Friday, June 12, 2015

Living in the Past

Landowners often loot or destroy archaeological sites. Is this new subdivision a solution?
By Nick Romeo
   JUNE 12 2015 3:54 AM
“When he was a boy in the 1930's, (Archie) Hanson loved collecting beads, fishhooks, arrowheads, shells, and any other tangible relics of the Native American tribes that once inhabited the California coast where he lived near Long Beach. Throughout a prosperous career as a California land developer, he continued amassing an amateur collection, flying a helicopter along his private stretch of coast and landing to grab artifacts. In the late 1980s, he and Mary became interested in the archaeology of Southwest Colorado after taking a river rafting trip guided by three archaeologists associated with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, a nonprofit institute located next to ICR that is dedicated to research and public education. Mary loved picking up beads and arrowheads as much as Archie did, but on this rafting trip someone was always admonishing her to put them back down. “Finally I said to Archie, ‘Let’s get 10 acres so I can do what I want,’ ” Mary told me. “Here they believe in property rights,” Archie added. “You can dig up skulls and throw ’em over your shoulder.”
“I really respected archaeology,” Archie told me, “but I was doing a development here. So how do you treat ground that contains ruins respectfully?”

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