Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rosary Cathedral

Old South End Houses

Leave the Rocks Alone

THIS has been getting a lot of coverage, lately. A local "historian", in Portsmouth, took it upon himself to remove a large rock, formerly used as a navigation marker, from the Ohio River. He didn't bother noticing the fact that it was listed on state register of antiquities in Kentucky. Consequently, he's facing an indictment on a felony charge.
Now, there are a lot of issues involved in the case, but as far as I'm concerned, they're peripheral. I frankly don't care about the boundary dispute, or the authenticity of the carvings, or even about what happens to the blasted thing.
To me, the whole case boils down to one point. The man stole something that was registered as an antiquity. He's a looter and a nice long prison sentence would accomplish something we've needed for years. It would send a message all the two-bit amateur historians, armchair archaeologists, and Saturday afternoon metal detector enthusiasts that our antiquities preservation laws will be enforced.
Then, perhaps, the next step could be to expand those laws to something approaching the sort everyone else in the civilized world has.