Skip to content

Stop Crimes Against History on Tribal Lands

The theft of history

Almost all major archaeological sites in the Southwest have been looted or vandalized. This destruction is a crime—often a felony—when it occurs on Tribal or public lands.

Ancient sites and artifacts are a bridge to Native American history, heritage, and identity. These culturally significant places cannot be replaced once they are damaged or desecrated.

What we do

In response to this growing threat, we bring together archaeologists, Tribal partners, federal agencies, law enforcement, and community organizations to stop crimes against history. Our goal is twofold: to encourage people to report recent looting or vandalism at archaeological sites and to share stories from Indigenous elders, leaders, and stewards about why these destructive acts must stop.

How you can help

Listening is the first and most important step to understanding why archaeological sites matter. We present stories from Tribal citizens who care about these places—and who want you to care too. By listening and sharing stories, we can change our society’s attitudes about how to protect ancient sites.

If you see a site being desecrated or know someone who commits crimes against history, please report through our confidential tipline.

The reward of saving history

When stolen artifacts are returned to their rightful owners, it is cause for celebration. Cultural traditions can continue, sacred places are preserved for future generations, and we can appreciate and learn from Native American history.

When you help bring looters to justice, you do more than save history. You promote security, community, and Tribal sovereignty.

How you can help save our history

Text a tip to 1-833-ENDLOOT to report a crime against history to law enforcement. Save History offers up to $10,000 for information about recent archaeological looting and vandalism.

icon

Call 1-833-ENDLOOT to report information about recent looting, vandalism, or trafficking to law enforcement.

Never confront a looter or vandal in the act. Relocate to a safe place and call 911.

icon
icon

Start a conversation. Many people are not aware of the significance of ancient sites and cultural items to Indigenous communities. Explore Stories from Tribal stewards about why history matters.

Be an advocate for the protection of sacred places.

Submit a confidential tip
quickly and easily. You are not required to reveal your identity. Click here to fill out the form.

icon

Have Questions, Comments, or
Your Own Story to Share?

Send us a message at hello@savehistory.org.

We’d love to hear from you!

How you can help save our history

icon

Text a tip to 1-833-ENDLOOT to report a crime against history to law enforcement. Save History offers up to $10,000 for information about recent looting or vandalism.

icon

Call 1-833-ENDLOOT to report information about recent looting, vandalism, or trafficking to law enforcement.

Never confront a looter or vandal in the act. Relocate to a safe place and call 911.

icon

Submit a confidential tip
quickly and easily through this website. You are not required to reveal your.
identity. Click here to fill out the form.

icon

Start a conversation. Many people are not aware of the significance of ancient sites and cultural items to Indigenous communities. Explore Stories from Tribal stewards about why history matters.

Be an advocate for the protection of sacred places.

Have Questions, Comments, or
Your Own Story to Share?

Send us a message at info@savehistory.org.

We’d love to hear from you!

Stories from Tribal Stewards

Learn how ancient places confirm traditional teachings, encourage multi-generational learning, and stimulate conversations in Indigenous communities.

video_icon

We are proud to partner with Tribal and nonprofit organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting American history.

Who is SaveHistory.Org and why do we need your help?

SaveHistory.Org is a collaborative effort of Tribal organizations, archaeologists, federal and state law enforcement, and countless supporters dedicated to ending the theft and destruction of archaeological resources on Tribal and public lands.

video_icon
video coming soon

Latest news


Heritage Resource Looting and Vandalism in Arizona: How Serious is the Problem?

Who We Are We are professional archaeologists and resource managers with career and organizational commitments to the protection and appropriate uses of heritage sites and objects—places and things inherited from the past and still valued today. The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Archaeology Southwest are dedicated to the proposition that archaeological and historical…

How to Visit Cultural Sites with Respect

Archaeological sites are fragile and non-renewable. The impacts of our visits to sites can add up to significant damage. But there are ways to appreciate these special places and preserve them for future generations.   “I always stress respect. Everything is a sacred, living entity. Everything has a spirit… Every place you go should be…

How Respect and Cultural Awareness Protect Archaeological Sites

  “Archaeological sites being ‘abandoned’ doesn’t mean that they’re abandoned in the spiritual world. They are still a part of this culture. Tangible aspects were left there so that people don’t forget.” Kenny Bowekaty, as told to Stacy Ryan   Kenny Bowekaty is from the Pueblo of Zuni and has worked as an archaeologist for…

Repatriating Ancestors From a Missionary’s Basement

  “Native people have been dealing with desecration of not only our homelands but our burials and our sacred places for ages and ages and ages. It’s nothing new to us.” Pete Coffey, as told to the Art Bust podcast   In 2014, Pete Coffey–One Feather received gruesome news about human remains recovered from an…

wicked

Archaeological Resource Crime is a Wicked Problem

Archaeological Resource Crime is a Wicked Problem John R. Welch, Landscape and Site Preservation Program Director People around the world agree that taking stuff that’s not theirs and digging up graves is wrong. So why do these wrongs keep happening? Why are they common, almost universal? Why have several generations of community leaders and law…

Looters-hole_Whiting

What Does a Crime Against History Look Like?

What Does a Crime Against History Look Like? Stacy Ryan, Preservation Archaeologist A crime against history, or an archaeological resource crime, refers to violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. Prohibited acts include the theft, vandalism, and trafficking of cultural items and human remains that are at least 100 years of age. These acts are…

Support & join the movement

tribes_served

27 Tribes Served

sites_assesed

35+ Sites Assessed

criminal_investigation

17 Active Criminal Investigations