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Ancient geometric carvings in Nevada

20 Aug 2016
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An article by Olivia Williams on the MailOnline - Rock of ages! Ancient carvings unearthed on Nevada boulders could be the oldest in America and date back nearly 15,000 years - reports on the ancient geometric shapes discovered in a dried-up lake in Nevada, United States. They are thought to date back at least 10,000 years and could be some of the oldest petroglyphs in North America.

Petroglyphs discovered in Nevada
Images: Associated Press

The carvings have been found on boulders that formed the shoreline of Winnemucca Lake.

As reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science, scientists including Larry Benson, the curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado Natural History Museum and geochemist who co-wrote the paper, believe they could even be up to 14,800 years old. This would make them older than the carvings of Long Lake, Oregon that date back 7,600 years, and once thought of as North America's oldest. Unlike the Lake Long carvings depicting hunting scenes, the Winnemucca Lake carvings predominantly consist of geometric designs.

Petroglyphs in Nevada, United States

Images: Associated Press

 
Article continues below
 

The results are based on his testing which shows that the limestone boulders were exposed to air between 14,800 and 13,200 years ago and then again between 11,300 and 10,500 years ago when they were above the lake's water line. He used radiocarbon testing to date them and explained that even if they turned out to be the conservative estimate of only around 10,000 years old they would still be North America's oldest carvings.

Further analysis continues, including the search for the original carvers of the rock art.


Visit the American Rock Art Archive:
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/america/index.php

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