Saturday, 12 September 2015

Amateur Collector loses Artefacts

Photographs of anesthesiologist Dr. Jonathan Bourne digging an ancient wooden bow out of a glacier's ice in the Sierra National Forest appeared on a hiking-club website. He soon afterwards was visited by US federal agents and they recovered
roughly 30,000 ancient items they believe were unlawfully taken from hundreds of public land sites across the West: stone mortars, glass beads, projectile points and pendants. They also seized logbooks containing details of his archaeological finds.  Bourne, 59, has not been charged. [....] Mark Coleman, a Fresno attorney representing Jonathan Bourne, said his client is cooperating with investigators. "A large number of the artifacts he turned over to them were collected legally," Coleman said.[...]  Bourne "planned to donate his collection to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History when he died."
Louis Sahagun, 'Ancient artifacts yield a modern dilemma: What can be collected legally?' LATimes, Sept 12th 2015 [the newspaper does not answer its own question - UPDATE and then changed the collector-friendly title]

Dr Bourne also knows his mushrooms.

UPDATE 6.10.15

Louis Sahagun, ' Doctor accused of looting ancient artifacts is indicted on 21 counts', LA Times 4th October 2015.
"Collecting artifacts on public lands is not harmless fun — it's a serious crime," said Greg Haverstock, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist involved in case. "It damages archaeological records and the shared heritage of our nation. It also impacts tribal members who regard the removal of such items as sacrilegious." A federal grand jury in Fresno charged Bourne with eight counts of unlawful transportation of archaeological resources removed from public lands; six counts of unauthorized excavation, removal, damage or defacement of archaeological resources removed from public lands; six counts of injury or depredation to government property; and one count of possession of stolen government property.

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