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Reward offered for stolen California rock carvings

Published on Nov 21, 2012 6:10 AM
A damaged Paiute Indian petroglyph located at a major rock art site on the Volcanic Tableland north of Bishop, California is shown in this handout image released to Reuters November 20, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Archeologists offered a US$1,000 (S$1,225) reward on Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of vandals who stole four priceless ancient rock carvings, and damaged others in the California desert.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) called the carvings - sliced out of the rock face with cement-cutting circular saws - an "irreplaceable part of our national cultural heritage."

"The damaged site is a pristine example of Great Basin rock art and hunter-gatherer domestic, religious and subsistence activities," said Greg Haverstock, a BLM archeologist based in Bishop, eastern California.

Ms Bernadette Lovato, manager of the BLM field office in Bishop, some 320km inland from San Francisco, added: "The individuals who did this have destroyed an irreplaceable part of our national cultural heritage. We have increased surveillance of our sites and are working with other agencies to bring the responsible parties to justice and to recover the petroglyphs."

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