On May 1stand 2nd, JRI Research Associate Jeffery Hanson conducted a training class on the looting and vandalism of archaeological sites. The class combined classroom instruction on the history of archaeological protection laws, the essential provisions of the archaeological Resources Protection Act, federal looting investigations, ethics, the use of site records and reality TV and its effect on archaeological resources. The class also included a field component in which attendees conducted field damage assessments on a simulated site. This year we had 13 attendees from diverse cultural resource management perspectives including: Olsen John from Navajo Nation Heritage and Historic Preservation Department; Tamar Mannikko,Coronado National Forest; Jess Gisler, Martha L. McMahan, Blair Mills, and Kathi Turner, Cibola National Forest and Grasslands; Jennifer Cowles and Jason Meininger, Division of Conservation Archaeology; Beth Parisi, Site Steward Foundation, Inc.; Alissa Healy and Jessica Young, North Wind Resource Consulting; John Cater, Tierra Right Of Way Services, Ltd.; and Ross Williams, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.JRI would like to express our deep gratitude to Mark Hungerford and the Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Office for hosting the training and providing land for the simulated site.
One big surprise awaited us when we arrived at the simulated site. We encountered several sizeable areas where non-permitted metal detecting activity had occurred, evidenced by the telltale signatures of small “shovel flips” over areas of several square meters.