SIUE - Archaeology Field School
Members of the school dig along the site in 2010.
Excavating equipment and historical artifacts are missing after vandals looted and destroyed an archaeological dig on the campus of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville over the weekend.
As the Belleville News-Democrat reports
, school officials became aware of the crime Monday after leaving the dig idle since Friday. Gregory Vogel, director of the university's Archeology Field School, says the artifacts uncovered at the site -- broken bones and pottery -- have little to no commercial value.
That's not true, though, of some of the modern-day equipment stolen over the weekend, including a $200 piece of surveying equipment.
And worse than the robbery was that the vandals also destroyed part of the site -- knocking over walls and trampling over the excavated floors. The dig is researching the Mississippian and Woodland cultures that inhabited the area 750 to 3,000 years ago.