California MD indicted for looting 30,000 tribal artifacts


#1

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#2

Coyote, what an asshole.


#3

Holy shit. That is a lot of artifacts. I guess the one good thing is he at least cataloged everything so it might be useful to study.

My friend was searching for dinosaur remains in AZ in the Petrified Forest National Park and he found what is known as a duck pot just laying in the open. The area is so remote that it has just been laying there for god knows how long. There were people out the next day to collect it and they were shitting bricks at the find.


#4

Funruly, who are you saying is the ahole? The guy who found the artifacts and meticulously documented them and preserved them?, or the person channeling their inner social justice warrior with overblown claims like “You’re stealing from my history, from my culture. You’re affecting my whole being on this planet and where I came from and how I’m connected to it.” What utter twaddle. If artifacts are strewn about over the landscape and laying out being destroyed by the elements then I for one see nothing wrong with people working to conserve them. Imagine if we’d taken the sort of stance some people are taking in regards to Ancient Egypt, or Greece, or any of the thousands of digs all over the world which unlocked history for us all. Take the digs at Gobekli Tepe for example. This whole “noble native” thing is a load of fertilizer.


#5

I don’t approve of what he did, but I do think he should get a pass on anything he swiped in that specific Indiana Jones fashion.


#6

30,000 is a lot of stuff, but real talk if I found an arrowhead I’m keeping it.


#7

That’s not the law. Read the article. Year-long investigation. 30,000 artifacts. This isn’t a shoe-box, and he isn’t an archaeologist.

Perhaps you’d prefer a professional archaeologist who dabbles in anesthesiology to work your next surgery.

It belongs in a museum.

I’m ok with adding you to the list.


#8


#9

Wow!! I would crap myself if I stumbled upon that. I’ve found tiny arrowheads and rocks used for nets, but that is a treasure.


#10

Yeah, me too. Fortunately he has the contacts to get it handled by the proper people with permits etc.


#11

“You’re stealing. You’re stealing from my history, from my culture. You’re affecting my whole being on this planet and where I came from and how I’m connected to it.”

This is why I get all weepy every time somebody excavates a new foundation anywhere in Western Europe.

That said, I’m pretty unsympathetic to the activities of team amateur archaeology, they tend to make a hell of a mess of things; but I’m also genuinely baffled by even the idea, much less the implementation, of imbuing assorted bits and pieces that dead people you might have inherited some DNA from could possibly have used with intense affective salience. That doesn’t give anyone the right to go digging them up just anywhere; but I just find the intense construction of self on dead past impossible to fathom.


#12

Perhaps Native Americans have less culture left around, above ground, than western europeans, to feel a connection to. The people who lived here in America when the white folks decided to move here enmass, have had not only their people murdered and subjugated, but their culture pretty systematically segregated and erased.


#13


#14

This. I have no problem with anybody digging up cultural artefacts of my ancestors. I really don’t. The artefacts are not who I am and do not connect me to anything. I simply don’t understand. This might be my loss. I don’t know. It is perhaps not dissimilar to my bafflement that anybody can apparently take such offense to anything (such as cartoons of a dead prophet) that they would kill as a result. There is no level of offense I can imagine taking that would even get me half-way to violence.


#15

At some of the cliff dwellings in Colorado, there are piles of corn cobs that have been sitting there for more than 500 years. Hey, they’re just corn cobs. Why doesn’t everybody just grab one on the way out as a souvenir? It’s no big deal. They are just sitting there. And they are just old corn cobs.

I’m walking through the desert and I kick a patch of dirt. Right next to an ancient arrowhead is a giant gold nugget! I’m taking both of them home and never telling anyone where they came from, so that no one can stake a claim. Finder’s keepers, right?

I was at my friend’s house and down under the cabinet I saw what looked like a wedding ring on the floor under the kitchen cabinets. Finder’s keepers, right?

The cashier at the supermarket gave me an extra $20 in change in error. I get to keep that, right?

The IRS made a huge error and refunded me 10,000 more than I should have gotten. I get to keep it, right?

A bank robber stashed his loot in my bushes as he was running away from the cops. It’s mine now, right?

I like these flowers over here on this tombstone better than the ones I brought for grandfather. No one will notice if I switch them, right?

Last cookie is MINE! I called it!


#16

Yeah, they conserved the fuck out of that one.

You mean if we hadn’t rolled into foreign countries without their permission, drilled open sealed buildings, and taken all the stuff inside to somewhere that the locals would never get to see any of it, and in many cases (“mummy unwrapping parties”) destroyed them for kicks, with the justification that they were all stupid savages who didn’t understand its value anyway?


#17

I might add that some Native Americans aren’t too thrilled with proper archeologists studying their culture.


#18

Arrowheads are all over the place and most of them you find (without even looking) are the castaways that weren’t any good or are already broken because it’s hard to create a trail without trampling over them.

Future generations are welcome to the shotgun shells and bullet casings we leaver strewn about. If I find any, I am going to pick up the arrowheads (along with the various weird old bottles and cans from the last 200 years).

There’s a world of difference between doing what I describe and excavating burial sites and taking rare finds to hoard in a personal collection. Conflating the two undermines the detrimental nature of the latter.

Go ahead, find an arrowhead, call up the authorities, and then wait for them. Hint, bring whatever you want future generations to find of yours, because you’ll be waiting there forever.


#19

Yeah they know us too well now and they’re starting to say “no”. Good on 'em.


#20

Obviously not. Landfills of the day are the archeological sites of the future. However, If you tell me I cannot take a rock from the top of a mountain I’ve scaled, as a souvenir, I’ll tell you you’re crazy. 500 vs near ∞; scale matters.

No problem here. Arrowheads are everywhere and that gold nugget is your find on what I presume is public (forestry/BLM/wilderness/park) land. Go right ahead. I’m not gonna moralize at you.

Obviously not. That is clearly belonging to the homeowner and/or likely their family. Are you a monster or just making false equivalencies?

Fuck yeah. Unless that’s a mom & pop, THAT $20 IS YOURS! Fuck the man; he’d take the $20 from you for nothing in a heartbeat! (OK, maybe not so cut and dry, but only because the man likes to fuck over cashiers who’s till isn’t 99.9% accurate.)

OH, HELL YES!

** (So long as you don’t think you’ll get caught. Hints: spread the money around geographically and don’t use a bunch at a time, and DON’T deposit it!). Fuck banks. That shit is in your bushes and is your shit! They stole it from me (us) in the first place! And you know the customers are insured!

False Equivalency Monster strikes again!

So long as everyone has gotten a cookie already, this is how it works. At least in the families I’ve been a part of… however, the correct phrases are “Dibs!” or “The Quick and the Dead.” or “You snooze, you lose.”