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Mill Creek Canyon petroglyph vandalized

Posted at 10:28 AM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 19:52:19-04

MOAB, Utah — Another over 1,000-year-old piece of history in the form of Native American rock art has been vandalized in southern Utah.

Southeastern Utah is home to some of the most extraordinary petroglyphs and rock Art displays in the world.

Clean Mill Creek Canyon petroglyphs.jpg
Emergency treatment used to clean graffiti from Mill Creek Canyon petroglyph

But despite the best efforts of law-enforcement, vandalism keeps happening and it has the Bureau of land management frustrated.

“Incidents like this are really unfortunate, “ Rachel Wootton, Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Land Management Moab said.

She described the rock art as being “likely from about 350 BS to 1300 AD… its characteristic of the Northern San Juan tradition of the Northern Puebloan culture” adding that “the site was actually documented in 1993 so we’ve known about it for quite a while.”

The location is near Moab in a place called Mill Creek Canyon, which is only about 5 miles outside the city, so it is an area that’s visited by tourists and locals alike.

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Wootton says that they appreciate very much anyone who calls in about this type of vandalism because it helps them quickly get to the bottom of how it happened.

A team of archaeologists were able to conduct an emergency treatment but the results aren't perfect.

“Even with that level of treatment and even with their expertise they are not able to fully remove the etching in the rock because these people have physically carved in," Wooton said.

Anyone with information on the vandalism is urged to contact BLM law enforcement at 435-259-2131.

The incident is one of many acts of vandalism found in Utah in 2021. Vulgar markings were discovered on "The Birthing Scene" in Moab back in April, while graffiti was also found inside Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks.