Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where isn't it? Archaeologists: artifact looting a problem in Wyoming
Trafficking in illegal antiquities ranks alongside gun and drug trafficking in terms of profitability, and archaeologists say Wyoming's wealth of American Indian and frontier-era artifacts can make the state an antiquities gold mine.

"The thing about illegal activity on archaeological sites is so many of them are in remote, rural locations, it's hard to quantify what goes on out there because you're not out there a lot," said State Archaeologist Mark Miller.

Julie Francis, an archaeologist at the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said collectors provide a market for illegal antiquities and the Internet has worsened the problem.