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For battlefield thefts, man gets 366-day term

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posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 09:38 AM
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OK, it ain't ancient or lost, or particularly civilised, but we don't have a dedicated archaeology forum so this will have to do...


For battlefield thefts, man gets 366-day term


On 1,014 days over four years, John J. Santo scoured Petersburg National Battlefield Park and other properties with a metal detector and his dog, looking for Civil War-era artifacts that he could collect and turn into cash.

On Wednesday, the 52-year-old unemployed Pennsylvania native was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Richmond to one year and one day in a federal prison.www2.timesdispatch.com...

Nice to see that some deterrence to looting is being brought forward. Granted, laws protecting the collective past are limited, but these artifacts and the story they tell belong to society at large, not just some guy with a metal detector (and a dog). I hope it's the beginning of a trend in law enforcement.



edit on 23-3-2012 by JohnnyCanuck because: ...just because...ok?




posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Shame it isn't at least 5 years though for looting a nations heritage - that would be more of a deterrent to other potential looters.



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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one of these days archeaologists are going to start digging up metal detectors
with metal detectors
thats when we will know we have gone to far


Maybe what we need are some "Diggers will be Cursed!" signs

PS @ Flavian
don't get too carried away
thats our tax dollars at work...
and someone will have to feed his dog
edit on 23-3-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-3-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by Danbones
 


Yeah ok a tad over the top perhaps but really the only way to reduce this type of thing is for harsher sentences on a couple of prime candidates. You will never eradicate this practice but the more you can put off, the better.

Who is to say people doing similar things haven't sold items that are tremendously important - items that we would not even know existed and have then been sold into private hands?



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 11:23 AM
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What story are the archies going to get from some minie balls? We all know the war was fought and hundreds of boring books have already been written going into great and boring details about every aspect of these battles.

We as US citizens have BOUGHT AND PAID for these battlefields and monuments. Chances are that the archies are not going to look for these artifacts and they will just rot into the ground where they stand until nothing is left.

I say BRAVO to the man with the metal detector!!! I frequently find "things" when I am out hiking in the wilderness. Will I turn them over to archies? Nope. Let the archies get off their butts and get out into the field and find their own "things".



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by groingrinder
 


When a brush fire burned off the site of the battle of Little Big Horn, researchers and archaeologists, from the bullets and cartridged found were able to reconstruct how the battle was actually fought, as the Indian accounts contradicted one another. If looters had been allowed to steal all the bullets and cartridges this would have been impossible.

From a single bullet you can tell where the bullet was made - whether it was made in a Union munition factory or imported from French and whether it hit someone, or the type of weapon it was fired from.

Looting destroys evidence which cannot be replaced



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by groingrinder
I say BRAVO to the man with the metal detector!!!

So where would you draw the line? Or would you? And what makes your ethical breaking point any more legitimate than, say, somebody who would strip the 'things' from a burial on site?

Ignorance is a poor basis from which to construct any rationale.



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by groingrinder
 


When a brush fire burned off the site of the battle of Little Big Horn, researchers and archaeologists, from the bullets and cartridged found were able to reconstruct how the battle was actually fought, as the Indian accounts contradicted one another. If looters had been allowed to steal all the bullets and cartridges this would have been impossible.

From a single bullet you can tell where the bullet was made - whether it was made in a Union munition factory or imported from French and whether it hit someone, or the type of weapon it was fired from.

Looting destroys evidence which cannot be replaced


I found the first part of your statement...

After a grass fire in 1983 cleared brush and grass from the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, archaeologists conducted thorough examinations of the battlefield. During the digs, the authors assembled the most convincing evidence thus far of what really happened on June 25, 1876. 83 illustrations, 34 tables.

books.google.ca...
in a book review guess you didn't read the book

as i understand it it was the indian accounts that were proved correct
it was the hero christians that were proved wrong:
they found custers men had mostly died running away with their empty eweapons abandoned behind them..


Archaeologists can also learn how land battles played out and, by incorporating the voices of minorities, we begin to understand better the clashes between cultures. One of the most prominent clashes between cultures in North American history--Custer's battle--took place on 25 June 1876 in what is now Montana. There, along Little Big Horn River, the Seventh U. S. Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. George Custer, met defeat at the hands of the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne. Much has been said and written about the battle of Little Big Horn River, but our histories of this conflict largely exclude perspectives of the native victors. Now, historical archaeology has challenged that bias and revised our understanding of what happened there....

... which one hundred fifty Cheyenne and Arapaho elders, women, and children died at the hands of American soldiers...then the braves came back found this going on and Kicked Custers genocidal A$$
www.sha.org...


this is why we need inpartial archaeology
for TRUTH



posted on Mar, 23 2012 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Big deal of they can reconstruct a battle scene , they still teach Colombus discovered America and that your vote for president actually matters.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 12:27 AM
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reply to post by Azadok
 


You're right, much better we strip the land of history, that way you would still believe Columbus discovered America. Of course you know the truth, as do I, yet you are here advocating for the destruction of the evidence that brings truth, you advocate for ignorance so a man can make a buck. Disgusting.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by groingrinder
I say BRAVO to the man with the metal detector!!!

So where would you draw the line? Or would you? And what makes your ethical breaking point any more legitimate than, say, somebody who would strip the 'things' from a burial on site?

Ignorance is a poor basis from which to construct any rationale.


Ethics has nothing to do with it. I have been finding Indian and ancient artifacts from Montana to Arizona in my wanderings in the wilderness. The way I look at it, there is a reason that I am finding this stuff. So I keep it. Mostly it is just arrowheads and pottery fragments and glass beads. Bullets and ramrods and money. If I am not supposed to have it, then somebody else would find it.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 03:16 AM
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for goodness sake.

the bloke did it for FOUR years, feeding himself and his dog, probably to survive given his circumstances. he was doing something for himself, generating his own income over 4 years. and it took all that time to realise what he was doing and eventually put him in prison?

in the uk there are frequently people that go out with metal detectors and find the odd hoarde of old things, ... over here they're given half the money generated by it, with the other half going to the landowner on which the find was discovered.

so it seems if you're loaded, and you find something, it's fantastic!!

if you're a homeless guy, trying to survive, it's looting.

good grief.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by groingrinder

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by groingrinder
I say BRAVO to the man with the metal detector!!!

So where would you draw the line? Or would you? And what makes your ethical breaking point any more legitimate than, say, somebody who would strip the 'things' from a burial on site?

Ignorance is a poor basis from which to construct any rationale.


Ethics has nothing to do with it. I have been finding Indian and ancient artifacts from Montana to Arizona in my wanderings in the wilderness. The way I look at it, there is a reason that I am finding this stuff. So I keep it. Mostly it is just arrowheads and pottery fragments and glass beads. Bullets and ramrods and money. If I am not supposed to have it, then somebody else would find it.

Ethics has everything to do with it. You may not have known that, but now you do, so you can't cite ignorance any more. When you dig and indiscriminately loot artifacts, you are stealing from your nation's heritage and destroying the 'data base' as you go. Now...if you are collecting surface finds, and in the American context, not on Federal lands, it's legal. But how do you know if you have found anything of any significance in the larger scheme of things. There's a reason that archaeologists get years of training.

...and you didn't tell me where you draw the line.


Originally posted by ladyteeny
the bloke did it for FOUR years, feeding himself and his dog, probably to survive given his circumstances. he was doing something for himself, generating his own income over 4 years.

In these circumstances, it was the equivalent of breaking into a museum...is that ok, even if you have a dog?
edit on 27-3-2012 by JohnnyCanuck because: ...just because...ok?



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by ladyteeny
 


You are totally missing the point here though. If he had notified the correct authorities, he would still have been eligible for a finders cut of any resale. He didn't, he chose to not announce them and sell them on and he was then caught. That is theft pure and simple - and all because he couldn't be bothered to notify the correct authorities of his finds. Pretty stupid really.

As to why looting sites is wrong, Hanslune and JohnnyCanuck have described it far better than i would!
edit on 27-3-2012 by Flavian because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 08:14 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


And why 1 year & 1 day to serve instead of just one year to serve you may ask? Well under the law prisoners hv to serve 65% of their sentence, but if you only have a year sentence that does not apply so you have to serve the full year, but since he got a year and a day he'll only have to serve 65% of 366 days! I've seen so many people screwed by their defense lawyers by failing to capatilize on such when they are sentenced!!! Though I'm no legal lawyer, i'm a certified "Jail House" Lawyer that is familiar with several loop holes/laws in our judicial system in America & moreso in Misssissppi



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
If he had notified the correct authorities, he would still have been eligible for a finders cut of any resale. He didn't, he chose to not announce them and sell them on and he was then caught. That is theft pure and simple - and all because he couldn't be bothered to notify the correct authorities of his finds. Pretty stupid really.

While I appreciate your sentiments, as far as I know there is no 'finder's cut' in the US that is equivalent to the UK's 'Treasure Act'.

Collecting (and looting) is quite legal on many lands not Federally owned. Find a First Nations burial, and NAGPRA kicks in. In Ontario, Canada where I live, archaeological resources belong to "Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of Ontario", and are administered under the Ontario Heritage Act. Looting and pothunting are illegal and a licence is required to conduct legitimate investigation..


Originally posted by Mississippi
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 
And why 1 year & 1 day to serve instead of just one year to serve you may ask? Well under the law prisoners hv to serve 65% of their sentence, but if you only have a year sentence that does not apply so you have to serve the full year, but since he got a year and a day he'll only have to serve 65% of 366 days!

Thanks for clarification of that. Frankly, I'm more interested in sending a message than I am in seeing that the dude in question serves every minute of his sentence. Still...there needs to be a deterrence factor, and I hope the word gets out. I think most 'collectors' are a little too middle class to want to risk doing time for their little 'hobby'.
edit on 27-3-2012 by JohnnyCanuck because: ...just because...ok?



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Wow, i am actually very surprised by that. I would honestly have thought (what with being a "new" nation) that the US would actively combat looting of historic artifacts and would encourage the collecting and sharing of these artifacts. Really, really amazed.........

Does this mean that archeologists in the States can be very cranky?
With this to contend with, i am surprised they ever publish site locations.

Despite laws, we still suffer from this in the UK too. I have a friend who works as an archeologist - he is currently involved in excavating an Anglo Saxon plot that he says is more spectacular than the recent Staffordshire hoard - somewhere in the fields near to York (but North), complete with chariot burials, etc. Won't say where it is though in case word leaks out - they cannot afford 24 hour security.



posted on Mar, 27 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by Flavian
I would honestly have thought (what with being a "new" nation) that the US would actively combat looting of historic artifacts and would encourage the collecting and sharing of these artifacts. Really, really amazed.........
Does this mean that archeologists in the States can be very cranky?
With this to contend with, i am surprised they ever publish site locations.

I am surprised as well, given the way in which Americans tend to relish their history. But, on the other side, you'll also hear a big discussion about Individual Rights=Finder's Keepers. Education is the key, and that's why you'll have people like me chiming in on this site knowing full well they're being a buzz-kill to many. An artifact has a story to tell...take it out of its original context and you lose the story.

As to site locations? I just don't give them out, and if I'm doing a public lecture or something...I stay vague. The Government is the gatekeeper and if you ask about a site location, they answer "Why?"

And yes, there are cranky archaeologists out there, often because there is not enough public funding for them to do the job expected of them.



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