MARQUETTE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently discovered vandalism to an ancient petroglyph at Kanopolis Lake and is seeking information from the public to prosecute the vandals.

Petroglyphs are images and designs made by engraving, carving or scratching away the dark layer of rock varnish on the surface to reveal the lighter rock underneath. At Kanopolis Lake, these petroglyphs are believed to be over 150 years old and created by Native Americans.

Now, visitors see two names – Isaac and Emily – that someone scratched into a bison. The damage is irreversible, according to a news release from the Corps.

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

The Corps is seeking information concerning the defacement of the site.

“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.”

To provide information, contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Kanopolis Lake directly at 785-564-2294.

Violators may be prosecuted under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. Conviction carries up to a $10,000 fine and year in jail.