Posted 20-11-2012 at 12:11
There appear to be at least four major rockart sites in the Volcanic Tablelands area north of Bishop. I suspect that the vandalize images are in Red Canyon, but I am trying to find confirmation of that. (The BLM office in Bishop also seems to be an information source.) Based of photos on Flickr and Panarama, many of the sites are faIrly accessible.
[ This message was edited by: bat400 on 2012-11-20 16:15 ]
Posted 20-11-2012 at 13:16
Apart from the ghastly slight to these rare, significant markings, and the insult levied toward the culture that made them, what purpose does it serve?
Attempting to sell them would be tantamount to pawning a Rembrandt copper etching. Nice to look at, but everyone knows where it comes from.
A private collector of Native American artifacts would have to be a pretty callous individual to send his minions out under the cover of darkness to crudely hack these from the stone face. This kind of defeats the whole idea of being an aficionado.
So then, they cannot be sold, and no self-respecting curate would stoop to such a dismal level. So it begs the question: Why?
Out here on the East Coast Native American rock art, though not absent, is fairly uncommon. But I can't imagine someone taking a cordless concrete saw to Hokum Rock just to put the Whale Carving on his fireplace mantle.
Posted 20-11-2012 at 15:35
Stone tools and jewelry, and ceramics are far more likely to show up for sale from illegal digs. Virtually impossible to trace.
But I agree, in this day and age rock art panels would be difficult to sell, especially ones from this area, for which I am sure substantial photographic evidence could be found of the stolen pieces.
I would guess that the theives had a buyer in mind who wants specific subjects and is unfazed by where the pieces came from.
There have been recent cases of entire bolders with petroglyphs being stolen and displayed openly by the theives themselves.
And yes, some of these collectors are very callous individuals. Note that in the Blanding Utah "sting" the informant was able (with little coaxing) to get a digger to take him onto federal land to dig up an ancient grave. The digger expressed disapointment that the remains were not in better shape, because of the worth of an Indian skull on the black market.
Posted 21-11-2012 at 19:37
Having seen this video, this is indeed the Chalfant site.
See Gender in Stone, Galal Gough, 1996. See the text of page 2, and Figure 18.
In David Whitley's, A Guide to Rock Art Sites: Southern California and Southern Nevada, 1996, he makes the case that these petroglyphs are 1000 years old or less. I am uncertain what the older ages being cited in these recent news reports are based on.
[ This message was edited by: bat400 on 2012-11-21 19:56 ]