Reward Offered For Stolen Petroglyphs:
Archeologists offered a $1,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of vandals who stole four priceless ancient rock carvings, and damaged others in the California desert.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) called the carvings — sliced out of the rock face with cement-cutting circular saws — an “irreplaceable part of our national cultural heritage.”
The petroglyphs, etched by ancient hunters 3,500 years ago, had survived winds, floods and earthquakes over the centuries but were hauled off in a matter of hours.
A fifth suffered deep saw cuts and a sixth was removed but broken and abandoned near a parking lot in the Eastern Sierra desert, while dozens of others were scarred by hammer blows.
The stolen slabs of rock were two feet (60 centimeters) square, and up to 15 feet off the ground, requiring ladders and electrical generators for the power saws.
The ancient carvings show circles, deer, snakes and hunters with bows and arrows. The area is known as the Volcanic Tableland, and is considered sacred territory for Native Americans of the Paiute-Shoshone tribe.
IMAGE: Damaged petroglyph (BLM)