Monday, June 12, 2006

Archaeologists try to save ancient sites
Government-funded archaeologists are making a push to survey ancient sites across a remote stretch of southern Utah before looters can scoop up the last artifacts.

One team is recovering treasures before they disappear from the ground along Comb Ridge, an 80-mile monocline that Native Americans worship as the very spine of the earth. Another is shoring up the crumbling walls of ancient dwellings at 10 sites in the same region, about 300 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

The efforts come as federal and local agencies celebrate the centennial of the 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives the president authority to create national monuments to preserve the nation's ancient cultural sites and unusual geological features.