Track Rock Gap and the Forest Service

Submitted by James R. Wettstaed, Heritage Program Manager/Forest Archaeologist Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests (jwettstaed@fs.fed.us)

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Current protection of the rock art.

Over the last year a great number of claims have been made about Mayans and Georgia Archaeology. Many of these claims have focused on sites located on National Forest land. The Track Rock Gap rock art and stone landscape sites on the Chattahoochee National Forest were created by Creek and Cherokee people beginning more than 1000 years ago and continuing into the 1800s. There is no archeological evidence of any link to Mayan people or culture at this site. Stone landscape sites occur throughout the region and are not unusual, but they should be respected and protected.

The Forest Service works closely with Creek and Cherokee tribal governments to manage, protect, and better understand the Track Rock Gap archeological site. One way the Forest Service and Tribal partners protect the very fragile, sensitive and sacred stone landscape is by not encouraging visitation or allowing commercial activities to take place there. Unauthorized, user-created trails leading to the remote site create erosion issues and increase the potential for vandalism and theft, for which there are severe criminal penalties. The nearby and easily accessed Track Rock Gap rock art site is open to visitors, displaying the fascinating story left in stone by the Creek and Cherokee for all to see and experience.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about the views of American Indians and archaeologists can go to the Forest web site here.

Read more on this website about Track Rock Gap here.

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