ARH309 Reading Notes Wk 3

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Justin Jennings

EthicsWeek 3Reading Notes1Patel April 2004 agents from the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service searched a trailer in Grant New Mexico after an agent for archaeological crime received a tip about a rare pair of Anasazi leggings made of human hair that had been stolen from a private home and had been found on federal landThe thief was made to cooperate and the agents set up a controlled buythey had the thief repurchased the leggings with marked bills from whom he sold it to then obtained a search warrant to retrieve the money a search warrant that led them to a trailer full of methBuffalo Soldier caseoldschool treasure hunters crossed a legal line from collecting to lootingwas an anomalyArchaeological looting in New Mexico occur in archaeologyrich trailer parks within which drugaddicted looters steal artifacts from sites to sell or trade for more drugsThe locus of archaeological crime in the Southwest and across the nation is shifting into the world of drugs and gunsExample of how the drug trade overlapped with the illegal artifact tradeIn the Southwest antiquities are untraceable commodities of the criminal undergroundoArtifacts could be looted from remote public lands near impoverished communities with acute drug problems and there is an infrastructure of shady galleries and trading posts that can launder them for saleoTweakers meth addictsdiggerstwiggersUndercover Operation Silent Witnesslate 1990searly2000s twelve indictments and convictions network of twiggers linked by a single meth dealerLootingmeth nexus has more to do with the drug itselfoMeth provides a surplus of energy needed to be worked off and increases focus and obsessive sorting behaviour making it fun even pleasurable to do the tedious work of artifact huntingoIn short they have the energy to survey and dig holes the focus to scan the ground in detail and the compulsive need to find morethe perfect tireless looting forceTwiggers changing the way sites are lootedoDue to their obsessive behaviour they tend to pick the sites cleanOnline auction sites provide a very lucrative market 60s70s treasure hunters 80s90s commercial looters
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