Ripped From the Headlines: "Petroglyphs stolen from sacred eastern Sierra site recovered"


This is how you know when your particular archaeological interest has the dubious honour of having “made it” in the “art world.”

Petroglyphs stolen from sacred eastern Sierra site recovered

Photo: U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Greg Haverstock in November inspects vandalized archaeological site where power saws were used to remove 3,000-year-old petroglyphs.
Credit: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

From Los Angeles Times blog L.A. Now and its author Louis Sahagun comes a very distressing article. Archaeologists in North America are used to reading about the depredations visited on Mesoamerican monumental architecture, stelae and mural art. But this is the first I’ve heard of someone excising an objet d’art from the parent rock north of the Colorado River. The worst I’ve heard of was graffiti vandalism. But never anything like this or on the scale reported in the Times article.
     Amazingly, they have suspects in custody. I’m betting on an avant grade interior decorator or an architect running amok, and not thieves hoping to make a mint trading in these antiquities. Regardless, guys like this woulda been shot in Dodge City if I’d been Sheriff!
     Unfortunately there can never be enough eyes on the ground to ward off such depredation. In this case the perps were ratted out. It means that all that the rest of us can do is keep our ears open for “loose lips.”Happy hunting.
SA

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