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Posted 3/8/2018

Release no. 18-017

Public Affairs Office

MARQUETTE, Kan. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Kanopolis Lake recently discovered vandalism to an ancient petroglyph and is seeking information from the public. 

Petroglyphs are images and designs made by engraving, carving or scratching away the dark layer of rock varnish on the surface to reveal the lighter rock underneath. At Kanopolis Lake, these petroglyphs are believed to be over 150 years old and created by Native Americans. 

Now, visitors see two names that have been added over a bison. The damage is irreversible.

“It is very sad someone would think to destroy something so important and valued by so many,” said Tim Meade, archaeologist for the Corps of Engineers. “Petroglyphs are considered to have important spiritual meaning to Native Americans representing the works of their ancient ancestors. These have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors to Kanopolis Lake over the years.” 

The Corps is seeking information concerning the defacement of this petroglyph. 

“Resources at Kanopolis Lake are managed for the benefit of the American public and the Corps staff works hard to ensure these resources are available for future generations,” said Ryan Williams, Kanopolis Lake park manager. “The assistance of the public in a case like this is critical.”   

Violators may be prosecuted under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations and the Archaeological Resources Protections Act of 1979. 

To provide information on this vandalism, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Kanopolis Lake directly at 785-546-2294.

Corps of Engineers Kanopolis Lake Kansas Petroglyphs USACE