Meth Trade and Stolen Artifacts


| 2/4/2009 12:27:29 PM


Meth LabMeth dealers and addicts have found a destructive way to get money for drugs: by looting artifacts and selling them on the black market. The March-April issue of Archaeology Magazine explores this nexus of antiquities and drugs and finds that “twiggers,” a combination of “diggers” and meth addicted “tweakers,” are fueling "a new epidemic of looting” especially in the American southwest.

The compulsive effects of methamphetamine make it an ideal drug for the repetitive and tedious work of artifact hunting, according to the article (not available online). Since the meth addicts generally have little knowledge of the artifacts, the process of digging them up can be particularly destructive. And since the artifacts are seldom traceable, convictions are extremely hard to come by.



Phil Young, a former agent with the National Parks Service, described one operation saying, “it was a very destructive process to the cultural resource, and of course to the individuals as well.”



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter