Volunteers Help Restore Looted Rock Shelter Site 

On March 23, volunteers Alyssa Milne, Fred Nash and Vicki Pearson assisted St. George BLM Archaeologists William Banek and Geralyn McEwen in restoring a looted prehistoric rock shelter site near Cold Springs. The site was originally recorded in 2008 by McEwen and Western Rock Art Researchers Don Christensen and David Lee. During this recording, the damage to the site, which was dug up by artifact seeking vandals, was documented. The rock shelter contains 41 petroglyphs and 247 pictographs painted in red, white, and black located on the rock walls. It is the rock art style which associates this site with the Late Archaic time period; 4,600 to 2,300 years ago.

To reach the rock shelter, the crew had to hike approximately a ½ mile up a rocky wash and climb steep terrain with shovels, a crowbar and a screen. Upon reaching the rock shelter, the job of restoring the site began. First, plastic sheeting was placed at the bottom of the looted pit to identify the lowest level of the illegal digging. Second, large and medium sized rocks taken from the looter’s spoils pile were placed back into the pit filling most of the area. And lastly, dirt was shoveled from the spoils pile, placed into the pit, and the floor level was contoured to its original shape. The restoration took 4 hours to complete with exceptional results. Many Thanks to Alyssa Milne, Fred Nash and Vicki Pearson, your help and dedication to cultural resource preservation is very much appreciated.    

The spoils pile left behind by looters

Volunteers helping to restore the rock shelter, placing rocks into the pit