Herodotus Returns

Fresh vandalism, theft reported at petroglyph site

Reports say Inscription Canyon, an important Native American rock art site in the Mojave Desert, has been vandalized. People have been using the petroglyph-covered walls as target practice (the walls are riddledwith bullet holes), as well as simply stealing inscribed rocks by loading them into pickup trucks. This is just one of several cases of rock art vandalism I’ve read about this year (recently, at Sears Point Arizona) and it makes me no less ill. Archaeological looting happens all over the world, but it seems that Americans are even more willing than others to squander their heritage. The lack of awareness of native american archaeological sites in the US is disturbing: we only hear about sites like Inscrition Canyon when they are destroyed. Read the article:

Art older than the Mona Lisa graces the Mojave Desert’s vermillion rocks, yet the only security system that protects it is secrecy and a harsh landscape.

Ancient people once carved animals, humanoid figures and intricate pattens into canyon walls for reasons only they know at thousands of sites throughout the desert. But with people accessing these remote areas with off-road vehicles, vandalism and theft has increased.

Inscription Canyon, north of Hinkley, is one area people know about. Archaeologist Jim Shearer, who works with the Bureau of Land Management, estimates that between 2,000 and 5,000 people a year visit the site to view its petroglyphs. It bears signs of vandalism and theft as fresh as this year, he said.

More on the vandaliam at Inscription Canyon.


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