According to Bureau of Land Management Archaeologist Greg Haverstock, an unknown individual or individuals ravaged a half-mile, federally protected archaeological site by using power tools to remove petroglyphs that could date back as much as 10,000 years.
The Bishop BLM Field Office manages the area and it is protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to the six that were stolen, several other petroglyphs were damaged or destroyed by rock saws or pry bars, either as the thief or thieves attempted to remove them, or as nearby petroglyphs were removed.
“Not only did they damage other artifacts when they cut petroglyphs away, but they broke some they were trying to take,” Haverstock said. “It’s pretty egregious. We’ve had some minor acts of vandalism before, but by far this is the most egregious in the history of this field office.”
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