California: Thieves Steal Four Ancient Indian Rock Carvings in 'Worst Vandalism Ever'
By Dominic Gover | November 22, 2012 2:45 AM EST
Vandals stole four ancient Indian rock carvings from a heritage site in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Bishop, California, it has been revealed.
The thieves used cement-cutting powersaws to dislodge the petroglyphs from the volcanic rock in which they were carved between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago.
Six carvings were targeted in all, and around a quarter of the remote site was defaced.
One of the ancient etchings was found dropped and smashed in a nearby car park, while another remained in place, but was badly scarred by hammer marks.
Experts suggested that just one of the ancient panels could be worth $1,000 on the black market.
US government archaeologist Greg Haverstock told NBC News that the theft was "the worst act of vandalism ever seen" on the site. He added:
"The individuals who did this were not surgeons, they were smashing and grabbing. I think it's akin to someone going and cutting pieces out of the Wailing Wall,"
The authorities have also informed leaders of the Paiute-Shoshone tribe, which considers the carvings sacred.
"It was the toughest phone call I ever had to make," said field officer Bernadette Lavato, speaking to the Los Angeles Times.
"Their culture and spiritual beliefs had been horribly violated. We will do everything in our power to bring those back."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
Join the Conversation
- Centerplate CEO Des Hague Caught Abusing Dog In Vancouver Building Elevator [VIDEO]
- Boyfriend's Welcome Home Tribute In Candles Destroys His House
- 'Boob Aid': Japanese Porn Stars 'Excited' For 24HR Breasts Squeezing Charity
- The Most Insane Facts About The American Civil War That You May Not Know
- Viral Video Kevin Droniak Grandma: Teenager Shows Grandma Their Videos Together, Grandma Gives Priceless Reaction
- Sept 19 iPhone 6 Release Date Confirmed as Apple Sets Sept 9 iWatch, 2 iPhones Intro - Report
- iPhone 6 Release Date Update: 4.7-Inch Model Scores 65.8% In Screen-To-Size Ratio; A Surprise Entry Scales Top Spot [List Attached]
- Product Recall Alert: Hewlett-Packard Pulls Out 6M Power Cords from US, Canada Over Fire Hazard Concerns, Australia Also Affected
- ISIS Wants $6.6M and Release of Aafia Siddiqui in Exchange of Head of Female US Humanitarian Aid Worker, 1st American Fighting for Jihadis Dead
- Canada Vs Russia War Erupts Via Twitter on Russia-Not Russia Maps
- Ukraine Ceasefire Looks Remote As Putin Talks Tough At Meeting With Poroshenko
- Windows 9 To Include Interactive Live Tiles and Notification Center in Metro 2.0