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Petroglyph chronology in southeast colorado

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Petroglyph chronology in southeast colorado

  1. 1. PETROGLYPH CHRONOLOGY IN SOUTHEAST COLORADO ©1995, Peter Faris Southwestern Lore, Vol. 61, No. 1, pages 7-35 . Funded by Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Grant #R070-0992-038. Photo: Jeannie H. Gibson, 1991
  2. 2. Previous Research • G. J. Anderson, Fort Lyon, CO, / Charles Darwin – 1874. • E. B. Renaud, University of Denver – 1931 to 1936. • Robert Gordon Campbell, Chaquaqua Plateau in Bent and Las Animas counties – 1969 thesis, C. U. • Joe Ben Wheat – 1954. • University of Denver, 5BN7 – 1971. • Colorado Archaeological Society, 5LA1115 – 1978. • Colorado Archaeological Society, 5LA5781 – 1984. • Fort Carson/Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Sally Cole – 1980s. • Dr. Lawrence Loendorf, P.C.M.S. – 1980s to present. • Denver Chapter/CAS , 5BN7 and other sites – Late 1980s. • McGlone, Leonard, etc. – Late 1980s to 1993.
  3. 3. Study Area – Baca, Bent, Las Animas, Otero, and Prowers Counties, Colorado.
  4. 4. View of Picketwire Canyonlands. Photo: Peter Faris, 1999
  5. 5. Cultural Periods in Southeast Colorado • Paleoindian Stage (ca. 11,700 – 7500 B.P.) • Archaic Stage ca. (7500 – 1800 B.P.) • Early Archaic period (7500 – 5000 B.P.) • Middle Archaic period (5000 – 3000 B.P.) • Late Archaic period (3000 – 1800 B.P.) • Ceramic Stage (1800 – 250 B.P.) • Historic Stage (250 B.P. – present)
  6. 6. ROCK ART STYLES IN SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO PECKED ABSTRACT (PAB) PECKED REPRESENTATIONAL STYLE (PRP) PURGATOIRE PETROGLYPH STYLE (PPG) GREAT PLAINS REGIONAL (RGN) PLAINS BIOGRAPHIC STYLE (PBG) OGAM-LIKE STYLE (OGM)
  7. 7. ROCK ART DATING Before the 1990s dating rock art depended on relative methods. • Stratigraphy • Association • Stylistic comparison During the 1990s rock art dates based upon cation ratio analysis by Dr. Ronald I. Dorn became available in published sources.
  8. 8. PECKED ABSTRACT STYLE • Includes pecked curvilinear and pecked rectilinear elements. • Elements include dots, circles, curved lines, angular shapes, rakes, lines, and others. • Often display signs of considerable age. Dates range from 5000 B.P. to 1100 B. P.
  9. 9. Typical Pecked Abstract Elements found in Southeastern Colorado Hicklin Springs, 5BN7, Bent County, Colorado. Photo: Peter Faris, 1994
  10. 10. However, there are other possible explanations. Tarantula, Picketwire Canyonlands, 1994 Centipede, Vogel Canyon, 1993
  11. 11. PECKED REPRESENTATIONAL STYLE • Pecked figures, usually quadrupeds. • Figures totally pecked, sometimes stipple pecked. • Figures usually found in groups. • Dates range from 3500 B.P. to 1500 B.P. Photo: Peter Faris, 1986.
  12. 12. Pecked Representational Style, Picketwire Canyonlands, near Split Rock. Photo: Peter Faris, 1992.
  13. 13. PURGATOIRE PETROGLYPH STYLE • Frontal view figures with spread fingers, often with knobby knees. • Facial features/headdresses usually absent. • Figures often have an open space in the torso. • Dates range from 1500 B.P. to 500 B.P. Salt Arroyo, Purgatoire River, Bent County. Photo: Peter Faris, 1991.
  14. 14. Purgatoire Petroglyph Style. Excellent quality solidly pecked figures. Pat Canyon, Baca County. Photo: Peter Faris, 1986.
  15. 15. GREAT PLAINS REGIONAL STYLE • Great Plains and Rio Grand style elements. • Horned heads, animals with hearlines, pecked outline or totally pecked figures. • 700 B.P. to 300 B.P. Figure 8, 5BN7. Photo: Peter Faris
  16. 16. Rio Grande Style Elements Purgatioire River Canyon, Otero County Photo: Peter Faris, 1966
  17. 17. PLAINS BIOGRAPHIC STYLE • Early Plains Biographic style (James Keyser’s Ceremonial style), ca. 990 B.P. to 290 B.P. • Deeply incised rather than pecked. • Plains Biographic style, ca. 220 B.P. to 100 B.P. • Cation-ratio dating ineffective with dates of less then 300 B.P. Figure with spears, Picture Canyon, Baca County. Photo: Peter Faris, 1986.
  18. 18. More Early Plains Biographic Style Art. Figure deeply incised and carrying weapons. Struck by arrow in the torso. Photo: Peter Faris, 1987.
  19. 19. Left side of previous panel Photo: Peter Faris, 1987.
  20. 20. Late Plains Biographic Style art. Post contact or historic period. Shallowly incised lines. Photo: Peter Faris, 1986.
  21. 21. Late Plains Biographic Style art. Box Canyon site, 5LA8464, Picketwire Canyonlands. Photo: Peter Faris, 1999
  22. 22. TALLYFORM (OGAM-LIKE) STYLE • Groups of lines or parallel markings resembling counts or tallies. • Ca. 2975 B.P. to 750 B.P.
  23. 23. CULTURAL PERIODS AND DATED ROCK ART STYLES IN SOUTHEAST COLORADO
  24. 24. ANALYSIS
  25. 25. Conclusions • The Pecked Abstract (PAB) style (4675-1300 B.P.) and Pecked Representational (PRP) style (3500-1500 B.P.) cover nearly the entire span of the Middle Archaic through Early Ceramic periods. • The Tallyform (Ogam-like) (OGM) style (2975- 750 B.P.) extends from the Late Archaic period through the middle of the Middle Archaic period.
  26. 26. • The Purgatoire Petroglyph (PPG) style (1500- 500 B.P.) falls conveniently within the Early and Middle Ceramic periods. • The Regional (RGN) style (700-300 B.P.) falls within the Middle and Late Ceramic periods and probably represents the early stages of the Plains Biographic style. • The Plains Biographic (PBG) style (<300 B.P.) falls within the Late Ceramic and Historic periods.
  27. 27. In May 24 – 26, 1997, the American Rock Art Research Association held its annual conference in La Junta. During that meeting Dr. Ronald I. Dorn publicly disclaimed all his previous dating results based upon possible flaws in assumptions that needed to be relied upon for accuracy.
  28. 28. Recommendations Other dating strategies can be used to approach the same questions. ABSOLUTE: • Carbon14 Dating of organics in the desert varnish by Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) - an expensive proposition. RELATIVE: • Stratigraphy - at certain locations in the canyon of the Picketwire the older petroglyphs are higher on the cliff. • Association – specific symbols found together in multiple locations.
  29. 29. Photo: John Rudolph, 1991.

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