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Miller Cave on Fort Wood has been permanently closed to visitors after a recent vandalism incident occurred

Miller Cave, a culturally significant Native American site on Fort Leonard Wood, has been permanently closed to visitors after a recent vandalism incident occurred. The incident is currently under investigation. According to Charlie Neel, Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division chief, as a federal property owner, Fort Leonard Wood is obligated to protect Miller Cave and other significant historic and archaeological locations on post. Neel added that his office regularly looks for signs of damage or looting. “We monitor all of the sites on post,” he said. “Last week, we discovered damage to the rock art at Miller Cave.” The art is Native American in origin, Neel said, and is thought to be somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 years old — it comes from what’s called the Late Woodland Period. According to Stephanie Nutt, DPW Environmental Division Cultural Resources Program coordinator, in addition to making the site off-limits, all signs that draw attention to Miller Cave are being removed — these include several educational signs put in place in the late 1990s explaining the archaeological and geological significance of the area. Miller Cave is part of a cave complex in the bluffs above the Big Piney River. Nutt said it was the second archaeological site recorded in Pulaski County. Artifacts discovered in Miller Cave are in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C.

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