April 25, 2008

High Country News, the award-winning news magazine of the American West, investigates the seamy underside of Southwest archaeological site exploration and artifact removal. A land once rich with ancestry has been scraped clean.

In “Pillaging the Past,” author/adventurer Craig Childs journeys along the fine line between scholarship and grave robbing. It has been estimated that 90 percent of the archaeological sites in the Southwest have been vandalized.

"Mexico is plundered. The caves of Arizona have been emptied down to bedrock. Parts of New Mexico look carpet-bombed,” Childs reports. “In Utah, I frequently find graves freshly looted, the soft packing of juniper bark ripped out like gift wrapping. Southwest Colorado feels ravaged and beaten. Even Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde and the hundreds of sites excavated because they lay in the path of pipelines and drill rigs and subdivisions have been pillaged, if in a more systematic, meticulous way."

Read about the pillaging of the past at: http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17663&fpr=pillage

If you are not a subscriber, you will be able to sign up for the free web trial in order to read this article.

Also in this issue, High Country News takes a look at an “uncommon Westerner” who manages the reintroduction of swift fox in Montana. In “Keeper of the Wildlife” by Cathy Moser, High Country News profiles Les Bighorn’s efforts to return the swift fox to Montana’s northeastern grasslands on the Fort Peck Sioux and Assiniboine Reservation.

Read about  uncommon westerner Les Bighorn at:

High Country News (www.hcn.org) independently covers the important issues and stories of the American West.  We encourage links from your website to ours.

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