The Rock Art of Nevada, America

LAGOMARSINO CANYON PETROGLYPH SITE

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Other Archaeological Features
 
Baumhoff et al. (1958) reported a small occupation site associated with Lagomarsino's rock art and a game drive wall. The putative game drive wall is more likely a historic feature based on its extent and substantial character; qualities that do not match historically or archaeologically observed hunting features. Other archaeology reported from the site includes a Stemmed Point that was collected in the late 1980s. The archaeological features that Nevada Rock Art Foundation observed during its recordation of the site's rock art are concentrated in Section 8A and include milling features and two projectile point fragments. It is likely that the site was seasonally occupied for a variety of economic purposes, including seed and plant processing, suggesting the site's rock art was viewed and used by a broader cross-section of the social group than just hunters or ritual specialists. This indicates the site's rock art may have been incorporated in social and ceremonial practices of community-wide significance.
 
Evaluating Rock Art At Lagomarsino
 
The archaeological value of places such as Lagomarsino is rooted in rock art being among the oldest and most enduring forms of the ideological presentation of identity and cultural practice, providing information on diachronic variation in past social processes, symbolic behavior, landscape use, and the role of graphic systems of signification in cultural systems (Quinlan and Woody 2009). Its cultural significance potentially extends beyond its original makers, as rock art sites are monuments that were re-used and incorporated in the traditions of subsequent cultures, illustrating the importance of place in the social construction of individual and cultural identities (Bradley 2000; Quinlan and Woody 2003, 2009). Sites able to provide data that address these research themes in archaeology and anthropology are of exceptional signifi cance for understanding developments in human social behavior, particularly the role of monuments in shaping the experience of social and economic routines, and the development of symbolic culture.
 
Further, the implicit long duration of site-use presented by Lagomarsino's quantity of rock art and the age of its associated archaeology attests to its power as a special place that repeatedly drew prehistoric peoples to it and its continuing cultural significance to Native American peoples.
 
Conclusion
 
The Lagomarsino Canyon Petroglyph Site Documentation Project has resulted in one of the most exhaustive records of a large rock art site produced in Nevada. Over 2200 rock art panels were documented through field drawings, photography, geospatial data capture, and field observations, as well as all observed graffiti and other vandalism. These data provide the basis for future culture resource management at the site and programs of public interpretation. The project's findings justify Lagomarsino's reputation as one of the most significant archaeological sites of its type in the Great Basin. Its scale and quality are impressive, and the site conveys a strong sense of place and prehistoric social routines. Lagomarsino derives a broader significance from its role in the development of the archaeological study of Great Basin rock art sites, having shaped explanatory approaches to rock art's prehistoric sociocultural contexts of use and in stylistic analyses of prehistoric art. The site retains considerable research potential and will continue to shape the way archaeologists conceptualize the role of visual symbolism in prehistoric societies.
 
Acknowledgements
 
This project was planned and developed by Dr. Alanah Woody, who led fi eldwork and data management until her death in July 2007. Without her vision and commitment to the long-term protection of Lagomarsino and all Nevada rock art, this project would not have been possible. This project was funded in part by grants provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and us Forest Service; the National Park Service administered through the Nevada shpo; and Patagonia. Other financial support was provided by the generous donations of panel program sponsors: Sharon P. Chase, Catherine S. Fowler, Don D. Fowler, Douglas Fowler, Don Frazier, John Gianotti, Charles Greene, Thomas and Peggy Hall, Sam and Kathleen Hayes, Bill Jackson and Joanne Jackson, Dittany Lang, Petit Gilwee, Elizabeth Sweeney, Keegan Turner, Tavis Turner, and David and Patricia Vaughn. Additional support was provided by Dan Smercina and Western Village Inn-Casino. Our photography needs are serviced through the generous support of Ed Laine Photography and Jim and Laura Ouimet. We thank our partners for their support and technical assistance: Storey County, the Nevada State Museum, usda, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Nevada Department of Transportation (Geodesy and Location Divisions). Cheryln Bennett, Ralph Bennett, Joan Johnson, and Dianne Jennings provided invaluable support with the management of this project. Lastly, we thank all the volunteers who contributed to this project-their efforts are greatly appreciated.
 
References Cited
 
Baumhoff , Martin A., Robert F. Heizer and Albert B. Elsasser
1958 The Lagomarsino Petroglyph Group (Site 26-St-1) near Virginia City, Nevada. Reports of the University of California Archaeological Survey, No. 43, Berkeley.
 
Bradley, Richard
2000 An Archaeology of Natural Places. Routledge, London.
 
Dean, Claire J.
2003 Site 26-ST-1, Storey County, Nevada: Conservation Treatment Record, October 2003. Portland Dean & Associates Conservation Services, Oregon. Report submitted to the Nevada Rock Art Foundation, Reno.
 
Heizer, Robert F. and Martin A. Baumhoff
1962 Prehistoric Rock Art of Nevada and Eastern California. University of California Press, Berkeley.
 
Quinlan, Angus R. and Alanah Woody
2001 Marking Time At Lagomarsino: The Competing Perspectives Of Rock Art Studies. In American Indian Rock Art, Volume 27, edited by Steven M. Freers and Alanah Woody, pp. 211-220. American Rock Art Research Association, Tucson, Arizona.
2003 Marks of Distinction: Rock Art and Ethnic Identification in the Great Basin. American Antiquity 68(2):372-390.
2009 Rock Art in Archaeological Th ought. In Nevada Rock Art by Peter Goin, in press. Black Rock Institute Press, Reno.
 
Steward, Julian H.
1929 Petroglyphs of California and Adjoining States. Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 47-238. University of California, Berkeley.
 
 
 
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