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Why We Started The Save History movement

According to the US Government Accountability Office, over 4,000 acts of looting and vandalism on public and Tribal lands were reported to land managers for fiscal years 2009 through 2018. Many more violations go unreported. Every single day, countless cultural items are lost or damaged forever, including Native American ancestral sites, resting places, homes, shrines, tools, and pottery.

Federal and Tribal laws protect archaeological resources. For example, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) prohibits the damage, excavation, and removal of archaeological resources from federal and Indian lands.

Yet these criminal behaviors continue. In response to these unacceptable and illegal acts, a growing collective of archaeologists, land managers, legal experts, and Tribal members and organizations are joining forces in the Save History movement.

Our focus is to protect archaeological sites and find, identify, and prosecute looters. With your support, we can end theft and vandalism of archaeological resources on Tribal lands and adjacent regions. 

What we do

Savehistory.org leads a regional effort to end archaeological resource crime on Tribal lands.  Our goals:

  • Detect archaeological resource crimes through site monitoring and community reporting
  • Respond to reported crimes and investigate swiftly and effectively
  • Prevent archaeological resource crime through education and amplification of Tribal perspectives on the value of ancestral sites
  • Restore damaged sites to restore remediation and healing in Tribal communities

We work closely with Tribal historic preservation officers, law enforcement, and Tribal and federal land managers to bring criminals to justice and force them to return artifacts and belongings to their rightful owners.  Through community and Tribal partnerships, we raise awareness of the educational, spiritual and scientific importance of archaeological sites and cultural landscapes, especially in Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

We need your help in protecting historical sites, sacred items, and ancestral remains. Spread the word about confidential tip line (1-833-ENDLOOT) and financial rewards for reporting archaeological resource crimes.  Tell friends and family about the importance of cultural resources and respecting ancestral resting places.

Together, we can ensure that Native American history - and Southwestern heritage - is preserved for future generations.

Get the Facts

about_fact
Almost

90%
of all major archaeological sites

in the Southwest have been looted and vandalized.[1]

about_fact
More than

70%
Of cultural
items

sold at overseas auctions were affiliated with Southwestern Tribes.[2]

about_fact
Approximately

80%
Of looting incidents

go unreported.[3]

about_fact
Over

95%
Of Criminal ARPa Cases

obtain a guilty finding.[4]

Source:

[1] Craig Childs, High Country News
[2] US Government Accountability Office 2018
[3] Todd Swain, Yearbook of Cultural Property Law 2007
[4] Robert Palmer, Yearbook of Cultural Property Law 2007

Interested in being a part of this movement? Here are some ways you can help

Hear
Our Stories

Learn how heritage sites are important to Tribal citizens on an individual and community level.

Report Destructive Acts

If you see recent looting or vandalism, please contact us immediately. We will respond.

Learn
Tribal History

Interested in learning more about the history of the Southwest? Here are a few resources to get you started.

Spread the
word!

Share our stories with your friends on social media, email or even virtual meetings.The more people we can reach, the greater chance we will end looting and vandalism.