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2 April 2006
Fate of Peavine petroglyphs to be decided

The fate of three boulders inscribed with ancient Indian rock art that were stolen from Peavine Mountain (Nevada, USA) is undecided after a court case involving the theft has ended. A federal appeals court overturned the conviction of two Nevada men in the theft of the petroglyphs on the grounds that the government failed to prove the centuries-old artwork had a market value of more than $1,000. The three boulders have been stored at a U.S. Forest Service facility in Sparks until officials determine whether they will be returned to their original site.
     "There hasn't been a decision and we're in the process of getting some interested parties together about that," said Terry Birk, Forest Service archaeologist in Carson City. "We've talked to the tribes and a couple rock art organizations and we'll have meetings and draft a plan on what to do with those." The boulders could be taken back to their original site on Peavine, placed on display elsewhere or be turned over to an Indian tribe. The petroglyphs depict a human figure, an archer, sheep, a wheel-like design and a lizard. "We will work with our tribal partners to make the best decision for the boulders' placement," said Christie Kalkowski, Forest Service spokeswoman in Sparks. "Part of Northern Nevada's deepest roots, it's American Indian heritage, was destroyed when the rock art carvings were removed from Peavine."
     Alvin McLane, a Reno-based petroglyph expert and retired Desert Research Institute scientist, said he shot photos and made drawings of the three stones at the site on Peavine several years ago. He said the boulders should be returned to the spots where they rested for hundreds of years. "When you remove them from the site you take them out of context," he said. "If you put them in a warehouse or display them elsewhere than the original site they become meaningless."

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal (26 March 2006)

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