Vandals strike ancient archeological site near Tucson

Vandals strike ancient archeological site near Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Investigators are seeking help from the public to find the vandals who have done what no one else has ever done in more than 1,000 years.

Sometime between Jan. 9 and Jan. 21 in Catalina State Park someone toppled a rock on which an ancient artist had created a petroglyph.

Coronado National Forest Spokeswoman Heidi Schewel said it may be a petroglyph done by someone from the Hohokam culture.

A petroglyph, also known as "rock art," is a picture chipped into a rock. This petroglyph looks something like a sunburst design.

Schewel said vegetation in the surrounding area was also damaged.

The site is on Coronado National Forest Service land, so it is a federal crime, and federal investigators are working the case.

"These artifacts are related to past cultures. And the history is important. but so are the connections to people still living today that wouldn't want to see their past be disturbed in any way," Schewel said. "We are asking the public if anybody was in that area during that time period and saw something that might have been suspicious up on a trail, in the parking lot, anywhere, anything that just didn't look right, please call us."

If anyone has any information on this crime, they are urged to call the Coronado National Forest Supervisor's Office at (520) 388-8300.

Schewel said the penalty for this crime ranges from six months in jail and a $5,000 fine to one year in jail and/or a $20,000 fine.

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