Vandals deface Native American petroglyphs which date back to the 1800s

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for Isaac and Emily. The pair apparently carved their names over an ancient petroglyph at Kanopolis Lake.

Petroglyphs are images and designs made by engraving, carving or scratching away the dark layer of rock varnish to reveal the lighter rock underneath, according to the Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The petroglyphs at Kanopolis Lake are thought to be more than 150 years old and were created by Native Americans.

The damage created by the person who carved “Isaac” and “Emily” onto the rock is irreversible. Instead of seeing the image of a bison, visitors will forever see those names.

“It is very sad someone would think to destroy something so important and valued by so many,” Tim Meade, archaeologist for the Corps of Engineers, said in a release. “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.”

“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.”


The Corps is looking for anyone who might have information concerning who defaced the petroglyph. Anyone with information is asked to contact Kanopolis Lake at 785-546-2294.

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