Thursday, February 07, 2013

Rock Art in Big Bend Ranch State Park

Ancient peoples left pictographs in several locations in Big Bend Ranch State Park, and on a recent tour by TPWD's Blaine Hall, we saw some beautiful examples of rock art thought to date back 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.  To ensure preservation of the images, we'll protect the precise location.
 Read more about rock art in the park, here.  From the park's website:

"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."

Pictographs found in rock shelter in undisclosed
location in Big Bend Ranch State Park

Our adventure included driving very challenging roads
and hiking over very rugged desert terrain
to an undisclosed location in a remote area of the park
 (similar to this) to a rock shelter.

Interesting sun-like image centered in the
light blue circle (mid-right)
 If you're interested in visiting some rock art sites in the park yourself, there's one easily viewed set of pictographs on the road to Sauceda in the center of the park.  There's a rock shelter RIGHT by the road, and if you go slow, you can see some rubber mats on the ground and there's a new sign urging stewardship of the park's resources.  Stop there, get out of your car, walk along the rubber mats and look up at the shelter's rock ceiling...and soon, you'll see some pictographs! 

Or, you can hire a guide to give you a personalized archeology tour.  Page down on this link to read about "Ranger Programs."

Now you can join the Texas Mountain Trail and support our programs, including this Daily Photo blog!  Our members receive terrific benefits and gifts are tax-deductible.  To learn more and become a member, click here!

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