Several centuries ago Native Americans traveling through the area stopped and pecked designs onto the smooth faces of large boulders found on the east side of the gap. Over the years many of the boulders have been covered with these chiseled figures known as petroglyphs. Archaeologists debate that they represent concepts, ideas or actual happenings. Perhaps they were part of a religious activity or hunting ritual. The local Native Americans consider them to be an important part of their cultural history relating stories of their ancestors’ life ways. The Parowan Gap Petroglyphs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places signifying its importance as a cultural treasure.
When sites are damaged in any way, much of what they can tell us is lost forever. Please tread lightly, causing as little disturbance as possible. Rock art should be photographed or sketched but not touched in any way. Fingers and palms leave oils that speed deterioration. Chalking the figures will eliminate the chance to use new dating techniques in the future. Laws with stiff penalties have been enacted to protect our past. But each of us have a responsibility to help preserve this and other archaeological and historically significant sites. Please report any vandalism to the local BLM Office or Sheriff.
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