A Midwestern man has been indicted for illegally excavating an historical Indigenous archaeological website within the Ozarks in Missouri and inflicting injury in extra of $300,000, in response to an estimate given by an Osage Nation archaeologist.
The 70-year-old man Johnny Lee Brown, from Clinton, Missouri, was charged in an 11-count indictment final month for collaborating in a “conspiracy from 20 June 2016 to September 2021 to unlawfully excavate archaeological assets from federal lands”, in response to courtroom paperwork launched this month.
Brown and “identified and unknown co-conspirators” illegally entered and excavated, utilizing full-sized shovels and rakes, a website positioned on a peninsula of Harry S. Truman Lake, positioned between the cities Clinton and Warsaw within the Harry S. Truman State Park. The positioning is densely concentrated with artefacts courting to the Late Archaic interval, most which can be buried near the floor to round 15 inches deep.
Brown is charged with conspiracy, 5 felony counts of excavating, damaging or in any other case altering and defacing archaeological assets, and 5 counts of harm or depredation to authorities property. The investigation was led by the Nationwide Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Military Corps of Engineers and will likely be prosecuted by a Kansas Metropolis courtroom.
It’s unclear what number of items Brown excavated in the course of the six-year interval or whether or not he meant to promote the artefacts.
US legal guidelines such because the 1906 Antiquities Act prohibit the excavation of archaeological websites on federal lands with a allow. Pertaining to state and federal lands, corresponding to state parks and wildlife administration areas, the legislation doesn’t distinguish between non-invasive “floor amassing” and excavation.