Man fined after disturbing archaeological site

COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- A North Bend man was fined $2,000 and he will be on probation for five years after disturbing an archaeological site in Coos Bay.

Oregon State Police say David Gieselman repeatedly removed Native American artifacts from a site on the North Spit from 2010 to 2012, even after multiple warnings.

Investigators say they found 180 artifacts in his house, and 12 in his possession when charges were filed last February.

The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians want people to learn from this case. "Tribal archaeological sites may consist of large amounts of shell, it may consist of rocks that kind of have a reddish color to them," said Howard Crombie of the Confederated Tribes. "Sometimes a person doesn't know until they're digging and they come across something that's buried, that's not on the surface. Archaeological sites are a part of everybody's living legacy. They're messages from our ancestors to our children, and whenever an archaeological site is destroyed, we lose part of of our past, part of our future, and part of ourselves."

Crombie says there are hundreds of archaeological sites in Coos County.

If you think you might have found one, you probably did, and he says it is best to leave it alone.