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This is why we can't have nice things...


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There are some along the Missouri River in The Gates Of The Mountain stretch.

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We all agree that shooting up petroglyphs is an assine act. But just to play devil's advocate. After a lengthy career in federal natural resource agencies. We worked very hard to protect cultural resources. By agency regulation anything on the land that was over 50 yrs old was an artifact and was to be protected. So my question, at what point does the  value of graffiti become a cultural resource. In the Winnemucca District of the BLM we had some real interesting drawings carved into aspen bark by Basque shepherds during the middle of the last century. The subject matter had most of us referring to them as "pornoglyphs". Pretty randy stuff, imaginations fueled by lonely nights in the sheep camp. There is also some amazing spray paint art work done on railroad cars, highway over passes, and urban buildings. Is it that petroglyphs are old and of a different culture than ours and spray paint is modern medium? Please don't get me wrong defacing property with graffiti or shooting it up is wrong but when does some of it achieve cultural importance.

 

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Evidently they've recently (maybe in the past year or so) discovered a wall of petroglyphs that's miles long in the amazon escarpment of Peru or Bolivia. They're not releasing a lot of info on it yet, but evidently it's staggering in size and scope.

As fishvik infers, might be just the prehistoric version of "Kilroy's great great grandfather was here" or "Grog sucks pteradactyl eggs" or other such deep connotation...

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browndrake

They have been turning all the land around me into national monuments and wilderness areas.   When I was a kid I could go out and look at hundreds of rock art, ruins, etc.  No trash, no graffiti, no defacement.  Also there were improved springs where we could take on water, water horses, etc.  Now, that our backyards are wilderness, there are hundreds of people that hike there.   They leave trash and deface many of the sites.   Springs have fallen into disrepair and nobody is allowed to improve them.  

I'm sure that many people back east are happy to have wilderness areas.   Many of us locals see more the negative side than the positive. 

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WyomingArt

Big fan of  pictographs, petroglyphs and other rock art here.  It's at the point that hotspotting these sites is an issue because of vandalism.  But sadly the cat is out of the bag on some of the best sites. Parks, forests, BLM , state and county departments put photos and maps on line years ago and are paying the price now.   Now some government agencies are going quiet about their resources to protect them. 

Don't ask, don't tell is probably the best way to preserve them other than locking them up. 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Lurch said:

Evidently they've recently (maybe in the past year or so) discovered a wall of petroglyphs that's miles long in the amazon escarpment of Peru or Bolivia. They're not releasing a lot of info on it yet, but evidently it's staggering in size and scope.

As fishvik infers, might be just the prehistoric version of "Kilroy's great great grandfather was here" or "Grog sucks pteradactyl eggs" or other such deep connotation...

 

I read about that one. It is massive. A lot of the work was high up on the cliff, likely done off scaffolding. Amazing.

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1 hour ago, fishvik said:

We all agree that shooting up petroglyphs is an assine act. But just to play devil's advocate. After a lengthy career in federal natural resource agencies. We worked very hard to protect cultural resources. By agency regulation anything on the land that was over 50 yrs old was an artifact and was to be protected. So my question, at what point does the  value of graffiti become a cultural resource. In the Winnemucca District of the BLM we had some real interesting drawings carved into aspen bark by Basque shepherds during the middle of the last century. The subject matter had most of us referring to them as "pornoglyphs". Pretty randy stuff, imaginations fueled by lonely nights in the sheep camp. There is also some amazing spray paint art work done on railroad cars, highway over passes, and urban buildings. Is it that petroglyphs are old and of a different culture than ours and spray paint is modern medium? Please don't get me wrong defacing property with graffiti or shooting it up is wrong but when does some of it achieve cultural importance.

 

 

My answer to that is: If it obliterates or defaces something that was already there, it's a crime against history. Bullet holes and modern scratches on top of ancient art is inexcusable under all circumstances. If someone knocked down the Giza pyramids and built something equally impressive and timeless with the stones, would that be OK? 

 

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29 minutes ago, WyomingArt said:

Big fan of  pictographs, petroglyphs and other rock art here.  It's at the point that hotspotting these sites is an issue because of vandalism.  But sadly the cat is out of the bag on some of the best sites. Parks, forests, BLM , state and county departments put photos and maps on line years ago and are paying the price now.   Now some government agencies are going quiet about their resources to protect them. 

Don't ask, don't tell is probably the best way to preserve them other than locking them up. 

 

 

 

Yes! When they discovered the weird obelisk near Moab, as soon as the site was ID'd, the place was overrun with trash spewing, off roading, defecating, maniacs. As I mentioned in another thread here, hotspotting is in no way limited to hunting and fishing. Photographers (especially wildlife photographers) and birders are the worst of the lot in my experience. God forbid you share the general location of an owl nest or fox den. 

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3 hours ago, KCrowley said:

 

My answer to that is: If it obliterates or defaces something that was already there, it's a crime against history. Bullet holes and modern scratches on top of ancient art is inexcusable under all circumstances. If someone knocked down the Giza pyramids and built something equally impressive and timeless with the stones, would that be OK? 

 

I totally agree with what you said. My point is when does graffiti done on bare surface become a cultural source. Is JH+KP inside heart with an arrow through it  carved into a bare wall of sandstone any less of a cultural resource in 100 years as are Native American petroglyphs. I'm not disputing the importance of those petroglyphs today, nor saying defacing them in any way is okay. One of my archeologist buddies once told me that todays garbage will be the future archeologists treasure.

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5 hours ago, Lurch said:

As fishvik infers, might be just the prehistoric version of "Kilroy's great great grandfather was here" or "Grog sucks pteradactyl eggs" or other such deep connotation...

Exactly. Or it might be their version of this forum or Outdoor Life. Many Arrows shot big bull elk. Or it very well could have be their version of hotspotting.

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Brad Eden

Generally speaking I think a load of people really suck. And I think a load of people are really wonderful. There are a fair share of granite quarries in Maine, especially around where I live. The miners cut huge pieces of granite and built a lot of building in Boston etc with the rock. Once they hit water and the quarries partially filled up they moved on. Great swimming and diving holes were the result. Unfortunately idiots can’t resist defacing the walls with painted graffiti. Some so vile and offensive you wouldn't bring your kids there. Certainly not in the same league as defacing petroglyphs, of course. But discouraging nonetheless.

 

And I agree that it’s hard to have nice things. Reminds me of moderating UJ. I’m constantly having to clean up vile and offensive and political crap members (some with a near sociopathic need for attention) spray and carve into Topics and Posts. It’s a constant battle.... Certainly not in the same league as defacing petroglyphs, of course. But discouraging nonetheless. Boo Hoo.

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bennelli-banger

There’s no way to quantify it, but the addiction to all things digital/virtual is likely keeping lots of idiots from leaving their parents’ basement to venture out and witness/deface these treasures.  I’d much prefer said graffiti and vandalism to be done virtually...I can handle it, or, visit some other site if I can’t.  Seen some cool examples of this art in the BWCA as well as on the outskirts of the bighorns...hope they’ve been left alone...image.png.ad30d8febe0505323886852ac9472fb2.png

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22 hours ago, Dick Sellers said:

For any of you adventurous folks that travel out to Montana and also have an interest in ancient Indian rock art, there is a tremendous collection of ancient pictographs (and unfortunately more recent graffiti) in central Montana. Google "Bear Gulch Pictographs".

We have meant to go to that every year we go out. It was closed due to cover this year I think.

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Dick Sellers
47 minutes ago, juneboy1 said:

We have meant to go to that every year we go out. It was closed due to cover this year I think.

I don't doubt that.  This site is on private property, and last time I was there the son of the owner was "administering" the visitation and taking donations.  I don't know what the program will look like this year.  There is a whole book - "Fraternity of War" by James Keyser et al. with 436 pages of photos and text.  "Two isolated canyons cut into the plains of central Montana hold the largest concentration of American Indian shield bearing warrior pictographs and petroglyphs ever documented"

 

This site is right down the road from my place, but I don't have any financial stake in it.  It's just really cool and haunting.

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On 2/7/2021 at 12:10 PM, Spiller said:

This is an interesting tale.  

 

My father and my uncle were both veterans of WWII. My father in Europe and my uncle in the Pacific Theatre.

 

They had been in business together both before and after the war.  Back in the 70's, an attempted armed robbery occurred at their place of business.  

 

My uncle, who was quite a character, was the guy who the robbers had actually drawn weapons on and asked him to remove money from the cash register. Out of the blue, he exclaimed, with eyes bulging and hollering at the top of his lungs - "I killed 8 Japs in hand in hand combat! You think I'm fu**ing scared of you!?" while moving toward them....

 

....and the two young robbers ran out the door.....

 

On 2/7/2021 at 12:21 PM, Greg Hartman said:

 

Yep, almost all the men I grew up with were WWII vets.  They were quiet and peaceful men, but you did NOT want to mess with them - utterly no fear.  I can picture those two would-be robbers scampering for the door.  😁  

I add this because I like you folks. Heck I have no problem with anyone here.  I remember as a kid my friends uncle owned a Jewlery store in NYC . A robber came in and robbed him. When the robber exited the store or as the robber exited the store my friends uncle took off after him. The bad guy turned around and shot his uncle dead. I remember seeing it on the eyewitness news that evening.His uncle lay on the side walk covered with a sheet -1974 ? something like that....

You just never know what type Sh**head your up against.  

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