“Lost” petroglyph found by Park volunteers

Re-discovery of long forgotten petroglyphs along the Reef Bay Trail has given rise to speculation the island was inhabited as far back as 1 AD.

VIIS-Reef Bay Rockart Reflection NPS_0
The 'new' old rock carvings were found by volunteers on a Friends of the Park trek with Ken Wild, the Park's archeologist.  He distributed copies of photographs taken years ago, and told them that if the Taino carvings were found, their style would suggest Native Americans were on the island as much as 500 years earlier than had been assumed.

VIIS-Reef Bay Trail rockart NPS_0
Sue Borger, one of the volunteers, spotted was looking for the rocks she saw in the photograph.  "I could hardly believe it, but those rocks were right in front of me," she later wrote.  Her husband, Darrell, pulled away plant growth on the rocks and shouted, "Here it is. We've got it."

In an e-mail to the National Parks Traveler, Wild said, 'Evidence that the petroglyphs were carved by the Taino Indians has been strongly supported through the designs found on pottery at the Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay archaeology excavation along with correlating radiocarbon dates. It also has significant implications regarding Reef Bay and the history of St. John."

5 thoughts on ““Lost” petroglyph found by Park volunteers”

  1. I think there should be 24 hour security at the Petroglyphs to keep them from being vandalized. It is priceless art and a major tourist draw, so why leave it to blind chance and blind trust?

  2. I’m a little surprised the Petroglyphs haven’t received more international accliaim. They really are an international, historical treasure.

  3. A historic find. Congratulations to Ken Wild and the Friends of the Park volunteers who found them. Thank you for your work.

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