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Grave Robbers Hit Ancient Indian Burial Site in Nevada

November 10, 1986|Associated Press

FALLON, Nev. — An ancient Indian burial site in west central Nevada about 18 miles east of here has been victimized by grave robbers. At least three graves have been emptied over the last two years from the historic Stillwater Marsh burial grounds, according to federal investigators.

The latest theft occurred in mid-October, and investigators think the same person or persons may be responsible for all three incidents. They theorize the robbers are selling the skeletons and other artifacts found in the graves to wealthy collectors.

The Stillwater Marsh has more than 300 Indian burial sites, some dating back as far as 5,000 years. The skeletons have been preserved by their airtight, mud graves.

Federal officials said last winter's floods killed the grass in the marsh, exposing burial sites previously covered. A team of scientists from the Nevada State Museum in Carson City has been allowed to excavate the exposed graves.

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