Looting Ongoing Issue for Archaeological Sites

The anthropomorphs in 1998
The red-painted 
anthropomorphs in 1998.

Two small red-painted anthropormorphs dating to the Mississippian period (A.D. 1000–1500) were stolen from a rock shelter in southern Illinois. The cutting out and removal of the rock art represents the first known example of this type of activity to take place within Illinois since the 1930s. This is a very troubling development that points out the continued need to protect other prehistoric rock art sites in eastern North America from suffering a similar fate.

The full story authored by Mark Wagner on this rock art looting can be found in the ESRARA (Eastern States Rock Art Research Association) newsletter.


Thank you to Mark Wagner (Southern Illinois University) for the images.

Location of removed and remaining issues
Location of removed and remaining images.

Evidence of looters
Broken looter’s shovel and plastic bucket at rock shelter.



[Posted November 11, 2015]