Thursday 11 June 2009

Another Utah pot digger

The Salt Lake Tribune account of the "Action Cerberus" antiquities bust mentions an old case from the same region which seems of interest.

In 1995, Moab resident Earl Shumway was found guilty of stealing sandals, a sleeping mat and an infant's burial blanket from the Dop-Ki Cave in Canyonlands National Park and the Manti-LaSal National Forest. He was sentenced to 5½ years
in prison. Shumway also was arrested 10 years earlier, accused of stealing 34 prehistoric baskets. He was placed on probation with the promise he would help agents investigate other thefts. Unashamed of being a professional looter, Shumway claimed he was able to make $5,000 a day from his activities, which he described as a "way of life."

There was quite a long article about Earl Shumway in the New York Times in 1995 (Timothy Egan, In the Indian Southwest, Heritage Takes a Hit New York Times Nov. 2 1995). He is also discussed at some length in Craig Childs' article "Pillaging the past", and Julie Cart's 'Looting Indian Grave Sites Is Big Business in Utah' (Los Angeles Times, Sunday, April 8, 2001).

(Yesterday, three people from Blanding with the same surname were arrested (Kevin, Tammy and Sharon) though whether they are related to Earl was not established).

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