Indian Country Today reports on petroglyphs that were stolen and are being returned to their original places at the request of local tribes and Indians.Â Â Â
After recovering the artifacts, the Forest Service was worried that someone would just steal the centuries-old rock art from national forest land if they were returned to their sites.Â Â Â The stolen federal land managers struggled for years with the question of what to do with the rock etchings of a bighorn sheep, an archer, a lizard and a wheel.
Now, after initially thinking it was best to place them in a state museum, the agency – in consultation with local tribal leaders – has decided to return them to the mountainside where they were for perhaps as long as 1,000 years before they were disturbed.
”It belongs out there,” said Lynda Shoshone, cultural resources director for the Washoe Tribe in Nevada and California. She and others said removing the petroglyphs from the site takes them out of their spiritual context.