A group of ancient rock carvings at the Big Bend National Park in Texas was damaged by vandals in December, it was revealed last week.
Authorities at the national park informed that the rocks were defaced with names and dates, like ‘NORMA’ and ’12-26-21′. It is suggested the date is the day on which the vandalism took place. It is also suggested that the vandals were most probably a single group. According to the national park, vandalism is an illegal act for damaging a site of historical and archaeological significance. It was also reported that the damage was irreversible.
The rock carvings at the national park are known as petroglyphs. They are located within the Indian Head area of the national park. While the exact date of the rocks is not known, it is sure that the rock art is many millennia old. In a statement, Bob Krumenaker (Superintendent, Big Bend National Park) said: “Big Bend National Park belongs to all of us. Damaging natural features and rock art destroys the very beauty and history that the American people want to protect in our parks. With each instance of vandalism, part of our Nation’s heritage is lost forever.”
The rock art at the Big Bend National Park is not one of the bigger attractions of the state of Texas. However, since 2015, there has been a steady increase in visitors. 2021 saw 600k visitors in the park, its highest ever. In the same time, more than 50 instances of vandalism have occurred in the park.