If you've ridden in or around Moab, chances are you've stopped to admire some of the petroglyphs that adorn the rocks and cliffsides. Many of these rock carvings are thousands of years old and are easily accessible by roads and trails. Earlier this week, several petroglyphs known as the "Birthing Scene" located near Kane Creek Road were vandalized. (If you've ridden Hymasa / Captain Ahab you've traveled near this petroglyph.)

One of the scenes was vandalized with a crude drawing of a penis, foul language, and a racist slogan.

According to Climb Utah, the figures and designs cover the periods and cultures from the Anasazi (AD 1 to AD 1275), Fremont (AD 450 to AD 1250), and the Ute (AD 1200s to AD 1880). The well-known "Birthing Scene" is found on the left-hand corner of the north side of the boulder. The remainder of the rock is covered with various animal forms, such as a centipede, a horse, bear paws, a snake, as well as triangular anthropomorphic (human) figures and a sandal trackway.

Related: Increase in vandalism due to an increase in trail use?
The Vandalism was spotted on Monday and news traveled throughout various Grand County social media groups. According to Grand County Commission Chairwoman Mary McGann, three of the four panels were heavily damaged.

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act makes it a federal crime to disturb or deface archaeological sites and artifacts. These resources are considered an irreplaceable part of the nation’s heritage. First-time violators could be fined up to $20,000 and imprisoned for up to one year.

Edit 4/28/2021: The BLM is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible. If you have any information concerning this vandalism, please contact BLM Law Enforcement at 435-259-2131 or 800-722-3998. You can remain anonymous.