About 10 people gathered around an ancient Cherokee petroglyph in Cullowhee Jan. 24 to get a better view of its markings.
Despite almost freezing temperatures, researchers met at the Caney Fork landmark to use laser-guided equipment to create the most detailed view of Judaculla Rock to date.
The soapstone boulder containing hundreds of mysterious symbols is the state’s largest petroglyph and is significant to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Recent efforts by Jackson County and the EBCI have stabilized the rock’s environmental deterioration, and 133 acres of land around the rock were placed into a conservation easement last year. The land the rock sits on was donated to Jackson County in 1959 by the J.B. Parker family.