Defacing, stealing, or destroying archaeological sites and artifacts is illegal!
It has been illegal since the Antiquities Act of 1907.
It is illegal and immoral to take home even the tiniest object—a corncob, a bit of broken pottery, a flake from an arrowhead. Even if you just want a little souvenir.
Stealing, looting, and defacing is also immoral and tragic. When someone destroys even a small part of the remnants left by prehistoric people, it can never be replaced. Everything it could have told us is lost.
Unfortunately, it happens often.
And you can help.
- If you see someone digging in or otherwise destroying a site, report that person to the landowner or the State Archaeologist’s Office.
- Do not approach people who are digging. Looters can be armed and dangerous.
- Instead, back off and get the license plate number if you can. Then report the incident immediately.
Looters and vandals are prosecuted vigorously in Utah. Some have served jail time and others have paid large fines. By reporting them, you can help preserve the past.