Friday, January 05, 2007

Taking Your Heritage

A headline story in today's St. Petersburg Times, "Ancient Tools, Modern Crime," reports the arrest of several men caught illegally digging up an archaeological site in Hillsborough County. They were caught through the good work of Cpl. Don Balabau of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and Florida Fish and Wildlife officers Steve Delacure and Alton Still. This is not an isolated incident, nor is it particularly a secret that it happens. Eastern Hillsborough County is very popular with looters, who travel hundreds miles to get some of the artifacts created by Native Americans thousands of years ago. The men in today's story were arrested for tresspassing and outstanding warrants, but they may be charged with additional offenses related to disturbing archaeological sites.

I'd love to hear what you think of this.


Additional information:

"What do I do if I see damage or looting of archaeological sites?"

"An Overview of Anti-Looting Efforts in Florida" (.pdf)

"Should Finders Be Keepers?" (St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 2006)

1 comment:

  1. Even though we know this happens all over the world, it is sad to hear about local activity of this sort.

    The greed (profit?) factor will drive activities like this forever. Alerting people to the issue and giving them a suggested response is probably the best way to counteract this type activity.

    Stiff fines with the money collected going to archaeological/historical preservation may allow acquisition of items from the eventual private purchaser of the items...


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