIECES OF POTTERY WHICH THE DRY SOUTHEAST CLIMATE HAS PRESERVED IN THE ANASAZI WORKING, STORAGE, AND BURIAL AREAS. WHEN POTHUNTERS DIG INTO AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE TO REMOVE ARTIFACTS, HOWEVER, THEY SPOIL NOT ONLY THE ENJOYMENT OF THE SITE FOR OTHERS, BUT THEIR SCIENTIFIC VALUE AS WELL. BECAUSE RUIN SITES LOCATED ON PUBLIC U.S. LANDS BELONG TO ALL CITIZENS, NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DESTROY SUCH A SITE OR TO REMOVE AND KEEP THE ARTIFACTS FOUND THERE. SUCH SITES AND ARTIFACTS, BOTH PREHISTORIC AND HISTORIC, FOUND ON PUBLIC LAND ARE PROTECTED BY THE AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906 AND BY OTHER FEDERAL LAWS. THESE LAWS PROHIBIT THE REMOVAL OF ARTIFACTS OR THE DISTURBANCE OF ANY RUIN SITE. HENCE, POTHUNTERS ARE USUALLY VIOLATING BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS. THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NOW USES A RANGER FORCE TO STOP SITE VANDALISM ON PUBLIC LANDS, AND OTHER STATES, SUCH AS NEW MEXICO, HAVE STIFF FINES FOR POTHUNTERS WHO USE MECHANICAL EARTHMOVING EQUIPMENT TO DIG UP SITES. GREATER PUBLIC SUPPORT IS NEEDED, HOWEVER, IF PROFIT-SEEKING POTHUNTERS ARE TO BE PREVENTED FROM ROBBING THE NATION OF AN IMPORTANT NONRENEWABLE RESOURCE. PHOTOGRAPHS ARE GIVEN. (AOP)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Property damage; Southwestern States; Utah; Vandalism
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