Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

// Width here // Height here

Ancient petroglyphs stolen near Bishop

Ancient hunters and gatherers etched vivid petroglyphs on cliffs in the Eastern Sierra that withstood winds, flash floods and earthquakes for more than 3,500 years. Thieves needed only a few hours to cut them down and haul them away.

Federal authorities say at least four petroglyphs have been taken from the site. A fifth was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides. A sixth had been removed and broken during the theft, then propped against a boulder near a visitor parking lot.

Dozens of other petroglyphs were scarred by hammer strikes and saw cuts.

Read the full story by Louis Sahagun “Petroglyph thefts near Bishop stun federal authorities, Paiutes


  1. November 29, 2012, 11:28 am

    Appalling. If someone went out and took a chunk of wall on any church or temple currently used by followers, there would be an international outrage. I would think that these petroglyphs are not only important for what they represent but also in relation to their location. What's the point of keeping a piece of stone which has no meaning for those who took it?

    By: Bilboa
  2. December 1, 2012, 9:58 pm

    My heart aches at the criminal loss of these petroglyphs – not only because they were…are…one of the Paiute people's tangible connections to their ancestors, but because they helped non-Native Americans connect to the history of human lives in pre-Columbian California.

    By: Neil
  3. December 3, 2012, 12:21 am

    More vigilance, surveillance and awareness is needed to protect these priceless artifacts. This will only worsen in the future and we will loose all of our living history like this.

    By: indranil

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »