Even in the US Looting is a Problem

A looter/vandal attempted to cut and chisel this 2,000 year old Basketmaker petroglyph out of the cliff in early 2016.
A looter/vandal attempted to cut and chisel this 2,000 year old Basketmaker petroglyph out of the cliff in early 2016.

Even in the US looting occurs.  According to the Durango Herald a surge of looting in San Juan County, Southeastern Utah, has been occurring on Native American sites.  Recently, three remote sites were dug up by pot hunters,  vandalism of a burial alcove was discovered, a prehistoric wall was torn down at Monarch Cave and a wall at Double Stack ruin was also destroyed.

These sites are sacred to the Native Americans and are protected by numerous federal and state laws, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Archaeological Resources Protection Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Antiquities Act and the Utah State Antiquities Act. Violations of the laws include theft or intentional damage of cliff dwellings, shrines, pottery, stone tools, rock-art panels, burials and historic structures.

The non-profit organization Friends of Cedar Mesa along with the Bureau of Land Management are fighting to stop such crimes and prosecute looters. The Friends of Cedar Mesa is offering a $2500 award for any information that leads to convictions.

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