Archives for January 2019

January 29, 2019 - No Comments!

Pahranagat representational style

A Pahranagat representational style petroglyph in the Basin and Range National Monument.

Pahranagat representational style anthropomorphic figures are unique to the Pahranagat Valley of Southern Nevada. There are two types of figures; pecked oval bodies with large hands and box shaped, line drawn bodies. The later are sometimes depicted with atlatl spear throwers. Bow and arrow replaced the atlatl more than  1500 years ago in this part of the country so this offers a clues as to the images age.

A Pahranagat style anthropomorphic figures in Lincoln County Nevada. This style of anthropomorph is unique to the Pahranagat Valley and its immediate drainage.

Not knowing an engravings exact age is one of the mysteries of rock art. This style is particularly intriguing because it is such a localized phenomenon. It is interesting that there are other styles of art represented in the area including Great Basin Carved Abstract and  Freemont. Why are these images limited to this valley? We will likely never know. For more information about Nevada Rock art visit the Nevada Rock Art Foundation.

January 16, 2019 - No Comments!

Barrier Canyon Painting, San Juan County Utah

Barrier Canyon rock art in San Juan County Utah. BCS panels are believed to have been created during the archaic period (probably late archaic) and are estimated (from direct and indirect carbon 14 dates) to be somewhere in the range of 1500 to 4000 years old.

An enigmatic and evocative piece of Barrier Canyon Style (BCS) rock art in Southern Utah. Rock art is notoriously hard to date but his style of painting likely comes from the late archaic period of Southwestern Archeology (1500-4000 BP). There are a large handful of sites across Southern Utah (also into Colorado and Arizona) with a similar style. The large scale anthropomorphic figures that are often finely painted.

This is one of the smaller BCS panels in the area. Big sites like the Great Gallery cover hundreds of feet and many complex paintings.

BCS is one of my favorite styles of North American rock art. The scale and attention to detail speak to me. The figure in this panel is human-sized.

A detailed view of Barrier Canyon rock art in San Juan County Utah.

I'm working on a @natgo grant looking at rock art in some of our western public lands. It’s a project sponsored -in part- by the National Geographic Society. However, most of the funding is provided by donors to the Ancient Art Archive.

Please consider giving to help with our mission.

-Stephen Alvarez

San Juan County, Utah