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Planet Earth

The Looters Next Door

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorAugust 13, 2009 9:19 PM


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I've recently spent a lot of time reporting in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. When this blog goes dark for a few days, it's usually because I'm on assignment somewhere in the backcountry, or frantically trying to meet a magazine deadline. So one of the stories I've been working on is about archaeology and pothunters. Several weeks ago, I wrote this piece for Science magzine about a recent, high-profile case. One of the more tortured and fascinating characters in this ongoing saga is an archaeologist named Winston Hurst, who lives in Blanding, Utah. Hurst is highly respected among his peers and he lives in a town notorious for pothunting. Somehow he's walked this delicate tightrope for decades. An interview I conducted with him last month is now up at Archaeology magazine. As the headline indicates, it's about how he lives among "the looters next door."

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