Drought Tempting Amateur Scavengers; Collecting Artifacts Illegal

By: Tom Skinner
By: Tom Skinner

North Carolina's drought is exposing plenty of artifacts that have long sat at the bottom of reservoirs and lakes.

But that doesn't mean collectors are allowed to pocket any shards of Native American pottery, spearheads or other archaeological finds.

Those who remove such materials from public lands can face stiff
fines or jail time under both federal and state laws.

Professional archaeologist Ramie Gougeon said he and his crew have found signs of unauthorized looting in the dry bed of Falls Lake north of Raleigh. He said the scavenging makes it tougher to interpret the history of activities in areas where the artifacts were found.


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  • by Jeff Location: Greenville on Dec 22, 2007 at 11:03 PM
    So whats the big deal? Does the state really really care whats on the bottom. I mean if they did. They would have drained the lake a long time ago! And are thoses bits of pottery and old and worn arrowheads worth a lot of money? Maybe the state should build a wall around it like the fed wants to do down Mexico way!
  • by Richard Location: Thomasville on Dec 22, 2007 at 08:50 AM
    I guess it's better to leave them under water so nobody can enjoy them. Seems that's what happened when High Rock Lake in Davidson County,NC dried up a few years ago. Seems Alcoa felt that the artifacts would be better left where they are, and unseen.
  • by Tom Location: In NC on Dec 19, 2007 at 11:26 AM
    So what? They are (or were and will be) at the bottom of lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs...no one will miss them, no one cares, and no one is going to be studying them. Again, they are (or were and soon will be) under water. I think the history of this area (State) is pretty much known. I mean, these people weren't building pyramids or great walls or light houses or castles, etc. They (Indians) were pretty much hunter gathers and primitive farmers.
  • by paul Location: Kinston on Dec 19, 2007 at 10:47 AM
    Where can I get "authorized looting" permission?
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