The inscriptions and petroglyphs at El Morro are a part of our heritage, and although they are very old, they will not be here forever. Sand grains are washed away, rocks crumble and fall, and lichens and clay deposits cover the historic carvings.
As early as the 1920s, park managers have been concerned with protecting inscriptions from the elements of nature. Early efforts included covering the carvings with parafin, chiseling grooves to reroute water flows (image right) and darkening and deepening inscriptions with hard pencils to offset the erosion that was occurring.
These first, well-intended though intrusive attempts to preserve the inscriptions ended in the 1930s, though even today you will see remnants of the darkening technique in some of the Spanish carvings.
Last updated: February 24, 2015