America's Oldest Known Petroglyphs
August 16, 2013 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Ancient North Americans gouged elaborate rock art into a heap of big boulders northeast of Reno, Nev., more than 10,000 years ago and perhaps 15,000 years ago. That makes the carvings the oldest known petroglyphs on the continent, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
posted by 445supermag (9 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool, thanks! I wonder if there are any sites that would provide context for that time period nearby with additional excavation; maybe in time the tribe will allow more exploration.

and hopefully the site has great security now
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:27 PM on August 16, 2013

They are probably keeping the exact locale secret but Pyramid Lake is near the site of Burning Man. Seems appropriate.
posted by stbalbach at 9:30 PM on August 16, 2013

I was gonna say! what timing -- just a week before 60,000 people roll through that desert, including me. what a remarkable find.
posted by changeling at 11:09 PM on August 16, 2013

My friends and I used to trip at Pyramid Lake long before Burning Man existed. The several Burning Man trips I took in the oughts were a kind of homecoming. The BM site is actually located two or three ranges north east from PL.

These glyphs look carved into tufa, a biologically created rock which consists of ancient coral outcroppings from when the area was part of a much larger inland sea known to paleontologists as Lake Lahontan. Advice for trippers: try to hit it a dawn or dusk, when the light plays a million beautiful tricks.

Ya gotta get a day use permit to hang out on rez land, which Pyramid Lake and perimeter is. Visit the ranger station.
posted by telstar at 1:12 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

"...some of the earliest North Americans were surprisingly creative artists." Seriously, NPR?
posted by nev at 7:53 AM on August 17, 2013

Go see them now, before they're gone. The BLM should just take pictures and then carefully bury them under tons of rock.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:39 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

If anyone wants a copy of the primary research article drop me a mefimail.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2013

Looks more and more like Clovis Last.
posted by Danf at 10:09 AM on August 17, 2013

Moroni lives!
posted by xcasex at 1:54 PM on August 17, 2013

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