Monday, January 08, 2007

Whoops College prank may have damaged ancient Tempe petroglyphs
A college prank may have damaged ancient American Indian petroglyphs on a butte overlooking Arizona State University's Tempe campus.

Vandals climbed Tempe butte and painted a large red "A" - the University of Arizona's color - before the annual football game between the two rivals on Nov. 25. The paint job was first spotted two days before the ASU Sun Devils whipped the Wildcats 28-14.

Pranksters also hit the Sun Devils' practice field, painting a blue "A" and "Bear Down," the University of Arizona motto, on the turf.

But the red paint on the rocks of the butte could have erased rock art that dates to 1250, city officials said. Tempe could be forced to spend thousands of dollars to fly in a petroglyph expert and have the paint tediously removed by hand.