Barrier Canyon Style Rock Art I Canyonlands National Park   Leave a comment

Barrier Canyon Style rock art is the oldest pictography on the Colorado Plateau. The style is equated with the Archaic Culture. Within the Fremont culture region it is a distinct style. It is centered near the Green-Colorado confluence. The type locality is in Barrier Canyon, also known as Horseshoe Canyon. Because of the importance of the rock art the area was designated a detached unit of Canyonlands National Park. The “Great Gallery” is the type site for the style. The vast Great Gallery murals represents one of the greatest pictograph sites anywhere. The area is remote backcountry and the footpath descending into the canyon is steep and rough. If you hike in watch for well-camouflaged rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the path.
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The oldest stratigraphically dated rock art in Utah is an incised pebble from an 8,700 year old level in Cowboy Cave, up canyon from the Great Gallery site. Several petroglyphs are found at Cowboy Cave, including a figure with very enlarged feet. In 1957 Jesse D. Jennings dated the Archaic Native American culture in Danger Cave to 11,000 B.P. Sites in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada corroborate the antiquity of Archaic culture in the southwest. While some rock art may be as old as human occupation, almost all the art is attributed to recent millennia.

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Posted 15 September 2009 by chrismmm in Uncategorized

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