Saturday, May 26, 2012

Trailing archaeology: records of early Americans at Lagomarsino

The Lagomarsino Petroglyph Site features an impressive amount of abstract images pecked or scratched in basalt boulders and rock walls. Images of humans and animals such as the one shown above (a frog, human being or something else?) are rare. An interpretive board at the site explains that the size and complexity of Lagomarsino kept archaeologists from being able to fully document the rock art until the Nevada Rock Art Foundation (NRAF) and Storey County began in 2003 the enormous task of recording the site by photographing and drawing every petroglyph and mapping its precise location. The details are well documented on the NRAF Lagomarsino website [1].  This website puts the representations seen at Lagomarsino in context with those found at other rock art localities in the Great Basin. In conclusion, over 2,200 rock art panels were documented during field observations, including some occurrences of vandalism.

Overall, Lagomarsino is in good condition. The NRAF website explains that some forms of  natural destruction must be expected: surface spalling, lichen growth, weather-related exposure and infrequent displacement and damage of images on boulders that have tumbled down the talus slope from their original position.  

In addition to rock art, a few other archaeological features (milling features, projectile point fragments) were found at Lagomarsino, suggesting that the site was occupied—at least seasonally [1].   

Keywords: archaeology, anthropology, cultural heritage, pre-columbian art.

References and links
[1] The Nevada Rock Art Foundation: Lagomarsino Canyon Petroglyph Site [].
[2] The Lagomarsino Canyon and how to get there by hiking via Long Valley Creek Trail.

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