The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia
Friday, 09 April 2021 14:57

Vandals deface 1,200-year-old Cherokee and Creek rock carvings in North Georgia

NYT: Ancient Native American rock carvings vandalized in Chattahoochee National Forest


From the “this is why we can’t have nice things” file: Vandals violated ancient and sacred Cherokee and Creek art with scratches and paint in the Track Rock Gap area of Chattahoochee and Oconee national forests.

“It’s one of the most significant rock art sites in the Southeastern United States and the only such site located on public land in Georgia,” according to a National Forest Service Facebook post, the NYT reported. That post was later removed by the forest service, which cited the ongoing criminal investigation.

The rock carvings date to 800 A.D. The vandalism occurred at some point in 2020 or early this year. 

There are at least 100 Native American petroglyphs in the north Georgia national forests. Some of the more prominent sites are fenced but allow people to view the ancient art.

Also from the Times report:

The Cherokee Tribal Heritage Preservation Office said in a statement that the Eastern Band of Cherokee people were “sad and frustrated” to learn of the vandalism.

“They are special sites for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and for all people as part of the Heritage of this region,” the statement said. “Whether through ignorance or malice — the result is irreparable damage to a unique site that connects us directly to the people of the past.”