Dating of rock art in southern america
The site has played a signifi cant role in stylistic research on Great Basin rock art but needed an up-to-date archaeological inventory to better assist the management needs of the National Park Service.
The site has been argued to be the type site of the Grapevine Canyon style (formerly known as the Colorado River style) (Christensen & Dickey 2001), a distinctive style associated with the Patayan Culture.
The site has a long history of use, dating from prehistoric times to contemporary expression; it is culturally significant to modern Indian Peoples living in the region.
Many designs appear to have been carefully reworked or refreshed over a long period, attesting to the enduring cultural significance of this place and its art.
While we may not understand their purpose, we can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of petroglyphs, admiring the creativity of those from long-ago eras.
Around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other precursors of writing systems, such as pictographs and ideograms, began to appear.
The Lake Mead cultural resources team, led in the field by Erin Eichenberg, was a pleasure to work with.
Jessica Bland (nps Public Interpretation) expertly handled the public’s curiosity about the documentation process.
Very large abstract designs dominate the site, often densely packed, on large boulder surfaces and canyon walls.
Petroglyphs were still common though, and some cultures continued using them much longer, even until contact with Western culture was made in the twentieth century.
Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, southwestern North America, and Australia.
Grapevine Canyon receives regular public visitation and the results of the documentation project help the National Park Service’s management and public interpretation of the site, as well as enhance the effectiveness of its monitoring program.
Grapevine Canyon was first described in the archaeological literature by Julian Steward in the late 1920s.