March 7, 2021 - Comments Off on Unnamed Esplanade Poylchrome site

Unnamed Esplanade Poylchrome site

Esplanade Style Polychrome Panel, Mojave County, Arizona

This is the type site for Esplanade style polychrome rock art. Known from only 25 sites it is some of the most enigmatic and beautiful prehistoric art in North America. There are fewer than 25 examples of Esplanade style rock art all are located in Mojave County Arizona. As such it is one of the least studied types of North American rock art. Age estimates range from archaic southwest (8,000 BCE) to pre-Fremont (500 BCE).

The style stands out for its tremendous detail. See the close-up image of part of the panel below. Some of the anthropomorphic figures are presented in "x-ray" style. Eyes often have lashes. The images are finely rendered. 

Esplande Styl Polychrome Panel, Mojave County Arizona

In another espanade panel run through Dstretch analysis the details really show through. There are companion animals, the details go on and on.

Grand Canyon Polychrome painting after DStretch analysis
Grand Canyon Polychrome painting after DStretch analysis

What does it all mean? We don't know. But do we need to know in order to experience the mystery and beauty of the work.

A detail of an Esplanade Style / Grand Canyon Polychrome painting. This style is known entirely from sites within Mojave County, Arizona
Detail image of Esplanade style polychrome site deep in the heart of the Grand Canyon.

For anyone who wants to learn more about Esplanade Polychrome and the rock art of Northern Arizona we recommend the book Rock Art of the Grand Canyon Region by Don D. Christenson, Jerry Dickey and Steven M, Frees

You can purchase it here from Sunbelt Publications.

Published by: Stephen Alvarez in Arizona, Esplanade Style, Mojave County

Comments are closed.