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Boulder covered with petroglyphs stolen near Yuma 5-3-07

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - A boulder bearing Indian petroglyphs several hundred years old has been stolen from federal land near Yuma, authorities said May 3.

“We know the boulder was there a few months ago because the area was monitored by an Arizona site steward,” said Sandra Arnold, an archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management.

The boulder, estimated at 500 pounds, was about 8 inches thick, 16 inches wide and 24 inches long, said Keith Dorsey, a BLM law enforcement ranger. As with many archaeological sites, its exact location is confidential to deter vandalism.

“It was quite obvious by the tracks that someone dragged the boulder to their vehicle and left the area,” Dorsey said.

Petroglyphs are designs or figures that have been pecked or scratched into rock surfaces. Many Indian groups consider them just as important today as they were hundreds of years ago.

“This is their written history,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey said there is a $500 reward for information leading to the boulder's return. Anyone with information regarding the artifact can call him at (928) 317-3212.
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