Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

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Jeffshadows
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Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by Jeffshadows » Mar 19 2010 8:37 am

Vandals have damaged priceless petroglyphs - ancient rock carvings - at popular Picture Rocks northwest of Tucson.

The vandalism incidents, which occurred over the past three years, prompted owners of the site to post warning signs and call for vigilance by visitors.

"People have been seen vandalizing petroglyphs. There has been some damage - defacing of the rocks," said Peter Tran, assistant director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center, 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road.

The center owns the land where rock outcrops are covered with more than 100 petroglyphs dating from about A.D. 900 to 1350. The carvings, believed to be the work of ancient Indians known as the Hohokam, depict animals, human-like figures, solstice and equinox markers, spirals and other designs.

Archaeologist Allen Dart - executive director of the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center and a principal investigator for the EcoPlan Associates consulting firm - inspected the site this week for signs of vandalism.

It's not possible to determine how many vandalism incidents have occurred in recent years, but Tran and Dart noted at least two serious examples.

One, said Dart, was an image that apparently was partly pecked into the rock and partly formed using chalk.

"It looked kind of like an owl's face," he said.

Tran said a nun reported an incident last year in which she observed a woman and girl "vandalizing part of the petroglyph underneath the goat" - referring to a carving that resembles a bighorn sheep.

"The sister saw that a piece of rock was missing where they had been chipping at it," Tran said.

He said he has noted another defacement - the letters "MML" carved on a rock above the bighorn sheep figure.

Dart said even seemingly minor defacements bring lasting consequences.

"The recently added designs and graffiti can be seen from some distance away, which greatly detracts from the overall view and contextual integrity of the prehistoric rock symbols," he said. "Vandalism incidents at Picture Rocks and other petroglyph and pictograph sites also cause problems for native peoples, anthropologists and art historians who study rock art and its archaeological context."

Tran said the site, which is open to the public at no charge, now is posted with signs warning that thieves and vandals will be prosecuted. Center officials are keeping close watch over the area, and they ask that visitors check in at the center's office and report any incidents of vandalism.

"We need to sensitize people that this a treasure handed down to us from those people so long ago," Tran said.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192.
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big_load
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by big_load » Mar 19 2010 8:59 am

Disgusting. :x

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azbackpackr
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 19 2010 9:11 am

I'm tellin' ya, we need snipers!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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PaleoRob
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 19 2010 9:31 am

Augh! So frustrating!
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

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oceanwithin
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by oceanwithin » Mar 19 2010 9:48 am

Awful... makes you lose your faith in humanity (again!)

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Jeffshadows
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by Jeffshadows » Mar 19 2010 9:48 am

We had some family down from AK a few years back and I took them out to the King Canyon glyphs. You could easily discern the fakes that have been added out there but that didn't make them any less distracting. We have the timeless works of "European" artists locked up and protected from minor variations in humidity but these equally precious works are out there for anyone to touch, paint, or chip away at. Does anyone else smell a WASP rat here?! :?
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rally_toad
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by rally_toad » Mar 19 2010 7:03 pm

man the jerks who did that are tarzan swinging' assholes
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Jim_H
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by Jim_H » Mar 19 2010 7:22 pm

azbackpackr wrote:I'm tellin' ya, we need snipers!
I prefer snippers. :sl:
Rocks!!

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sirena
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by sirena » Mar 20 2010 8:48 pm

Disgusting, but not surprising, given how accessible those petroglyphs are.
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PaleoRob
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 20 2010 9:07 pm

azbackpackr wrote:I'm tellin' ya, we need snipers!
I'm telling you, the Arizona Archaeology Irregulars could protect places like this...
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
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My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

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azbackpackr
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 21 2010 3:31 am

:gun: :gun: :gun: :gun: :gun: :gun: :gun:
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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rushthezeppelin
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by rushthezeppelin » Mar 21 2010 10:00 am

I heard about this on NPR yesterday. I was pretty pissed.

And I have to agree on those sniper comments. If only video game sniper experience counted for something sitting behind a real M24 :sl:

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FreespiritAZ
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by FreespiritAZ » Mar 21 2010 12:47 pm

Hmmmm I am thinking of something more humiliating like maybe the vandals could be put into stocks and disgusting rotting food could be thrown at them. Or something else really degrading to go with how they degraded the petroglyphs :sl: Grrrrrr it makes me so mad to think about people that are so disrespectful.

But seriously, I wonder if there is any way to erect video cameras?

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PaleoRob
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 21 2010 6:39 pm

Well I've set something up. If you are interested in joining up, that'd be great. I'm just so sick and tired of how our archeological resources are treated here in Arizona. I know we have (had? maybe gone with the budget?) Site Stewards, but I don't have the time to get trained up and certified - I have a job and other stuff. But since I like hiking at ruins in Arizona, why not make it some sort of organized deal - report vandalism when you come across it, be prepared, etc. We all know where some neat stuff is in our necks of the woods, why not make an effort to make sure it stays neat and protected.
I know the little logo thing has guns on it, but if that's not your speed that's cool too. Just bring a cell phone with the land management agency's number on speed dial when you're out an about in ruin country. I'll try to set up some stuff both here and on FB (after my truck gets back) to get things going - site checks and such.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=app ... 615&ref=nf
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

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base871
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by base871 » Mar 21 2010 6:51 pm

Thanks Rob! Just added it on facebook.
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rushthezeppelin
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by rushthezeppelin » Mar 21 2010 9:58 pm

Man I haven't used facebook in years :( If I ever have time (wooo last semester of school) I will try and do my part out at some of the glyphs at the base of the Supes ridgeline.

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PaleoRob
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 21 2010 10:04 pm

rushthezeppelin wrote:I will try and do my part out at some of the glyphs at the base of the Supes ridgeline.
Post an event there or here when you do so - maybe some others could help out/cover more ground/etc.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

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FreespiritAZ
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by FreespiritAZ » Mar 21 2010 10:33 pm

I could help with an event if there is enough notice given, and if it is scheduled for a weekend seeing as I work full time and go to school full time during the week. Oh, and I added the group on Facebook.

Somebody has to step in and stop the vandals, now especially since many parks will be closing and there won't be rangers around to keep watch.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 22 2010 5:01 am

I joined and added a bunch of 'glyph photos from near my town. Oh, and a couple shard photos.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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PaleoRob
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Re: Petroglyphs near Tucson Vandalized

Post by PaleoRob » Mar 22 2010 6:35 am

FreespiritAZ wrote:Somebody has to step in and stop the vandals, now especially since many parks will be closing and there won't be rangers around to keep watch.
That hits it on the head right there!

Saw the photos Liz - they look great!
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon

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