Oldest Rock Art: Nevada Petroglyphs May Be North America’s Most Ancient Carvings

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Nevada petroglyphs the oldest in North America

A few years ago, I attended a program by Eugene Hattori at the Nevada State Museum about the incredibly old petroglyphs that were carved into the tufa coating on boulders in the Winnemucca Lake area. Unlike most Nevada petroglyphs, such as those at Grimes Point that are carved on boulders coated with brown desert varnish, the ones at Winnemucca Lake are carved into the coating of tufa on the surface of boulders that had been under water several thousand years before.

Also, unlike petroglyphs on desert varnish coated boulders, petroglyphs on tufa rock can be dated due to traces of organic material in the tufa. The western side of Winnemucca Lake is home to several boulders carved with petroglyphs that lie within the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. The site was first described by Connick and Connick in The team, Frances and Robert E.

Oldest Rock Art in North America Found as 10, years ago, they are still the oldest petroglyphs that have been dated in North America.

A new high-tech analysis led by a University of Colorado Boulder researcher shows the oldest known petroglyphs in North America, which are cut into several boulders in western Nevada, date to at least 10, years ago and perhaps even as far back as 14, years ago. The petroglyphs located at the Winnemucca Lake petroglyph site 35 miles northeast of Reno consist of large, deeply carved grooves and dots forming complex designs on several large limestone boulders that have been known about for decades, said CU-Boulder researcher Larry Benson, who led the new effort.

Although there are no people, animals or handprint symbols depicted, the petroglyph designs include a series of vertical, chain-like symbols and a number of smaller pits deeply incised with a type of hard rock scraper. Benson and his colleagues used several methods to date the petroglyphs, including determining when the water level the Winnemucca Lake subbasin — which back then was a single body of water connecting the now-dry Winnemucca Lake and the existing Pyramid Lake — reached the specific elevation of 3, feet.

The elevation was key to the study because it marked the maximum height the ancient lake system could have reached before it began spilling excess water over Emerson Pass to the north. When the lake level was at this height, the petroglyph-peppered boulders were submerged and therefore not accessible for carving, said Benson, an adjunct curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

A paper on the subject was published this month in the Journal of Archaeological Science. The National Research Program of the U. Geological Survey funded the study. According to Benson, a white layer of carbonate made of limestone precipitated from the ancient, overflowing Winnemucca Lake had coated some of the petroglyph carvings near the base of the boulders. Previous work by Benson showed the carbonate coating elsewhere in the basin at that elevation had a radiocarbon date of roughly 11, years ago.

Benson sampled the carbonate into which the petroglyphs were incised and the carbonate that coated the petroglyphs at the base of the limestone boulder.

The Oldest American Petroglyphs

David S. The peopling of the Americas is both the oldest and most frequently researched question in American archaeology. Although rarely considered, early art has the potential to provide insight into questions that may be obscured by other kinds of evidence, particularly stone tools. What part did art play in the peopling of the Americas?

Dating North America’s Oldest Petroglyphs. AddThis Social Bookmark Button Share. Wednesday, August 14, iPetroglyph-Winnemucca. (University of.

Gene Hattori, Curator of Anthropology, will present a Frances Humphreys Lecture on petroglyphs from Winnemucca Lake, Nevada that date to between 10, and 14, years in age. The lecture is Thursday, Oct. These unusual petroglyphs were known by many residents and researchers, but their age was a mystery until recently. A rare set of circumstances allowed Dr. Hattori will review this research and comparisons of this site with another early, dated petroglyph site in south central Oregon.

Eugene M. He was born in Yerington and raised in Sparks. He is an archaeologist specializing in historic and prehistoric archaeology of Nevada and surrounding regions. Location: N. Carson Street, Carson City. Call , at ext. See the flier below.

Rock art in Nevada believed to be oldest in North America

A group of 6,year-old carvings in Oregon just lost their title as oldest rock carvings in North America, LiveScience reports. Researchers just discovered that ornately designed petroglyphs in Nevada may be more than twice as old as the Oregon rocks. The true age of this rock art had not been known, but a new analysis suggests these petroglyphs are the oldest North America, dating back to between 10, and 14, years ago.

The rocks occupy a spot in the Nevada desert once covered by Winnemucca Lake.

Ancient rock etchings along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada have been confirmed to be the oldest recorded petroglyphs in North America, dating.

The true age of this rock art had not been known, but a new analysis suggests these petroglyphs are the oldest North America, dating back to between 10, and 14, years ago. Though Winnemucca Lake is now barren, at other times in the past it was so full of water the lake would have submerged the rocks where the petroglyphs were found and spilled its excess contents over Emerson Pass to the north. To determine the age of the rock art, researchers had to figure out when the boulders were above the water line.

The overflowing lake left telltale crusts of carbonate on these rocks, according to study researcher Larry Benson of the University of Colorado Boulder. Radiocarbon tests revealed that the carbonate film underlying the petroglyphs dated back roughly 14, years ago, while a later layer of carbonate coating the rock art dated to about 11, years ago. Those findings, along with an analysis of sediment core sampled nearby, suggest the petroglyph-decorated rocks were exposed first between 14, and 13, years ago and again between about 11, and 10, years ago.

Researchers previously believed the oldest rock art in North America could be found at Long Lake, Ore. The deeply carved lines and grooves in geometric motifs in the petroglyphs at Winnemucca Lake share similarities with their cousins in Oregon. As for what the petroglyphs represented to their Native American creators, researchers are still scratching their heads.

Some look like multiple connected sets of diamonds, and some look like trees, or veins in a leaf. There are few petroglyphs in the American Southwest that are as deeply carved as these, and few that have the same sense of size. The findings will be detailed in the December issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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Dating North America’s oldest petroglyphs, Winnemucca Lake subbasin, Nevada

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Abstract On the west side of the Winnemucca Lake subbasin, Nevada, distinctive deeply carved meter-scale petroglyphs are closely spaced, forming panels on.

On the west side of Nevada’s dried-up Winnemucca Lake, there are several limestone boulders with deep, ancient carvings; some resemble trees and leaves, whereas others are more abstract designs that look like ovals or diamonds in a chain. Though Winnemucca Lake is now barren, at other times in the past it was so full of water the lake would have submerged the rocks where the petroglyphs were found and spilled its excess contents over Emerson Pass to the north.

To determine the age of the rock art, researchers had to figure out when the boulders were above the water line. The overflowing lake left telltale crusts of carbonate on these rocks, according to study researcher Larry Benson of the University of Colorado Boulder. Photo: Benson et al. Tree form at the Winnemucca Lake petroglyph site. The deeply carved lines and grooves in geometric motifs in the petroglyphs at Winnemucca Lake share similarities with their cousins in Oregon.

Researchers discover oldest rock carvings in North America

A set of petroglyphs in western Nevada dated in August to between 10, and 14, years old, are the oldest rock art ever found in North America, tracing back to a time in which it is believed the first inhabitants had recently arrived in North America. The previous oldest rock art in North America was dated at 6, years old and can be found at Long Lake in Oregon. The Oregon petroglyphs were carved in rocks across approximately 60 sites, before being covered in ash from the Mount Mazama volcanic eruption.

The ancient petroglyphs in Nevada are carved into limestone boulders located on the west side of the now dried-up Winnemucca Lake. The rock art includes both simple petroglyphs such as straight lines and swirls and more complex petroglyphs that resemble trees, flowers, or the veins of a leaf. There is also a series of abstract designs that look like ovals or diamonds in a chain.

Oct 22, – A set of petroglyphs in western Nevada dated in August to between and years old, are the oldest rock art ever found in North.

Winnemucca Lake petroglyphs. Credit: Benson, Larry V. A new study reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science shows Winnemucca petroglyphs, the oldest known petroglyphs in North America, date to at least 10, years ago and perhaps even as far back as 14, years ago. Although there are no people, animals or handprint symbols depicted, the petroglyph designs include a series of vertical, chain-like symbols and a number of smaller pits deeply incised with a type of hard rock scraper.

Dr Benson with colleagues used several methods to date the petroglyphs, including determining when the water level the Winnemucca Lake subbasin — which back then was a single body of water connecting the now-dry Winnemucca Lake and the existing Pyramid Lake — reached the specific elevation of 3, feet. May 12,

The Oldest Rock Art in North America

Scientists now say that the petroglyphs at Pyramid Lake, Nevada, are the oldest in North America to have been age-dated. Though appearing confident about some details, they cannot yet identify the ancient peoples who carved those rocks. But the ancients did possess one characteristic that surprised secular scientists. Lying inside a Paiute Reservation, the Nevada petroglyphs look well-crafted and aesthetic.

Dating North America’S Oldest Petroglyphs. No Pets Please We Lisa Appleton reveals new Pool and Spa Full procedure with photoshoot in amp 15 amp.

The petroglyphs found on limestone boulders near Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada’s high desert are similar in design to etchings found at a lake in Oregon that are believed to be at least 7, years old. Unlike later drawings that sometimes depict a spear or antelope, the carvings are abstract with tightly clustered geometric designs — some are diamond patterns, others have short parallel lines on top of a longer line.

Scientists can’t tell for sure who carved them, but they were found on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s reservation land. The petroglyphs could be as much as 14, years old, said Larry Benson, a geochemist who used radiocarbon testing to date the etchings and was the lead author of the research paper.

Radiocarbon testing dated the carbonate layer underlying the petroglyphs to roughly 14, years ago. Geochemical data and sediment and rock samples from adjacent Pyramid Lake show they were exposed to air from 13, to 14, years ago, and again from 10, to 11, years ago. Dennis Jenkins, an archaeologist with the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History, called it a significant discovery. He led recent excavations of obsidian spear points near Paisley, Ore. William Cannon, a longtime archaeologist for the U.

Bureau of Land Management who discovered the petroglyphs at Long Lake in Oregon, brought the Nevada site to Hattori’s attention years ago. He said they bore similarities to petroglyphs at nearby Winnemucca Lake, and Hattori began connecting the dots after Benson spotted the carbonate coating on the rocks. The etchings in Nevada and Oregon have relatively deep, carved lines dominated by linear, curved and circular geometrical designs.

These Carvings Are the Oldest Rock Art in America, by Thousands of Years

A few years ago, I attended a program by Eugene Hattori at the Nevada State Museum about the incredibly old petroglyphs that were carved into the tufa coating on boulders in the Winnemucca Lake area. Unlike most Nevada petroglyphs, such as those at Grimes Point that are carved on boulders coated with brown desert varnish, the ones at Winnemucca Lake are carved into the coating of tufa on the surface of boulders that had been under water several thousand years before.

Also, unlike petroglyphs on desert varnish-coated boulders, petroglyphs on tufa rock can be dated due to traces of organic material in the tufa.

The rock art of shelters of Serra da Capivara National Park in Brazil opens debate of datable hearths, the earliest dated to 46, BC, arguably the oldest dates for Critics, mainly from North America, have suggested that the hearths may in.

On the west side of Nevada’s dried-up Winnemucca Lake, there are several limestone boulders with deep, ancient carvings; some resemble trees and leaves, whereas others are more abstract designs that look like ovals or diamonds in a chain. The true age of this rock art had not been known, but a new analysis suggests these petroglyphs are the oldest in North America, dating back to between 10, and 14, years ago.

Though Winnemucca Lake is now barren, at other times in the past it was so full of water the lake would have submerged the rocks where the petroglyphs were found and spilled its excess contents over Emerson Pass to the north. To determine the age of the rock art, researchers had to figure out when the boulders were above the water line.

The overflowing lake left telltale crusts of carbonate on these rocks, according to study researcher Larry Benson of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Radiocarbon tests revealed that the carbonate film underlying the petroglyphs dated back roughly 14, years ago, while a later layer of carbonate coating the rock art dated to about 11, years ago.

North America’s oldest rock carvings discovered

Ancient rock etchings along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada have been confirmed to be the oldest recorded petroglyphs in North America, dating back at least 10, years. The petroglyphs found on limestone boulders near Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada’s high desert are similar in design to etchings found at a lake in Oregon that are believed to be at least 7, years old. Unlike later drawings that sometimes depict a spear or antelope, the carvings are abstract with tightly clustered geometric designs – some are diamond patterns, others have short parallel lines on top of a longer line.

Scientists can’t tell for sure who carved them, but they were found on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s reservation land.

, “Dating North America’s oldest petroglyphs, Winnemucca Lake subbasin, Nevada Offsite Link,” Journal of Archaeological Science 40, no. 12, pp.

According to Benson, a white rock of carbonate made dating limestone precipitated from the ancient, overflowing Winnemucca Lake had coated some of americas petroglyph carvings near north base oldest the boulders. Previous work by Benson showed the americas coating elsewhere in the basin at that petroglyphs oldest a radiocarbon date of north 11, years ago.

Benson sampled americas carbonate into which the petroglyphs were incised and the carbonate that coated the petroglyphs at the base of the winnemucca boulder. The radiocarbon dates on the samples indicated the carbonate layer underlying the petroglyphs dating north art 14, ago. Those dates, as well as additional geochemical data rock a sediment core from the adjacent Pyramid Lake america, indicated the limestone boulders containing the petroglyphs were exposed to air petroglyphs 14, and 13, years ago and again between about 11, and 10, years ago.

While America Dating artifacts petroglyphs in oldest Lahontan Basin — which encompasses the Winnemucca Americas subbasin — date to the time period of 11, rock 10, years ago, it does not rule out the possibility that the petroglyphs were carved as early as 14, years ago, Benson said. The oldest dates calculated for the Winnemucca Lake petroglyph site america with the time frame linked to several pieces oldest petroglyphs human excrement found in a cave in Oregon, said Benson, who also is affiliated with CU’s Institute winnemucca Arctic and Alpine Research.

Winnemucca Lake Petroglyphs & The Lovelock Cave Mummies