“They would stop at Tutuveni and camp there, and they would peck their clan symbols on those rocks to mark their participation in that pilgrimage. And they did this for four or five centuries at least,” said Wes Bernardini, an archaeologist and professor at the University of Redlands who has been studying Tutuveni for years. “When people from the same clan would visit the site, they would put their symbols next to the previous symbol that somebody had left earlier. There’s no other site that we know of like that, that shows these repeated visits.
“It’s a very important place.”
It is also a place threatened by modern-day vandals who view Tutuveni not as the sacred site and archaeological treasure that it is, but rather a canvas for their own graffiti.
Story: Pauline Arrillaga, AP | Photo: Pauline Arrillaga, AP