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View Diary: DKos Tour Series: Grand Canyon National Park (Part 2) (57 comments)

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  •  You were right to handle the Folsom point (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradise50, Onomastic, Mary Mike, KenBee

    the way you did.  They are rare and significant enough, that the best thing to do is to get the point into a proper collection with full find data. Otherwise, someone else will just take it home and put it on a shelf. Better to have something like that accessioned and available for research, with of course, full find data.  

    And to be clear... if there's something partially buried in the ground, I don't dig it up to look at it. Surface artifacts, well, those I will pick up and look at and replace in exactly the same position.  Another area that is just packed with archaeological evidence is the whole Grand Gulch drainage in Utah. A number of years ago, I took a long backpacking trip through there and saw lots and lots of undisturbed sites - grain storage units, midden heaps, etc.  Sadly, I think most of those sites get busted into by pot hunters.  

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 08:47:57 AM PDT

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    •  Casual removal of artifacts destroys the context (4+ / 0-)

      Archeologists claim the setting in which an artifact lays can be even more important that the item itself. While removing an item and turning it over to a museum or university certainly protects the item from theft, it can also make it near impossible to learn more about the people who made and used it. That said, I, myself, have never been faced with such a situation so I'm not sure what I'd do if I stumbled across an intact Anasazi pot buried in some side canyon or a Kachina doll stuffed into a crack in a canyon wall.

      I don't get mad. I get stabby!" - Fat Tony D'Amico

      by sizzzzlerz on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:12:35 AM PDT

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      •  True enough (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paradise50, Onomastic, Mary Mike

        I think it would depend.  

        A pot or some other artifact like a Kachina stuffed in a rock crack - I'd probably leave it alone but photograph and report the exact location as soon as possible and hope that the state archaeologists would preserve the item before it gets stolen.

        A surface find Clovis or Folsom point, in isolation?

        In both examples, the risk of the artifact being taken for a private collection is high. In the case of the Folsom or Clovis point, I'd probably photograph the location and get as precise a GPS reading as possible. But I'd probably remove the point and get it into a collection - just because locating the item again would be difficult, and often points are not found in association with other artifacts.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:23:51 AM PDT

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        •  Third paragraph should read (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          paradise50, Onomastic, Mary Mike

          I'd probably remove the point and get it into a public collection...

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:27:25 AM PDT

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        •  I have learned a thing or two. . . (5+ / 0-)

          about artifacts over the years, and of course, photographing exhibits in the raw is a smart idea. There is also the old argument what is better: To leave such valuable artifacts where they are or chance someone else coming along and doing the 'thieves of time' thing. I worked with an instructor at Yavapai College or pilfered artifacts on a regular basis, sometimes taking such items from the students who found them, and claiming he, the instructor, was going to return the items to the proper authorities. Turns out the S.O.B. added to his private collection, in his home. He made the mistake of dropping same, to get something for an upcoming tour, and I was with him in the van. The dummy let me inside and there in his living room was a veritable altar of artifacts! I said nothing to him about this, but later turned him into and I didn't feel squeamish in the least by doing it. The Folsom Point that I found, if I had to do it over again, I would have buried it deeper and left it where I found it. I have found anything like it since then, but I have come across untouched archeological sites in the back. . .back. . .country. I just looked and I did not report such finds. If you want to know more about this, contact me at my profile email account. And thanks, as always, for your educational commentaries, ivorybill.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:48:05 AM PDT

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