Friday, July 01, 2011

Rock Art of Big Bend Ranch State Park

Our region is full of traces of earlier life in the form of rock art, from Hueco Tanks in the west to Big Bend in the east.  Today's photo comes from Big Bend Ranch State Park from a place on the main road to Sauceda Ranch.  Here's a bit from their website about evidence of the archaeology and history of the park's land:

"Big Bend Ranch Sate Park offers some of the most interesting archeology and history in the region. There are presently over 500 documented sites on the park. Many of the known sites are located near water sources but sites also occur on upland areas away from any obvious drainages, springs or tinajas. There is both need and potential at BBRSP for additional archaeological research to be conducted.

The earliest artifacts identified within BBRSP indicate that Native Americans traversed the area as early as perhaps 11,000 years ago, and continued to do so well into the 19th century. Native American site types attributable to the prehistoric era include open campsites, open camps associated with rock shelters, rock shelters, quarries, lithic scatters, Late Prehistoric Cielo complex (ca. A.D. 1250-1680) sites, rock art sites (primarily pictographs, or rock paintings) and special-use or ritual sites.
 Many pictographs that have been recorded within the Park are monochromatic red, black, or white. Bichrome and polychrome (red, black, yellow, white) figures also occur. The figures include humans, animals, insects, tally marks, double zigzags, hourglass chains, star patterns and various other abstract motifs. Most of these pictographs were probably painted during the Late Archaic (ca. 1000 B.C. - A.D. 1000) or Late Prehistoric (A.D. 1000 - 1535) periods. Other pictographs represented by human figures on horses, longhorn cattle, Spanish saddles and crosses date to the Protohistoric (ca. A.D. 1535-1700) period or later."

Read more from the park's website, here.

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