Rounds out Edward J. Lenik’s comprehensive and expert study of the rock art of northeastern Native Americans
Decorated stone artifacts are a significant part of archaeological studies of Native Americans in the Northeast. The artifacts illuminated in Amulets, Effigies, Fetishes, and Charms: Native American Artifacts and Spirit Stones from the Northeast include pecked, sculpted, or incised figures, images, or symbols. These are rendered on pebbles, plaques, pendants, axes, pestles, and atlatl weights, and are of varying sizes, shapes, and designs. Lenik draws from Indian myths and legends and incorporates data from ethnohistoric and archaeological sources together with local environmental settings in an attempt to interpret the iconography of these fascinating relics. For the Algonquian and Iroquois peoples, they reflect identity, status, and social relationships with other Indians as well as beings in the spirit world.
Lenik begins with background on the Indian cultures of the Northeast and includes a discussion of the dating system developed by anthropologists to describe prehistory. The heart of the content comprises more than eighty examples of portable rock art, grouped by recurring design motifs. This organization allows for in-depth analysis of each motif. The motifs examined range from people, animals, fish, and insects to geometric and abstract designs. Information for each object is presented in succinct prose, with a description, illustration, possible interpretation, the story of its discovery, and the location where it is now housed. Lenik also offers insight into the culture and lifestyle of the Native American groups represented. An appendix listing places to see and learn more about the artifacts and a glossary are included.
The material in this book, used in conjunction with Lenik’s previous research, offers a reference for virtually every known example of northeastern rock art. Archaeologists, students, and connoisseurs of Indian artistic expression will find this an invaluable work.
Swordfish Cave is a well-known rock art site located on Vandenberg Air Force Base in south central California. Named for the swordfish painted on its wall, the cave is a sacred Chumash site. It was under threat from various processes and required measures to conserve it. Nearly all of the cave’s interior was excavated to create a rock art viewing area. That effort revealed previously unknown rock art and made it possible to closely examine how early occupants used the space inside the cave. They identified three periods of human use, including an initial occupation around 3,550 years ago, an occupation about 660 years later, and a final Native American occupation that occurred much later, between A.D. 1787 and 1804. The discovery of tools used to make the pictographs linked the art to the two early occupations, pushing back the generally understood antiquity of rock art on California’s Central Coast by more than 2,000 years.
Two aspects make this study unusual: datable materials associated with rock art and complete removal of cave deposits. Well illustrated with photographs, maps, and drawings of both the art itself and the excavations and materials revealed therein, the book presents a rare opportunity to directly link archaeology and rock art and to examine the spatial organization of prehistoric human habitation.
With the exception of the Grand Canyon itself, none of the great gorges of the American Southwest is more uniquely beautiful than Canyon de Chelly, with its sheer red cliffs and innumerable prehistoric Indian dwellings. Of all the important centers of prehistoric Anasazi culture, only this magnificent canyon shows an unbroken record of settlement for more than 1,000 years. In this liberally illustrated book, rock art authority Campbell Grant examines four aspects of the spectacular canyon: its physical characteristics, its history of human habitation, its explorers and archaeologists, and its countless rock paintings and petroglyphs. Grant surveys 96 sites in the two main canyons and offers an interpretation of the rock art found there.
Discovering North American Rock Art
Edited by Lawrence L. Loendorf, Christopher Chippindale, and David S. Whitley University of Arizona Press, 2005 Library of Congress E98.P34D57 2005 | Dewey Decimal 970.00497
From the high plains of Canada to caves in the southeastern United States, images etched into and painted on stone by ancient Native Americans have aroused in observers the desire to understand their origins and meanings. Rock paintings and engravings can be found in nearly every state and province, and each region has its own distinctive story of discovery and evolving investigation of the rock art record. Rock art in the twenty-first century enjoys a large and growing popularity fueled by scholarly research and public interest alike.
This book explores the history of rock art research in North America and is the only volume in the past twenty-five years to provide coverage of the subject on a continental scale. Written by contributors active in rock art research, it examines sites that provide a cross-section of regions and topics and complements existing books on rock art by offering new information, insights, and approaches to research.
The first part of the volume explores different regional approaches to the study of rock art, including a set of varied responses to a single site as well as an overview of broader regional research investigations. It tells how Writing-on-Stone in southern Alberta, Canada, reflects changing thought about rock art from the 1870s to today; it describes the role of avocational archaeologists in the Mississippi Valley, where rock art styles differ on each side of the river; it explores discoveries in southwestern mountains and southeastern caves; and it integrates the investigation of cupules along Georgia’s Yellow River into a full study of a site and its context. The book also compares the differences between rock art research in the United States and France: from the outset, rock art was of only marginal interest to most U.S. archaeologists, while French prehistorians considered cave art an integral part of archaeological research. The book’s second part is concerned with working with the images today and includes coverage of gender interests, government sponsorship, the role of amateurs in research, and chronometric studies.
Much has changed in our understanding of rock art since Cotton Mather first wrote in 1714 of a strange inscription on a Massachusetts boulder, and the cutting-edge contributions in this volume tell us much about both the ancient place of these enduring images and their modern meanings. Discovering North American Rock Art distills today’s most authoritative knowledge of the field and is an essential volume for both specialists and hobbyists.
In Hidden Thunder, renowned watercolor artist Geri Schrab and archaeologist Robert "Ernie" Boszhardt give readers an up-close-and-personal look at rock art. With an eye toward preservation, Schrab and Boszhardt take you with them as they research, document, and interpret at the ancient petroglyphs and pictographs made my Native Americans in past millennia. In addition to publicly accessible sites such as Wisconsin’s Roche-a-Cri State Park and Minnesota’s Jeffers Petroglyphs, Hidden Thunder covers the artistic treasures found at several remote and inaccessible rock art sites—revealing the ancient stories through words, full-color photographs, and artistic renditions.
Offering the duo perspectives of scientist and artist, Boszhardt shares the facts that archaeologists have been able to establish about these important artifacts of our early history, while Schrab offers the artist's experience, describing her emotional and creative response upon encountering and painting these sites. Viewpoints by members of the Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, and other Native nations offer additional insight on the historic and cultural significance of these sites. Together these myriad voices reveal layers of meaning and cultural context that emphasize why these fragile resources—often marred by human graffiti and mishandling or damage from the elements—need to be preserved.
High above the noise and traffic of metropolitan Phoenix, Native American rock art offers mute testimony that another civilization once thrived in the Arizona desert. In the city's South Mountains, prehispanic peoples pecked thousands of images into the mountains' boulders and outcroppings—images that today's hikers can encounter with every bend in the trail.
Todd Bostwick, an archaeologist who has studied the Hohokam for more than twenty years, and Peter Krocek, a professional photographer with a passion for archaeology, have combed the South Mountains to locate nearly all of the ancient petroglyphs found in the canyons and ridges. Their years of learning the landscape and investigating the ancient designs have resulted in a book that explores this wealth of prehistoric rock art within its natural and cultural contexts, revealing what these carvings might mean, how they got there, and when they were made.
Landscape of the Spirits is the first book to cover these ancient images and is one of the most comprehensive treatments of a rock art location ever published. It conveys the range of different rock art elements and compositions found in the South Mountains—animals, humans, and geometric shapes, as well as celestial and calendrical markings at key sites—through accurate descriptions, drawings, and photographs. Interpretations of the petroglyphs are based on Native American ethnographic accounts and consider the most recent theories concerning shamanism and archaeoastronomy.
Written in a simple and accessible style, Landscape of the Spirits is an indispensable volume for anyone exploring the South Mountains, and for rock art enthusiasts everywhere who wish to broaden their understanding of the prehistoric world. It is both an authoritative overview of these ancient wonders and an unprecedented benchmark in southwestern rock art research at a single geographic location.
A full range of rock art appearances, including dendroglyphs, pictographs, and a selection of portable rock objects
The Indians of northeastern North America are known to us primarily through reports and descriptions written by European explorers, clergy, and settlers, and through archaeological evidence. An additional invaluable source of information is the interpretation of rock art images and their relationship to native peoples for recording practical matters or information, as expressions of their legends and spiritual traditions, or as simple doodling or graffiti. The images in this book connect us directly to the Indian peoples of the Northeast, mainly Algonkian tribes inhabiting eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and the lower Potomac River Valley, New York, New Jersey, the six New EnglandStates, and Atlantic Canada. Lenik provides a full range of rock art appearances in the study area, including some dendroglyphs, pictographs, and a selection of portable rock objects. By providing a full analysis and synthesis of the data, including the types and distribution of the glyphs, and interpretations of their meaning to the native peoples, Lenik reveals a wealth of new information on the culture and lifeways of the Indians of the Northeast.
With an estimated 10,000 ancient rock art sites, Nine Mile Canyon has long captivated people the world over. The 45-mile-long canyon, dubbed the “World’s Longest Art Gallery,” hosts what is believed to be the largest concentration of rock art in North America. But rock art is only part of the amazing archaeological fabric that scholars have been struggling to explain for more than a century. Jerry D. Spangler takes the reader on a journey into Nine Mile Canyon through the eyes of the generations of archaeologists who have gone there only to leave bewildered by what it all means.
The early visitors in the 1890s were determined to recover collections for museums but never much cared to understand the people who left the artifacts. Then came a cadre of young scientists—the first to be trained specifically in archaeology—who found Nine Mile Canyon to be an intriguing laboratory that yielded more questions than answers. Scholars such as Noel Morss, Donald Scott, Julian Steward, John Gillin, and John Otis Brew all left their boot prints there.
Today, archaeological research is experiencing another renaissance—a new generation of university-trained archaeologists is determined to unravel the mystery of Nine Mile Canyon using scientific tools and techniques that were unavailable to past generations. Through the words and thoughts of the archaeologists, as well as the more than 150 photos, readers will come to see Nine Mile Canyon as an American treasure unlike any other. As the first book that is devoted exclusively to the archaeology of this unique place, Nine Mile Canyon will evoke fascination among scholars and the general public alike.
Winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Title award.
America’s current "war on drugs" is not the nation’s first. In the mid-nineteenth century, opium-smoking was decried as a major social and public health problem, especially in the West. Although China faced its own epidemic of opium addiction, only a very small minority of Chinese immigrants in America were actually involved in the opium business. It was in Anglo communities that the use of opium soon spread and this growing use was deemed a threat to the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and to its growing mportance as a world economic and military power. The Opium Debate examines how the spread of opium-smoking fueled racism and created demands for the removal of the Chinese from American life. This meticulously researched study of the nineteenth-century drug-abuse crisis reveals the ways moral crusaders linked their antiopium rhetoric to already active demands for Chinese exclusion. Until this time, anti-Chinese propaganda had been dominated by protests against the economic and political impact of Chinese workers and the alleged role of Chinese women as prostitutes. The use of the drug by Anglos added another reason for demonizing Chinese immigrants. Ahmad describes the disparities between Anglo-American perceptions of Chinese immigrants and the somber realities of these people’s lives, especially the role that opium-smoking came to play in the Anglo-American community, mostly among middle- and upper-class women. The book offers a brilliant analysis of the evolution of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, plus important insights into the social history of the nineteenth-century West, the culture of American Victorianism, and the rhetoric of racism in American politics.
Images on rocks depicting birds, serpents, deer, and other designs are haunting reminders of prehistoric peoples. This book documents Missouri's rich array of petroglyphs and pictographs, analyzing the many aspects of these rock carvings and paintings to show how such representations of ritual activities can enhance our understanding of Native American culture.
Missouri is a particularly important site for rock art because it straddles the Plains, the Ozarks, and the Southeast. Carol Diaz-Granados and James Duncan have established a model for analyzing this rock art as archaeological data and have mapped the patterning of fifty-eight major motifs across the state. Of particular importance is their analysis of motifs from Mississippi River Valley sites, including Cahokia.
The authors include interpretive discussions on iconography and ideology, drawing on years of research in the ethnographic records and literature of Native Americans linguistically related to earlier peoples. Their distribution maps show how motifs provide clues to patterns of movement among prehistoric peoples and to the range of belief systems. Rock art is an aspect of the archaeological record that has received little attention, and the art is particularly subject to the ravages of time. By documenting these fragile images, this book makes a major contribution to rock art research in North America.
Recent decades have seen an upsurge in visitation to rock art sites as well as an increase in commercial reproduction of rock art and attempts to understand the meaning and function of that art within the indigenous cultures that produced it. What motivates this growing interest and what do these interpretations and appropriations of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs reveal about contemporary cultural dynamics? Focusing on the southwestern U.S., this book critically examines the contemporary implications of the interpretation, appropriation, commodification, and management of indigenous rock art.
Neither archaeological interpretations nor commercial reproductions of rock art operate in a cultural vacuum. Both the motivation to seek out rock art and the specific meanings attached to it are deeply embedded in narratives about Native Americans already created by anthropologists, archaeologists, photographers, novelists, film and television producers, the tourism industry, and New Age discourse. For those interested in rock art as a window into indigenous cultures of the past, our contemporary projections of meanings are of great concern. Applying the tools of critical/cultural studies to both academic and popular discourse, Rogers explores the implications of such projections for rock art studies, contemporary gender dynamics, and the neocolonial relationship between Euro-Americans and Native Americans.
Winner of the Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize
We are nearly all intrigued by the petroglyphs and pictographs of the American Southwest, and we commonly ask what they “mean”. Religion on the Rocks redirects our attention to the equally important matter of what compelled ancient peoples to craft rock art in the first place. To examine this question, Aaron Wright presents a case study from Arizona's South Mountains, an area once flanked by several densely populated Hohokam villages. Synthesizing results from recent archaeological surveys, he explores how the mountains' petroglyphs were woven into the broader cultural landscape and argues that the petroglyphs are relics of a bygone ritual system in which people vied for prestige and power by controlling religious knowledge. The features and strategic placement of the rock art suggest this dimension of Hohokam ritual was participatory and prominent in village life. Around AD 1100, however, petroglyph creation and other ritual practices began to wane, denoting a broad transformation of the Hohokam social world. Wright’s examination of the South Mountains petroglyphs offers a novel narrative of how Hohokam villagers negotiated a concentration of politico-religious authority around platform mounds. Readers will come away with a better understanding of the Hohokam legacy and a greater appreciation for rock art's value to anthropology.
Examines a host of rock art sites from Nova Scotia to Maryland
Rock art, petroglyphs, and pictographs have been made by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Images have been found on bedrock, cliff faces, ridge tops, and boulders and in rock shelters. Some rock surfaces are covered with abstract and geometric designs such as concentric circles, zigzag lines, grids, and cross-hatched and ladder-like patterns. Others depict humans, footprints and handprints, mammals, serpents, and mythic creatures. All were meticulously pecked, incised or painted. This ancient art form connects us to Native Americans’ past, traditions, world views, and sacred places.
Rock Art in an Indigenous Landscape: From Atlantic Canada to Chesapeake Bay is the culmination of the research of preeminent rock art scholar Edward J. Lenik. Here, he profiles more than 64 examples of rock art in varied locations from Nova Scotia to Maryland. Chapters are organized geographically and lead the reader through coastal sites, rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, and upland sites.
Lenik discusses the rock art examples in the context of the indigenous landscape, noting the significance of the place of discovery. Coverage includes a meticulous description of the design or motif and suggestions of time frame, artist-makers, and interpretations. Where possible, indigenous views on the artifacts enrich the narrative. Other invaluable elements are a discussion of how to identify indigenous rock art; a glossary of rock art terms and features and archaeological culture periods; an up-to-date bibliography; and an appendix of a number of reported but unconfirmed petroglyph sites in the regions.
Rock Art of the Caribbean
Edited by Michele Hayward, Lesley-Gail Atkinson, and Michael A. Cinquino University of Alabama Press, 2009 Library of Congress F2172.R63 2009 | Dewey Decimal 759.011309729
This compilation, by an international grouping of scholars, focuses on the nature of Caribbean rock art or rock graphics and makes clear the region's substantial and distinctive rock art tradition. Thorough and comparative, it includes data on the history of rock graphic research, the nature of the assemblages (image numbers, types, locations), and the legal, conservation, and research status of the image sites. Chapters on these topics cover research on the islands of Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Aruba, and Bonaire. The prehispanic rock art and other ceremonial structures and artifacts, along with enthnohistorical accounts of the region at Contact, projected backward in time, all point to an active ritual and ceremonial life involving commoners, religious specialists, and elites in differing and interconnected roles and for diverse purposes. The selective use of common rock graphic design and physical elements can be seen in the distribution and execution of the carved and painted images. Pecked, ground, abraded, and scratched petroglyphs, along with pictographs done frequently in red, black, white and orange hues are found on a range of rock surfaces including limestones, granites, diorites, and andesites. Caves/rock shelters and rock formations associated with water sources (water ways, pools, ocean) account for the two most common locations, followed by ball court sites, inland rock outcroppings and beach rock.
In addition to specific area presentations, the work includes a review of recent advances in Caribbean rock graphic studies including dating and interpretative models; the application of a new documentation method and resulting computer manipulation advantages; a conservation project in Jamaica that has implications for the preservation and interpretation of the site; and a proposed dating sequence for the Lesser Antillean
Showcases the wealth of new research on sacred imagery found in twelve states and four Canadian provinces
In archaeology, rock-art—any long-lasting marking made on a natural surface—is similar to material culture (pottery and tools) because it provides a record of human activity and ideology at that site. Petroglyphs, pictographs, and dendroglyphs (tree carvings) have been discovered and recorded throughout the eastern woodlands of North America on boulders, bluffs, and trees, in caves and in rock shelters. These cultural remnants scattered on the landscape can tell us much about the belief systems of the inhabitants that left them behind.
The Rock-Art of Eastern North America brings together 20 papers from recent research at sites in eastern North America, where humidity and the actions of weather, including acid rain, can be very damaging over time. Contributors to this volume range from professional archaeologists and art historians to avocational archaeologists, including a surgeon, a lawyer, two photographers, and an aerospace engineer. They present information, drawings, and photographs of sites ranging from the Seven Sacred Stones in Iowa to the Bald Friar Petroglyphs of Maryland and from the Lincoln Rise Site in Tennessee to the Nisula Site in Quebec.
Discussions of the significance of artist gender, the relationship of rock-art to mortuary caves, and the suggestive link to the peopling of the continent are particularly notable contributions. Discussions include the history, ethnography, recording methods, dating, and analysis of the subject sites and integrate these with the known archaeological data.
Hidden away in the canyons of a highly restricted military base on the edge of the Mojave Desert is the largest concentration of rock art in North America, possibly in the world. Images of animals, shamans, and puzzling abstract forms were pecked and painted on stone over thousands of years by a now long-gone culture. Talking Stone: Rock Art of the Cosos is a multivocal investigation of this art.
Acclaimed cinematographer Paul Goldsmith takes the reader on a visual journey through this limited access area with more than 160 stunning color photographs. The book is structured around Goldsmith’s treks into the remote desert canyons and his meetings with archaeologists, Native Americans, a psychologist, an artist, bow hunters, and the commanding officer in charge of the military base. The result is a visually striking book that gives the viewer a personal and visceral experience of this enigmatic art.
Fremont is a culture (ca. 300–1300 A.D.) first defined by archaeologist Noel Morss in 1928 based on characteristics unique to the area. Initially thought to be a simple socio-political system, recent reassessments of the Fremont assume a more complex society. This volume places Fremont rock art studies in this contemporary context. Author Steven Simms offers an innovative model of Fremont society, politics, and worldview using the principles of analogy and current archaeological evidence. Simms takes readers on a trip back in time by describing what a typical Fremont hamlet or residential area might have looked like a thousand years ago, including the inhabitants' daily activities. François Gohier's captivating photographs of Fremont art and artifacts offer an engaging complement to Simms's text, aiding us in our understanding of the lives of these ancient people.
Winner of the Utah Book Award in Nonfiction.
Winner of the Society for American Archaeology Book Award for Public Audience.
Winner, Society for American Archaeology Book Award, 2017
San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award, 2019
The prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, created some of the most spectacularly complex, colorful, extensive, and enduring rock art of the ancient world. Perhaps the greatest of these masterpieces is the White Shaman mural, an intricate painting that spans some twenty-six feet in length and thirteen feet in height on the wall of a shallow cave overlooking the Pecos River. In The White Shaman Mural, Carolyn E. Boyd takes us on a journey of discovery as she builds a convincing case that the mural tells a story of the birth of the sun and the beginning of time—making it possibly the oldest pictorial creation narrative in North America.
Unlike previous scholars who have viewed Pecos rock art as random and indecipherable, Boyd demonstrates that the White Shaman mural was intentionally composed as a visual narrative, using a graphic vocabulary of images to communicate multiple levels of meaning and function. Drawing on twenty-five years of archaeological research and analysis, as well as insights from ethnohistory and art history, Boyd identifies patterns in the imagery that equate, in stunning detail, to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples, including the ancient Aztec and the present-day Huichol. This paradigm-shifting identification of core Mesoamerican beliefs in the Pecos rock art reveals that a shared ideological universe was already firmly established among foragers living in the Lower Pecos region as long as four thousand years ago.