The preserved cultural record in Keyhole Sink in northern Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest contained etchings depicting people, animals and a blazing sun — an archaeological treasure which was defaced when someone painted “ACE” on top of the glyphs in sloppy, dripping lettering, The Arizona Republic reported Sunday.
“It’s beyond words,” Kaibab archaeologist Neil Weintraub said of the damage. “It feels like an attack on this site. What has it done except give people pleasure for years?”
There is an ongoing attack on ancient archaeological sites in Arizona and across the Southwest, the newspaper said. They are defaced with paint, bullet marks, paintball stains and messages scratched into rocks.
Professional thieves remove pottery, hack out chunks of ancient art-covered rock and dislodge anything they can carry away, the newspaper said.