Alysa Landry at Indian Country Today Media Network: The Frantic Race to Save Rock Art Finally Brings Some Good News

 Vandalism of rock art also abounds, and reports of deliberate destruction have made the news worldwide. Stone carvings in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains were destroyed in October, the Agence France-Presse reported. Salafists, Muslims who adhere to a strict Sunni interpretation of Islam, are believed to be responsible for destroying etchings depicting the sun as pagan divinity. Those images dated back more than 8,000 years. Thieves in eastern California used power-saws and other heavy equipment to gouge from volcanic stone six rock carvings sacred to the American Indian tribes in the area, including the Paiute, Shoshone and Mono. (The area is remote, but open to tourists.) The vandals also damaged dozens of other carvings in an act some archaeologists are calling the worst case of vandalism in that area. The thieves left scars along a 650-foot cliff band, and panels as large as 20 inches by 40 inches by 6 inches were excavated. Some rock slabs were sawed off 15 feet above ground. The damaged rocks are part of the Volcanic Tablelands, where carvings of hunters, sheep, lizards and deer have stood for 3,500 years. This vast act of vandalism was discovered October 31. 

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