Rock Art Conservation in the Gila River Indian Community, Arizona


The Gila Indian River Indian Community is dedicated to preserving its heritage, and consequently has developed a rock art conservation program in order to care for, restore, and protect petroglyphs within community lands. The proximity of the large Phoenix metropolitan area increases the risk of trespass and vandalism within the GRIC. In recent years, damage at archaeological sites has included defacement and graffiti, and the theft of rock art boulders. Current restoration work has experimented with and utilized numerous techniques and products for cleaning paints and engine exhaust from rock art; these will be discussed in this presentation. We will consider the efficacy of the various graffiti removal products, including ‘elephant-snot’ and ‘shadow max’. The work done by the Community’s Cultural Resource Management Program has resulted in an efficient and evolving plan for restoration and conservation. Preservation efforts include community outreach and education as well as emplacement of barriers and increased law enforcement patrols. The combined efforts have resulted in numerous sites being cleaned and restored and an increase in awareness of the significance of rock art in communities on and off the GRIC.

Cite this Record

Rock Art Conservation in the Gila River Indian Community, Arizona. Teresa Rodrigues, Ashley Bitowf, Chris Loendorf. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431260)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17238