Rock Art Etiquette

Guidelines for visiting rock art sites

The best way to protect and preserve rock art sites is education and documentation. The internet has changed many things. People can find just about any place on the internet now days through various means.

I believe if you tell people about the history of places, they will appreciate these places more. Without understanding, people aren't as interested in preserving these places. And I've lost track of how many times I've talked to locals and hunters who already knew where all the petroglyph and pictograph sites were.

Treat what you find with respect and leave it for the next explorer to discover.

The following are some things you can do to help keep these sites pristine and preserve them for future generations.

  • Leave everything as you find it. Artifacts tell a story. Their location helps archaeologists understand that story. Removing artifacts or even collecting pottery sherds into a pile unravels that story. If you pick up and look at an artifact, please put it back where you found it.
  • Please don't touch petroglyphs or pictographs. Oil from your skin can damage the images.
  • Please don't chalk or outline any rock art. Don't apply any substance. These can permanently damage them or wear them away.

Preserve the past. Please protect and respect these sacred places. They are a part of everyone's heritage.

Author image

About Guy Starbuck

Guy has hiked the deserts and mountains of the southwestern U.S. for more than twenty-five years. In that time, he has found hidden and remote locations that don't see many visitors.
  • Nevada
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