Friday, May 25, 2012

Lagomarsino Canyon, Northern Nevada

Lagomarsino Canyon is located in the Virginia Range east of Reno/Sparks in Storey County, Northern Nevada. This remote location is known for its prehistoric rock art of Native Americans: the quarter-mile long boulder-loaded slope and the top ridge walls have served early American artists as a natural canvas. The thousands of carvings are believed to be over 2,000 years old [1-3].

The Lagomarsino rock art is inspiring. But what was it inspired by? Were the petroglyphs carved into those gray rocks as ancient graffiti, ritual recreation or encoded knowledge? Did this talus slope serve as an open-air class room? Backyard traveler Rich Moreno, who has visited so many ghost towns and historical places in Nevada, wrote:

Centuries-old carvings of human stick figures, geometric shapes, animal symbols, circles, and seemingly random lines and squiggles, that even the most brilliant archaeologists have been unable to decipher, peek from the dark, rock walls and challenge all to read them. Rich Moreno, 2008 [1].

Climbing on top of the basalt cliff (by not stepping onto painted rocks), one gets vistas of the heritage site and the desert landscape all the way to the distant Sierra Nevada mountain range. The picture above shows rocks at the edge of the Lagomarsino Canyon. The westward view goes over the canyon to the northern end of the Carson Range: if you look closely, you can spot the Mt Rose Wilderness at the horizon, still with patches of snow cover (May 19, 2012).

Keywords: geography, archaeology, anthropolgy, petroglyphs, rock art, hiking, boulder climbing.

References and more to explore
[1] Rich Moreno: Northern Nevada's Lagomarsino Canyon is a Special Place. October 15, 2008 [].
[2] The Nevada Rock Art Foundation: Lagomarsino Canyon Petroglyph Site [].
[3] The Nature Conservancy: Petroglyphs of Lagomarsino Canyon.  February 7, 2012 [].

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